Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team driver Lance Stroll believes 2020 was a year of missed opportunities despite recording his best season to date in Formula 1.
The twenty-year-old started the 2020 campaign strongly, finishing in the points in seven of the opening eight races and accumulated fifty-seven points, including that spectular podium finish at the Italian Grand Prix. However, Stroll’s season started to take a turn for the worse. He failed to score in his next five Grand Prix’s, combined with retirements, collisions and catching COVID-19 just prior to the Eifel Grand Prix.
In the final four races, the Canadian driver secured his maiden pole position at the Turkish Grand Prix and another podium finish at the Sakhir Grand Prix, but he could only pick up just eighteen points over nine races.
Despite a disappointing end to the season, Stroll managed to record his best campaign over his four-year career in the sport, finishing eleventh in the drivers’ standings on seventy-five points. Stroll was pleased with some of the results, including his maiden pole, but felt it was a missed opportunity especially considering how competitive BWT Racing Point’s Formula One Team car was.
“We had some good results: a few fourth places, a couple of podiums, a pole – that was one of the bigger highlights of the season. So it was a good year,” Stroll told Motorsport.com.
“I think at the same time, though, it was a year of missed opportunity with the car we had. We had very competitive car – but there were other factors.”
The 20-year-old pointed towards his retirement at Mugello as the turning point to his campaign, which saw Stroll retire from a puncture before colliding into the barriers, and failed to score in his next four races after that.
“In the first half of the season I was sitting fourth in the world championship with a good gap to the rest of the pack,” he explained. “Then after my puncture in Mugello it was a bumpy ride in terms of points.
“A part of me is a little bit frustrated that in so many races, we kind of just had a bumpy ride, and it ran a little bit downhill since my previous podium in Monza.
“There was a lot of opportunity in some of those races. In Mugello, we were up for the podium there and we had the puncture. And then I got COVID, missed a race there [Nurburgring]. There’s been a few unfortunate other races where we just DNF’d, and didn’t score any points.
“So, I do see some missed opportunity in the season in total. But, all in all, it was a very fun year as well. It was a good year and it was a fun year – just competing in a car that has been up at the front for most of the season. That’s been awesome.”
Stroll will partner alongside four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel in Aston Martin Racing’s return season in F1 for 2021. The pair will be revealed together for first-time at the 2021 car launch that’s set to take place on 3 March.