Canada’s Lance Stroll keeps setting Formula One records and he’s only 18. In June, the Williams driver became the youngest rookie to finish on the podium after placing third in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
On Sunday, he’ll become the youngest driver to start a race from the front row.
Stroll qualified fourth in torrential rain at the Italian Grand Prix on Saturday but will move up to second on the grid following engine-change penalties to Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, who set the second- and third-fastest times behind pole sitter Lewis Hamilton.
“I didn’t expect that coming into today, but racing is full of surprises and you never know what will happen,” Stroll said. “I felt confident, felt good with the car and put it all together. Tomorrow is the race and that is where it counts, and I am just going to run my race like I always do.”
Big things have been expected from Stroll ever since he showed his talent in the Ferrari driver academy from 2010 to 2015. Stroll joined Williams in 2015 after winning the Formula 3 European Series.
“We were briefing him this morning before FP3, asking him if he wanted extra practice in the wet because he’s never driven an F1 car in full wet conditions but he said, `No, I’ll just take it as it comes.’ And that’s what he did today,” said Paddy Lowe, Williams chief technical officer.
“We saw some great talent out there,” Lowe said. “Good performance in the wet is one of those things that’s very difficult to test or develop, so it’s one of those surprises that can unfold positively or negatively on the day.”