20-year-old Lance Stroll is making the next step in his Formula 1 career. After two years with the Williams team he will be part of SportPesa Racing Point in 2019.
Lance, a new team and new faces – how are you finding the new environment?
I’m feeling really good about things. I can see how much potential we have in this team and there’s an incredible buzz in the factory and so much enthusiasm. I feel comfortable already and everybody has given me a great welcome. It’s the next chapter in my racing career and I just can’t wait to get in the car and start the proper work.
What has impressed you most about this team?
The attitude is what I really like. They are racers at heart and you can see that when you walk around the factory or sit in engineering meetings. The focus is simply on how we get performance to the car and it’s really refreshing. I’ve seen what this team achieved in the past and it’s a real credit to the people involved. I’m looking forward to making our own history.
How was the winter? What did you do?
I’ve come back feeling refreshed. I went back to Canada for a few weeks around Christmas time to spend time with family and friends, and I did some winter sports. I’ve been back at the factory since early January working with the team to get ready for testing. I’ve been in the simulator a couple of times each week getting comfortable with everything.
— SportPesa Racing Point F1 Team (@RacingPointF1) February 13, 2019
Do you have any expectations or goals in mind going into the new season?
I always aim high so I want us to be competitive right from the start. It’s way too early to know how we compare to the other teams, but right here today I believe we should be fighting for points in every race. My goal is to get back on the podium in 2019 as well.
Where have you focussed your energy over the winter months?
It has been a busy winter. I have been working really hard on my physical condition: I think I will be the fittest I have ever been by the time we start testing in Barcelona. I went on a training camp recently, which was really intense. And I’ve taken a slightly different approach compared to previous years. I have also spent a lot of time at the factory, working with the engineers, getting to know the team and building those important relationships. It means we can go to testing, hit the ground running and focus on results
Two weeks of testing in Barcelona coming up soon – what are the priorities?
My goal is to cover the planned mileage in the new car. We have maximised the time in the simulator over the winter, but nothing beats getting the car on track for the first time. This is when the real work begins, getting a feel for the car, how it responds, what works and where we need to improve. It’s an intense time but it lays down the groundwork for the rest of the year and I can’t wait.