Lance Stroll capitalised on the late race retirements of Lando Norris and Antonio Giovinazzi to claim the final point on offer in Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix, with the Canadian pleased to see both Racing Point F1 Team cars inside the top ten.
Stroll was one of those handed a grid penalty prior to the race for unscheduled power unit component changes and started sixteenth, with the Canadian then gambling on a two-stop strategy that required him to make some on-track passes to make it work.
It looked as though he would fall short but for Norris’ mechanical failure and Giovinazzi’s crash, and Stroll admitted it could easily have been ninth place but for the yellow flags on the final lap preventing him from getting close enough to Pierre Gasly.
“Both cars in the top ten means good points for the team,” said Stroll. “I am quite pleased to score a point from P16 on the grid, but it was a bit frustrating because I spent the whole race stuck in traffic, behind cars on different strategies, so it was tough to get clean air and really push on.
“In hindsight, I think that’s where we lost a lot of race time compared to other drivers, such as Kvyat and Albon, who managed to get in front of us during the race. We gave it a good go though: I was right behind Gasly towards the end and I almost got him.
“If it wasn’t for the yellow flag on the last lap, I think I could have got him. But it was a great race: very exciting from start to finish and I enjoyed it.”
Stroll, like many others on the grid, admitted it was not an easy Sunday in Belgium due to the tragic news of Anthoine Hubert’s passing on Saturday, especially with Racing Point sharing sponsorship ties with BWT, part of the BWT-Arden team that the Frenchman was racing in FIA Formula 2.
“It has not been an easy weekend for all of us and our thoughts remain with Anthoine’s family at this time,” said Stroll. “I think we put on a good race in his memory and for us it was a competitive afternoon.”