Lance Stroll is “firing on all cylinders” and ready to bounce back after his recent slump in form, according to Racing Point Formula 1 team principal Otmar Szafnauer.

Stroll had sat fourth in the championship after claiming a podium finish at Monza but since the Italian Grand Prix he has endured a run of races without scoring a single point and has subsequently slumped to 11th in the standings.

A tyre failure caused Stroll to crash out at Mugello before he was taken out by Charles Leclerc on the first lap in Russia and was forced to pull out of the Eifel Grand Prix due to illness - which later transpired to be coronavirus.

The Canadian’s struggles continued upon his return to action as he clashed with Lando Norris in Portugal and finished a disappointing 13th in Italy, leading Racing Point technical director Andy Green to say Stroll had suffered a recent “physical and mental battering”.

But Szafnauer believes Stroll has recovered from his setbacks and will be back to his best for the final four races of the 2020 season, beginning with the Turkish Grand Prix this weekend.

“We shouldn’t forget this has been Lance’s best season in Formula 1 to date,” Szafnauer said.

“He’s not only taken a podium, he’s also found a much greater level of consistency. After eight races he was P4 in the standings and on fantastic form.

‍“Unfortunately, since then he’s had a series of setbacks that have been largely out of his hands.

“He was firmly in podium contention in Mugello before a freak puncture took him out of the race and was looking good in Russia before he was hit by [Charles] Leclerc.

‍“Of course, he then missed Germany through illness and all that positive momentum he had worked so hard to build was swept out from underneath him.

“But now, Lance is in great shape, firing on all cylinders and he’s ready for the final few races.”

Racing Point is currently locked in an intense battle against its midfield rivals to secure third place in the constructors’ championship, sitting fifth and just one point behind Renault, as well as being tied on points with McLaren.

“I fully expect the battle to go right down to the wire in Abu Dhabi,” Szafnauer said. “That’s a measure of just how strong the competition is.

“We’re only a point off P3 right now and anything can happen, so we’ll dig deep, give it everything we’ve got, and treat the final stretch as a four-race Championship where we aim to come out on top.

‍‍“We believe the RP20 is well suited to Turkey, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi, so we expect to be strong in all four of the remaining races.

“It’s down to us now to maximise the performance potential of our package and secure solid points in all of the remaining races.”

 

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