Lance Stroll

Lance Stroll, who is competing in Formula One currently, is a Belgian-Canadian. He was born on 29 October 1998 to a billionaire Canadian businessman Lawrence Stroll and his fashion designer Belgian wife, Claire-Ann Callens. Stroll races under the Canadian flag while holding both Canadian and Belgian citizenships.

Having previously driven for Williams, Stroll now races for Racing Point. He won the 2014 Italian F4 Championship when driving for Prema Powerteam. With the same team, Stroll also won the F3 class Toyota Racing Series Champion’s title in 2015 and the FIA European Formula 3 championship in 2016.

Stroll joined the Ferrari Driver Academy in 2010 and was with them till 2015. Winning a podium finish in the 2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, he became the second-youngest driver to finish a Formula One race on the podium. With the 3rd place finish in the event, he also became the youngest driver to finish on a podium.

2020 Italian Grand Prix, Sunday - Lance Stroll (image courtesy Pirelli)
2020 Italian Grand Prix, Sunday – Lance Stroll (image courtesy Pirelli)

In 2020, Stroll took his first pole position at the Turkish Grand Prix on 15th November. He also took part in endurance racing on his way to Formula One. He participated in the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2016 and 2018.

Lance Stroll’s Career Before Formula 1

Karting (2008-2013)

Lance Stroll began his racing career in karting at the age of ten. Besides winning many races and championships wins in his homeland, Canada, he won several others in the USA. He won the rookie of the year award in his first year of karting when he won the Federation de Sport Automobile du Quebec in 2008.

In 2009 he also won the driver of the year award at the Quebec event. In 2010, Stroll became a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy and stayed with them till 2015.

Formula 4 (2014)

Stroll made his motor car racing debut while he was at the Ferrari Driver Academy. He competed in the 2014 Florida Winter Series, organised by the Ferrari Driver Academy which was a non-championship event.

In the series, he earned a pole position at Homestead-Miami Speedway and two pole positions. He also got a taste of what it is to compete with his future competitors in Formula One; Max Verstappen and Nicholas Latifi.

From 2014, Lance Stroll started competitive car racing with Prema Powerteam, a motorsport team from Italy with strong ties to Ferrari. Stroll missed the first round due to injury. Despite that, he won the series championship earning seven race wins, seven podium finishes and five pole positions.

Formula 3 (2015-2016)

Still driving for Prema Powerteam, Stroll won four races and earned 10 podium positions from 16 races to win the New Zealand based 2015 Toyota Racing Series. During the same year, Stroll’s father acquired a stake in Prema Racing. Stroll celebrated that by winning the 2015 FIA Formula 3 European Championship.

In the 2015 European Championships, Stroll got the opportunity to test his skills against his would-be Formula One competitors. Among his competitors were Antonio Giovinazzi, Alexander Albon George Russell and Charles Leclerc. He won one race at Hockenheim and secured six podium positions in a 16 race Series. He finished 5th in the competition.

Thereafter, Stroll participated in a non-championship contest in Macau, called the Formula Three Macau Grand Prix. He finished the race in the eighth position. Stroll announced on 11 November 2015 that he would leave the Ferrari Driver Academy. He was invited as a test driver by Williams Racing,

Stroll finished fifth at the 2016 24 Hours of Daytona for Ford Chip Ganassi Racing, driving a Ford EcoBoost Prototype. He was still racing with Prema Powerteam in the Formula 3 European Championship.

Lance Stroll started the 2016 Formula 3 season strongly by winning the first race at the Paul Ricard Circuit. He won the Formula 3 European Championship with four races to go. He won 13 races in all including the final five races. When the competition was over, Stroll led his nearest rival, Maximilian Günther, by 187 points. 

Lance Stroll’s Career In Formula 1

Williams (2017-2018)

When Lance Stroll drove for the Williams Racing team in 2017, he became the first Canadian driver to compete in the class since Jacques Villeneuve, the 1997 World Drivers’ Champion. Stroll was forced to retire in the first three races of the season. But he finished the fourth race of the season, the Russian Grand Prix, in eleventh place despite spinning on the first lap.

Stroll finished the 2017 Spanish Grand Prix sixteenth and last. Although he was forced to retire during the Monaco Grand Prix, he was classified as the 15th finisher. Stroll won his first Formula One points at his home circuit in Montreal. He finished in 9th place and earned 2 points.

