Lance Strulovitch, better known in the Formula 1 world as Lance Stroll, is blowing 23 candles today. The pilot is currently part of the Aston Martin team, which is partly managed by his father. This year, the Canadian is celebrating his fifth season in the sport. During these five years, Stroll has built a questionable reputation. People believe that Stroll only has a seat because his father kept it to himself. When people talk about the most talented pilots, Stroll’s name never appears in the conversation. Nevertheless, the Canadian has shown in his career that he has talent. Because it’s Stroll’s birthday, this piece will highlight his reputation.
The fact that Stroll currently has a seat in Formula 1 is certainly due in part to the money of his father, Lawrence Stroll. Stroll senior took over Force India in 2018 and renamed it Racing Point. After two seasons, the team was changed to Aston Martin. After two years alongside Sergio Perez, Sebastian Vettel is now Stroll Junior’s teammate. For the moment, the Aston Martin team cannot break any pot in Formula 1. The team is disappointing seventh in the championship with 62 points. In this, Stroll scored less well than his teammate Vettel with 26 points.
That Stroll has a career in motorsport should come as no surprise to many people close to the Canadiens. Stroll senior is known as a big fan of motorsport. He also owns an impressive collection of vintage Ferraris. In addition, Stroll senior also has his own Ferrari dealership and the Circuit Mont-Tremblant. That this wealth helped Stroll Junior on his path to Formula 1 is undeniable, but after starting karting at the age of eight, he won the title of the Canadian National Karting Championship in 2008 and 2010. Stroll s ‘stood out and became a member of the Ferrari academy in 2010.
Formula 4: two out of two championships
Stroll impressed at the Ferrari academy. Former racing engineer Luca Baldisserri praised the young Canadian. “He is still very young, but he has exceptional talent. We will be following it closely in the years to come. Still, the results for Stroll, who could proudly ride with Ferrari’s horse on his chest, fell apart. During his karting career in Europe, the young Stroll could not break a pot. The Canadian finished at the back of midfield and consistently drove slower than his teammates. Ferrari lost faith in Stroll, but in 2014 the results arrived.
When Stroll switched from karting to Formula 4, he entered the championship in Italy. The Canadian immediately won this one, despite not being able to compete in the last race due to injury. That season he won thirteen podiums, seven times in first place, and started on pole five times. A year later, Stroll entered the Toyota Racing Series in New Zealand. Once again, the Canadian managed to win the championship. This time he won four races and reached the podium ten times. That meant two titles out of two championships for the very young Stroll.
Formula 3: Stroll continues to stand out
That same year, 2015, Stroll came out for Prema Powerteam and came across some household names; Charles Leclerc, George Russell, Antonio Giovinazzi and Alexander Albon took part in this championship. Stroll met Giovinazzi at the Monza circuit; the two touched, causing the Canadian to be knocked down on several occasions. Still, Stroll had a good season, recording a victory at the Hockenheimring. This result allowed Stroll to finish fifth this season, ahead of Russell and Albon. As a rookie the result was good, but he finished behind the two teammates. At the end of the year, Stroll left the Ferrari academy and rose to the challenge as a test driver for the Williams team.
This new role brought newfound confidence to the young pilot. It certainly translated into its results. In 2016 Stroll won the championship with Prema Powerteam. During this season, Stroll has won a total of fourteen victories, including five consecutively in the last five races. These victories were more about keeping confidence high; After all, Stroll had already won the title four races before the end of the season. With these results, a switch to Formula 2 was the most logical step, but Stroll chose the path that Max Verstappen also took.
Formula 1: Particularly erratic ride
In 2017, Stroll was placed in the Williams squad alongside Felipe Massa. What will also have helped him, in addition to the Formula 3 championship, is the money that his father transferred to the team (around eighty million euros, editor’s note). However, this money could not ensure that the Canadian car could finish the races; Stroll was unable to complete the first three races due to engine problems. After that, a little luck for the rookie. In his home race in Canada he scored his first points in Formula 1 and a race later in Baku he stepped onto the podium for the first time. A second place seemed possible, but a few meters from the finish line, Valtteri Bottas passed him. Despite this podium, Stroll finished behind Massa in the standings.
A year later, the car Williams had built was so disappointing that Stroll only managed to score six points. With this he finished ahead of his teammate Sergei Sirotkin in the championship. Also in his two years at Racing Point, Stroll was for the most part unable to break even, despite the 2020 car being an illegal copy of the previous year’s Mercedes. The Canadian achieved his first pole position in Turkey last year and he was on the podium twice in the same year (Monza and Sakhir, note). Perez, then Stroll’s teammate, also stepped onto the podium twice that year, winning the Sakhir Grand Prix. Over the two years, Perez managed to finish above Stroll in the standings.
Based on Stroll’s junior career, it is too simplistic to say that he is in Formula 1 purely because of his father’s money. Winning three championships in three years is a great achievement. Despite this, Stroll is too inconsistent in Formula 1. Only once has the Canadian beaten his teammate in an entire season. Even now, Stroll is behind his teammate Vettel. Nonetheless, Stroll was only 23 years old today, which gives him plenty of time to improve. After all, his stats in the lower classes don’t lie; there is talent in Stroll. He just needs to be a little more consistent in Formula 1.
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