Driver for the Williams F1 Team and 2016 FIA European F3 champion.
Lance Stroll, rookie Formula 1 driver and reigning FIA European F3 champion, is the latest online driving instructor for SAFEisFAST.com.
The Canadian driver will make his debut in F1 with Williams Martini Racing in 2017 having dominated the 2016 FIA F3 Championship with Prema Powerteam. Aged 18, Stroll becomes the second-youngest driver ever to line up on the F1 grid.
Lance Stroll answers your questions!
Do you have any advice for making your way through the different ladders of motor sport and being successful?
It’s just about hard work, commitment and getting over adversity. I think those are the three things; you need to be persistent, you need to work hard every day and you need to take it one step at a time and not set goals and try and reach those goals. There’s going to be hard days and there’s going to be good days, it’s just about getting through each day and to keep pushing – push yourself and listen to the people around you. I think that’s so important, you can’t do it all by yourself, you need people around you to support and help you, and it’s about really trusting yourself and working hard each day. Give it your best and then have no regrets at the end of it.
Do you think this year’s Formula One cars will live up to the hype and expectation we are all anticipating?
There’s still a lot to see. It’s early days, so I hope so, but we’re all still waiting to find out at the first race.
How much are you looking forward to your home GP? I’m Canadian as well, Good luck Lance. Hope I can make it out to watch you race this year.
I’m really looking forward to it – it’s going to be a dream come true!
What will the top speeds be like in the new car?
I don’t know, I guess we’ll find out!
Do you think fans will compare you much to Jacques Villeneuve and would you see it as a fair comparison?
Jacques is Jacques and I’m Lance.
Hello! When and why did you decide to join the Williams F1 Team?
Well I was already in the Williams Junior Programme after my first year in F3, and then after the second year when I won the championship I got the offer to join the team and it just made sense. Williams is a great team with a lot of history, and they’re used to bringing drivers into F1 and working with young drivers, and they believe in young talent so I just figured that it was a great opportunity and that I’ve got to go for it.
Lance, what is your goal for this season? Do you think you will beat Felipe?
I’m not focused on that. I’m just going to do my job as well as possible and take it race by race and we’ll see. I’m not setting any expectations in my head I’m just going to do the best job I can.
Lance, how do you imagine your partnership with Felipe will be this season?
I think it will be a good partnership. He’s a straight-forward nice guy and I’m really looking forward to working with him.
Hi Lance – you’ve undergone an extensive testing programme with Williams ahead of your debut season, but with the cars changing so much this year, how much use do you think the programme has been?
I think it’s always good to have kilometres in a Formula 1 car, regardless of rule changes. It’s better to make a step from a 2014 F1 car to a 2017 F1 car than straight from an F3 car into a 2017 F1 car. For sure, it’s changed quite a bit and there’s still a lot of new things to learn, but it’s also good to have a bit of experience under my belt.
What have you been practicing ahead of your F1 debut?
I’ve just been training hard in the gym, getting a lot of simulator time in to get used to the new car as much as possible, and just living life like I usually do!
What is it like going from FIA F3 to F1? Do you think it will matter that you haven’t done GP2 or a higher category before F1?
I missed one step, but I think if you have a chance to enter F1 then you have to take it. F3 is already a high level, and we’ve seen drivers make that jump from GP3 and F3 to F1 and we’ve seen it’s very possible. So yeah, I got the opportunity to be in F1 and here I am.
What tips have you got for adapting to different types of tyres as you move from series to series as a young driver?
We just have to learn the car and the tyre and then work around it. That’s the way I always look at it.
Hi Lance! Who was your racing hero growing up and why?
Michael Schumacher, for sure. He was the champion when I was growing up watching Formula 1 and I respected him on and off the track as a true champion. So he was definitely my hero.
What is your favourite track you’ve raced on so far and which one are you most looking forward to racing on this year in F1?
I don’t really have a favourite track. I find bits and pieces on every track that are cool, but I’m definitely really looking forward to Montreal this year, and Melbourne too. Melbourne is going to be my first race and Montreal is going to be my home race so I have to say those two are the two I’m looking forward to the most.
Hi Lance – Even though you’re only 18, you have lots of experience in racing with some big teams. Is Williams much different? Are there any new things you have access to in order to get up to speed?
For sure there’s more people, so that changes things a bit, but I’ve worked in professional teams before. Whatever the team is, you have to adapt to it, but it’s just about you getting used to it and at the end of the day you just have to work with what you have. But I’m definitely happy here at Williams.
My son has made the jump from karts to SCCA road racing, and he values his karting experience very highly. When you drove an F1 car for the first time what was the most difficult or unexpected thing you found about driving the car?
[There was] Nothing really unexpected or difficult, it’s just a new challenge and a different beast, and you’ve got to get used to it.
Hey Lance, I’m trying to work my way up the motor sport ladder. I’m 17, and lots of people have said “you’re too old”. But I’ve been to numerous tracks and haven’t been beaten… Any tips for what I could do? Good luck this season.
Just keep pushing. Just keep going, work hard, and give it your all every day.
You seem a down-to-earth young driver, what advice do you need to improve your driving performance? Do you think telemetry is the ultimate racing intelligence for a driver?
You’ve got to listen to the people around you that you trust, and work as hard as possible. That’s what I do every day.
Hi Lance! You seemed to improve dramatically in your second year of F3. What did you learn after your first year that helped you win the championship a year later? Was there anything you did differently?
Just experience. I think it’s a lot easier coming into your second year than your first year. In your first year you don’t know what to expect and there’s a lot of question marks, and in my second year with one year of experience I knew what to expect a lot more and I delivered what I knew was needed to win the championship from my experience in the first season.