Lance Stroll became the youngest rookie and the second youngest podium winner after Max Verstappen when he won his first podium at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. He won the 2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix at the age of 18 years and 239 days. Max Verstappen had won the Spanish Grand Prix, a year earlier, at the age of 18 years and 228 days.

At the Italian Grand Prix, Stroll qualified fourth on a wet track. But with the Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo placed 2nd and third receiving grid place penalties, Stroll was promoted to the second place. At the age of 18 years and 301 days, Stroll became the youngest Formula, One driver, to start on the front row of a Grand Prix. Stroll finished the race in seventh place.

In the Mexican Grand Prix, the last race of the season, Stroll was promoted to the 11th position on the Grid after Daniel Ricciardo was penalised grid places. Stroll finished the race in the same position. But, he had scored enough points to finish ahead of his teammate, Phillipe Massa, that season.

The 2018 season was not anything that Stroll would want to write home about. Multiple incidents and the mistakes made during the first few races meant that he had no points to his name. He got an 8th place finish in Azerbaijan.

He failed to make a mark at his home race in Canada and had to wait to add to his points tally till the race at Monza. The Williams FW41 was certainly off the pace during the season, but as is evident from Stroll’s only two retirements during the season, the car was reliable.

Racing Point (2019-2020)

In 2019, Stroll was recruited by Racing Point to replace Esteban Ocon and race for the team alongside Sergio Perez. In a much better show than the previous year, Stroll scored his first points at the inaugural race of the season in Australia. He finished ninth behind Kimi Räikkönen.

Having finished outside the points-scoring positions in the next two races, Stroll was unhappy about the team strategy. He voiced his opinion after the Chinese Grand Prix. A collision with Lando Norris in Spain meant that both the cars were forced to retire. In Canada, his home race, Stroll recovered from a 17th grid position to finish 9th.

In the 2019 German Grand Prix, Stroll broke a streak of fourteen races in which he was disqualified in Q1 by progressing to Q2. He qualified for the 15th position on the grid. He took advantage of Lewis Hamilton, stranded behind a safety car on a fast-drying track, to finish the race fourth. Running on slick tyres, he had narrowly missed a podium finish.

Stroll finished in 10th place in Belgium after starting from 16th place on the grid. In Japan, he scored points crossing the finish line in 9th place after starting 12th on the grid. He had retired once before during the season, but two more retirements were to come during the last two races of the season.

While Stroll retired due to suspension failure during the Brazilian Grand Prix, braking issues forced him to retire in Abu Dhabi, the last race of the season. Stroll finished his debut season with Racing Point with 21 points. That was a much lower tally than his teammate, Sergio Perez, who had accumulated 52 points in the 21 race season.

Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez continued driving for Racing Point during the 2020 Formula One season. But Canada’s national sporting authority had resigned its mandate from the FIA. Although Stroll had chosen to race under an American licence, he is still shown as a Canadian under all FIA records during racing weekends.

Stroll had engine problems during the 2020 Austrian Grand Prix and was forced to retire. He started in third place on the grid third in Hungary and finished fourth. In Italy, Stroll earned the second podium finish of his Formula One career when he finished third after qualifying third. He had also finished third when he earned a podium finish the first time.

After the Italian race, Stroll mulled whether he could have won the race had he not misjudged the race restart when a red flag was shown to clear Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari. He had a chance at a podium finish at the Tuscan Grand Prix also, when a car failure caused him to crash and subsequently retire.

A contact with Charles Leclerc and a crash forced Stroll to retire in Russia and he retired from the Eifel Grand Prix due to illness. Racing Point confirmed that Stroll had not contracted COVID-19 as he had passed all the mandatory FIA tests. He tested positive for COVID-19 a few days and underwent the mandatory 10-day quarantine.

Having recovered, Stroll competed in the Portuguese Grand Prix but collided with Lando Norris and had to retire. Stroll took his first pole position in Turkey, becoming the first Canadian to do so since Jacque Villeneuve at the 1997 Europen Grand Prix. Having led the race for 32 laps, Stroll reported severe tyre graining and finished 9th in the race.

During the Bahrain Grand Prix, Stroll’s car flipped over after making contact with Daniil Kvyat. Stroll extracted himself from the car and was unhurt. He secured a third-place finish at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix, getting his second podium finish of the season. His teammate, Sergio Perez, won the race.

Lance Stroll finished the 2020 Formula One season in 10th place with 3 podium finishes and 74 points. His teammate, Sergio Perez finished fourth with 125 points with one win in Bahrain and another podium finish in Turkey.