Lance Stroll expressed his joy in transforming a difficult starting position of seventeenth into ninth place in Sunday’s Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix and scoring his first points since the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
The Racing Point F1 Team driver suffered a spectacular power unit failure on Saturday, lumbering Stroll with the older-spec Mercedes power unit for his home qualifying and race, but managed to stay within two-tenths of team-mate Sergio Pérez‘s efforts.
The Canadian then exceeded expectations with ninth place in the race, defending well from Red Bull Racing‘s Pierre Gasly before his sole stop and successfully attacking Carlos Sainz Jr. in the second half of the 70-lap race around the Circuit de Gilles Villeneuve.
Stroll said that the tumultuous start to the weekend enhanced the feeling of points – his second score in three Canadian Grands Prix, having claimed his first F1 points in the 2017 race with Williams Racing.
“The car performed so well today and it feels great to score points in Montréal,” said Stroll.
“The lead up to the race wasn’t easy – losing the power unit yesterday and taking a performance hit by going back to the old engine – but we kept pushing, went out there and grabbed a couple of points.”
Racing Point utilised a long first stint to Stroll’s advantage, the 20-year-old taking the hard tyres to lap 45 and ending the race on the medium C4 compound.
Even with the conservative choice of starting tyre, Stroll made up three positions on the opening lap.
“My start was strong, which moved me up a few positions and the key to our strategy was all about going long on the first stint with the hard tyre,” he added.
“By the time we switched to the medium, we were in good shape and I was able to chase down Sainz and make the move for ninth place.
“It was a really fun race: I put all my emotions on the table today and loved every minute of it.
“The team really deserved this: they’ve put in some long hours this week and it’s a boost for us all.
“It has been an awesome week with great support from the crowd. I’m going to remember this one for a while.”