Williams Racing’s former driver Lance Stroll says the 2018 Formula 1 season was a season spent ‘firefighting’ due to the fallibilities of the Williams FW41 that made racing teams around them virtually impossible.
Williams finished the season in their worst ever championship finishing position, falling way short of pre-season expectations by propping up both drivers’ and constructors’ championships.
Stroll himself scored just six championship points, 34 fewer than he scored in his debut season with Williams the previous year.
But despite being such a tough season with, according to Stroll ‘more lows than highs’, he was able to reflect on the positives.
“The times that I picked up points were big highlights because we beat quicker cars around us.”
“I scraped into Q2 and Q3 in Monza – really big achievements because the performance [of the Williams FW41] has been really poor.”
“I would say the main thing [I’ve gained] is just experience – I’ve learnt so much with another season of F1 under my belt.”
And Stroll reiterated his opinion that he still has more to bring to his driving.
“I still believe I’m far from reaching my full potential so every year I will just keep chipping away at it. I’ll work on my weaknesses and build on my strengths.”
Stroll clearly thinks joining Racing Point – the team his father Lawrence bought in 2018 to save it from going into administration – for 2019 is a step up, and will give him a chance of demonstrating his full capabilities behind the wheel.
But Formula 1 is cyclical. Williams and Racing Point share the same power unit, and Williams’ budget in previous years has dwarfed that of Racing Point/Force India.
And so if the noises coming from Williams are correct, and the team have found the source of the aerodynamic shortcomings that blighted their 2018 campaign, and Williams’ two new drivers Russell and Kubica can perform anything near their potential, Lance Stroll might just find that his move to Racing Point isn’t quite the step forward he’d hoped.