Racing Point chief Otmar Szafnauer says Lance Stroll is in the “ascendancy” and is “fully deserving” of his 2021 seat at the Aston Martin Formula 1 team.

The 21-year-old Canadian - who switched from Williams to join the team owned by his billionaire father Lawrence prior to the 2019 season - will continue at the Silverstone squad when it rebrands to Aston Martin in 2021 alongside new signing Sebastian Vettel who is replacing Sergio Perez.

Stroll scored 21 points compared to the 56-point haul Perez managed last year, but heads the Mexican in the championship this time around on 57 points, though his teammate was forced to miss both Silverstone rounds due to contracting COVID-19.

Speaking ahead of this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix at Sochi, Szafnauer praised Stroll’s development and performances so far this season. Stroll claimed a podium with third place at Monza and was in contention for the rostrum again at Mugello until he crashed out late on due to a suspected mechanical failure.

“The main thing is that there’s more to come from Lance, and the team too,” Szafnauer said.

“It’s been a really strong season for Lance – his best so far with some very mature performances in qualifying and the races.

“After the Monza podium, he was sitting fourth in the championship with just the Mercedes drivers and Verstappen ahead.

"He’s in the ascendancy and clearly demonstrating his talent, and why he is fully deserving of his place alongside Sebastian next year.”

Szafnauer added he is excited for the team’s new era as Aston Martin, believing the squad now has everything it needs to make the next step.

“We've increased the size of the team by 25% in two years, so we've hired a significant amount of people,” he explained.

“We've got great backing from Aston Martin, from title sponsor BWT, from Lawrence and the consortium. Because of it, we can now afford to do things that we couldn't in the past.

“And those are things like a new factory, more manufacturing capability, hiring people that will bring performance to the car.

‍“It's 1000 little things that will make the car go quicker. And that gives me great hope for the future. I think we will take a step up.”

 

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