Lance Stroll admits his qualifying pace was his “biggest weakness” in his maiden campaign with Racing Point during the 2019 Formula 1 season.

Having switched from Williams to link up with the rebranded Racing Point squad following his father’s takeover of the former Force India team, Stroll ended the year 15th in the championship with 21 points, as teammate Sergio Perez finished 10th with a points tally that more than doubled Stroll’s efforts.

Qualifying proved to be the source of Stroll’s failure to match Perez’s points score after being knocked out of Q1 14 times throughout 2019, more than all other drivers barring the Williams duo. Stroll’s breakthrough qualifying result came at Monza, where he made it into Q3 and secured 10th on the grid.

“From my end, I’ve got to just keep working on a few things,” Stroll conceded.

“I think Saturday has been my biggest weakness this year, just a few mistakes in qualifying and stuff, it just put me on the back foot for Sundays, and going into next year that’s an area I want to work on.

“I think there’s been a bit of bad luck here and there through the second half of the season, we haven’t managed to score the points that we wanted to score.

“In the first half, I think we were strong, we scored our fair share of points, but the second half we’ve had a few hits to the chin which cost us some points.”

Perez outqualified Stroll 18 times across the 21-race season and the Canadian acknowledge that he must improve on that ratio in 2020.

“He’s beat me most of the time this year, so that’s something I’ve got to work on,” Stroll said.

“I think experience too, he’s been with the team a long time, so I have a different driving style, different approach, which all drivers have.

“In order to maximise my driving style and approach, there are some things I think we have to keep working on, and come back next year and do better. That’s really what I’m looking forward to.”

Asked if he feels whether qualifying improvements will come with more experience, Stroll replied: “Yeah, I think it’s experience, and it’s also applying yourself in the right way.

“It’s work ethic, understanding where the weakness is, and what kind of corners, and how to balance the car, set up the car in order to maximise your driving style. I think that does come with experience.

“I’ve been with the team one year, and I feel like a lot of the time when I walk away from the weekend, and I reflect on Saturdays, there are things I would have done different and could have done different in order to do it better, and that’s what makes it exciting coming back for a second season.”

 

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