Lance Stroll admits he feels more settled at the BWT Racing Point F1 Team as he heads into his second season with the Silverstone-based outfit in 2020.
The Canadian secured the teams’ best result of 2019 when he finished fourth in the wet/dry German Grand Prix, even finding himself at the front of the field for a brief moment before Max Verstappen found his way passed. He ultimately finished down in fifteenth position in the Drivers’ Championship, with points in six of the twenty-one races.
Stroll says he has noticed a lot of changes at Racing Point since his arrival, and he feels this is proof that the team is continuing to grow as they look to fight for points and podiums in 2020.
“My first year is out of the way and it’s nice to come back for round two!” admits Stroll. “I’ve worked with everyone for an entire season now and been in this environment for a whole year. I can’t wait to do it all over again.
“I’ve seen a lot of change from when I first arrived and this is definitely a time where we’re growing as a team. I spend a lot of time at the factory and I’m seeing this growth daily. We were on the back foot going from 2018 into 2019 but I think the team is much more settled now and 2020 gives us a chance to show what we can do.
“So much effort has gone into this season’s package so it’s all really exciting!”
Healthy Relationship Needed between Team-mates if Team is to Advance – Stroll
Stroll says his relationship with team-mate Sergio Pérez needs to have respect if it is to benefit the team. Acknowledging that he always wants to beat the Mexican – something he did not do that often in 2019, especially in Qualifying, a healthy relationship will help the team move forward.
“We’re both working hard to help develop the car and improve the team so we can progress further up the grid,” said the Canadian. “To do that, our relationship is extremely important.
“We’re competitors first and foremost. I want to beat him and he wants to beat me. That’s what competition is about. But it’s about having respect for one another – both on-track and off-track – and we saw that last season. I got the better of him in the first half and he got the better of me in the second.
“A healthy relationship between the drivers can really help the team advance.”
‘A lot of Excitement’ for Stroll heading into 2020
Stroll is ready for what could be the longest season in Formula 1 history, with twenty-two races on the schedule, although the Chinese Grand Prix remains a maybe following its recent postponement caused by the outbreak of coronavirus.
He wants to start the year with some strong results so he can improve on his and his teams’ final finishing positions in the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship of 2019.
“For this year, the philosophy of our car has completely changed and there’s a lot of excitement that comes from that,” said Stroll. “This excitement is what Formula 1 is all about and if I no longer had that excitement, if I no longer had the butterflies, I wouldn’t be competing.
“There are races like Spa and Monza that we all love driving – but it’s also fun when they throw some new tracks into the mix. Vietnam will offer a new challenge and so will Zandvoort with the new modifications.
“2020 will be a long season. It’s important to kick off with some good results – but it’s a marathon. You’ve got to be consistent and score as many points as you can. That’s going to be our goal and we’ll see what that brings us after Abu Dhabi.”