Williams Formula 1 technical chief Paddy Lowe is glad that Lance Stroll is taking advantage of opportunities to display his talent after charging to second place on the grid for last weekend’s Italian Grand Prix.

After a rocky start to life in F1, Stroll, 18, became the sport’s youngest rookie podium finisher in Baku earlier this year before breaking Max Verstappen’s age record for a front-row starter at Monza.

While Stroll faded to seventh in the race, Lowe was nevertheless impressed by the Canadian’s performance and maturity with his starring role in qualifying.

“I think you’ve got to remember he’s not only a rookie, but he’s only 18. He hopefully has a long career ahead of him,” Lowe said.

“I remember where I was at when I was 18, and it was pretty much nowhere. I just find anything that somebody can do at an age of 18 really, really impressive. It’s very early.

“Lance has had some struggles this year, but that’s to be expected in anyone’s first year in F1, especially coming in so young.

“But it’s great to see that he’s finding his moments to display his talent, and I hope he can build on that.

Stroll has typically lagged behind Williams teammate Felipe Massa for pace so far this season, but was able to beat the Brazilian in both qualifying and the race in Italy.

Lowe said there was no firm explanation for Stroll’s performance and edge on Massa at Monza, putting it down to a perfect storm of factors.

“We study drivers over the years and we maybe sometimes predict what a driver is good at or what conditions he excels in, and sometimes that’s true, but sometimes we are surprised,” Lowe said.

“I just think you take what you see. For me, qualifying in the wet is the most difficult test of a Formula 1 team, not just the driver but the whole team, because it’s such a stressful situation with all the combinations that you’ve got to get right.

“In fact, the logistics of timing and making the right decision about tyres and then for the driver to deliver at the precise opportunity that emerges when you’ve got to set the pace.

“In that context, the team did a great job. Felipe did a great job and Lance did a really amazing job. He found the grip, the style that worked with the car and the grid and got the lap time.

“But I don’t have any technical explanation for it other than he’s got the talent to do that.”


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