Lance Stroll said his fourth place finish in a chaotic Formula 1 German Grand Prix shows that “it’s never over until it’s over”.
Stroll made five pitstops and suffered two spins on his way to the Racing Point F1 Team‘s best result in F1, following the breakdown of Force India midway through the 2018 season.
He also became the first Canadian to lead a race since Jacques Villeneuve in the 1997 European Grand Prix after reaping the benefits of a well-timed final stop for dry tyres, but quickly succumbed to an attack from eventual race winner Max Verstappen.
Stroll defended well from Mercedes AMG Motorsport‘s Valtteri Bottas before the Finn’s crash at Turn 1 on lap 56 of 64 at Hockenheim, but could not keep Sebastian Vettel and Daniil Kvyat behind to claim a second career podium.
“I’m really happy with that – what an amazing day,” beamed Stroll, who moves above team-mate Sergio Pérez in the Drivers’ Championship and into twelfth place.
“Fourth place feels great considering everything that happened this afternoon.
“I was running at the back for most of the race; I spun a couple of times and we pitted five times.
“As special as it is to finish fourth, I am disappointed that the podium slipped away from us.
“I think a critical moment was the mistake I made at Turn 8 on my second or third lap on slicks, which is when Daniil managed to get ahead of me.
“We tried our best to keep the quicker cars behind, but the podium was just out of reach.”
12 points for fourth place also helps Racing Point overtake the Haas F1 Team and Alfa Romeo Racing in the Constructors’ Standings – with the latter losing its double points finish for a post-race penalty regarding clutch torque irregularities.
Stroll’s finish compensated for Pérez’s early exit from the race due to aquaplaning on the exit of Turn 10 in the tricky early stages and ended a promising first weekend for the heavily-updated RP19 package.
“Today’s race shows why you should never give up because it’s never over until it’s over,” Stroll added.
“It’s great to see how much this result means to the team and it was so special to see the crew celebrating on the pit wall when I crossed the line.
“This important result is for everyone in the team and we will enjoy this moment.”