Racing Point F1 Team‘s principal Otmar Szafnauer was pleased for Lance Stroll to score for his home Grand Prix in Montréal, stating his two points are important for the team following a tough couple of races.
Both Stroll and Sergio Pérez started the weekend facing a mountain to climb after both drivers were eliminated in Qualifying 1 for the Canadian Grand Prix. Prior to Qualifying, Stroll’s engine burst into flames in the opening minutes of Free Practice 3, leaving him with little to no running and a race against the clock for his mechanics to fit a new engine before Qualifying.
Racing Point switched to the old spec Mercedes-Benz engine for Stroll’s car, having been granted the new ‘Phase 2’ engine for all Mercedes customer teams. Pérez stuck with the new engine, but it was the local driver who shun in the Grand Prix.
Stroll started the race down in seventeenth place but utilised a one-stop strategy by starting on the hard Pirelli tyres, using them to good effect to get into the points and using his pace advantage with the softs well, passing Carlos Sainz Jr. in the McLaren to capture ninth place in front of his home supporters.
Pérez’s race was difficult as the Mexican could only managed twelve overall behind Sainz. During the Grand Prix, Pérez was involved in a close battle with midfield rivals Haas F1 Team and their driver Romain Grosjean. The two dueled but it was Pérez who passed the Frenchman into Turn 1 that ended their fight. Grosjean complained on the radio about the aggression the Mexican put when making the overtake, but Pérez was not handed a penalty for the overtake by the race stewards.
Szafnauer reflects on the weekend at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, saying Stroll’s two points at his home turf is a ‘fantastic’ result for the Canadian and his team after coping with a tough spell of races.
“It’s fantastic to see Lance score points at his home race,” said Snafnauer.
“After such a tough Saturday, he delivered a really strong performance today to fight through the field from P17 to ninth. He kept his head down and made the strategy work with some decisive overtakes too.
“Checo’s strategy – with the medium tyre for the first stint – didn’t play out as well, but we felt it was worth splitting the strategies between the cars.
“These two points are important after a tough couple of races and show all the hard work is beginning to pay off in terms of performance and results.”