MONACO — As Lance Stroll’s damaged Williams came to a stop at the Monaco Grand Prix’s fourth corner on Thursday, it was more evidence of a gamble that has so far failed to pay off.
Stroll hasn’t scored a point in his first five Formula One races, three of which he has retired from.
The absence of immediate success has fuelled suggestions the 18-year-old Montrealer has made it to F1 thanks only to the financial backing of his billionaire father Lawrence Stroll.
Lance’s latest setback came in the second practice when he lost control of his car and hit the barrier.
“I just lost the rear of the car pushing for the limit, it happens,” Stroll said. “At least now I know.”
According to three-time world champion and Monaco winner Jackie Stewart, Stroll, the youngest driver on the grid, would be wise to keep well away from “the limit.”
“It’s a very difficult racetrack for a young driver to come in and not make mistakes,” Stewart said. “You cannot overdrive, you just can’t try too hard. All the good drivers really don’t drive hard here. The penalty for error is very big.”
Bad luck and mistakes have contributed to Stroll’s struggles. Brake failure forced him out of the Australian GP, and errors from Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz caused his retirements in China and Bahrain. In Barcelona two weeks ago, he completed the race but gave up a 50-second lead over teammate Felipe Massa.
While a lack of experience might be causing technical errors on the track, his youthful exuberance helps him to maintain a positive outlook. The former European Formula 3 champion revealed his disappointment at struggling with the same corners at Monaco as he has on his games console.
He was adamant a change of fortune was imminent, and determined to prove people wrong.
“I come from a background that when I win, people try and put me down, and when I lose, people try and put me down,” Stroll said on Wednesday. “I accept that, and I actually find it kind of funny. But whatever, that’s out of my control. I’m focused on what I’m doing.”