Lance Stroll says qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix ‘was one of those days where it all just clicked’ but was surprised by the progress from Williams to reach Q3 for the first time in 2018.

Having suffered its worst start to a Formula 1 season, Stroll produced a standout qualifying to see Williams return to the top ten shootout for the first time since the 2017 season finale in Abu Dhabi with the Canadian driver lining up 10th on the grid in Monza to match Massa’s feat at the Yas Marina circuit from last year.

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Stroll, who started from the front row in Italy 12 months ago with a surprise performance in a wet qualifying, played down the significance of the Monza circuit but felt it was proof of Williams beginning to turnaround its performance problems.

“I think there it was all pretty straightforward today,” Stroll said. “I definitely don’t think we expected that coming into it, we expected a much more challenging session, but it all came together from Q1.

“The car felt good and we managed to get a good tow all the way throughout qualifying which helped us and I put a good lap in for Q2 to get into Q3. It was one of those days where it all just clicked.

“We’ve had a tough run and if you look at the results it hasn’t been very pleasant in the cockpit for a few months now but today I was really pleased for everyone and really happy for us as a team. We really deserve this result. It was of those days where I can a good chemistry with the car and I felt good in the car and hooked it up. It worked out.”

Following his starring role in qualifying Stroll refused to be drawn on his F1 future with rumours to a mid-season move to Racing Point Force India contining to grow given Lawrence Stroll’s consortium leading to the takeover of the team.

The Canadian driver says he prefers to enjoy his achievement in qualifying, as he targets just Williams’ second points finish of 2018, and isn’t look to prove his worth to the watching F1 audience.

“I am not here to prove to everyone what I can do,” he said. “Of course it is a bit part of the business but I am just really happy for us as a team and the people that I work with every day.

“We put in a lot of hours and we look for every tenth all the time. A result like this makes everything worth it.

“We’ll see what the future holds I am really not thinking about that right now I am just going to enjoy the moment and I am sure it is going to sink in later. I look forward to an exciting race tomorrow as we are going to be in the mix which has been rare this year.”

Claire Williams played down any sudden driver changes at her team until at least the Russian Grand Prix, with Stroll set to switch to Force India which could see Robert Kubica return to F1 action.



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