Lance Stroll thinks that a points finish in the Canadian Grand Prix is still possible, despite his Racing Point F1 Team car Formula 1 engine being “several tenths down on performance.”
Stroll, competing in his home grand prix weekend for the third time in F1, suffered a failure of his new spec Mercedes power unit early in third practice on Saturday morning, meaning he had to revert to the old spec unit, which has already completed the opening six grands prix of the season.
In qualifying, Stroll was unable to advance out of Q1 qualifying in eighteenth, the eleventh successive race in which he has fallen at that stage, whilst team-mate Sergio Perez was also eliminated, lapping a tenth quicker than Stroll’s lap time of 1m:12.266 in sixteenth.
Both will move up one place as Kevin Magnussen will start from the pitlane following a chassis change after his crash at the end of the second segment of qualifying.
“It wasn’t an easy day with the engine change having a big impact on the final result,” Stroll said.
“I missed out on doing any laps in final practice and we had to go back to the old spec engine, which is several tenths down on performance.
“The guys and girls in the garage did a great job to fit the new power unit in time for qualifying, but I just felt on the back foot going into the session. Without these problems, I’m sure I could have gone further in qualifying.”
Stroll’s best result of the season is ninth, which he achieved in both Australia and Spain, and he feels that he can use the experience of 2017 to aid his progress in the race.
Competing in what was then his maiden home race, Stroll, then at Williams, was eliminated in Q1, but raced strongly to harvest his first F1 points in ninth.
“I still feel positive [about the race]: it’s my home race and I’m going to give it my best shot,” he said. “I remember in 2017 I came back from a difficult qualifying to score my first F1 points in Montreal. I need to pull something similar out of my pocket tomorrow.