Expectations high for Stroll ahead of home race

Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW41
ยฉ XPB 

Lance Stroll can hardly wait to get to work at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve this weekend - and not just because it's his home race.

It was at last year's Canadian Grand Prix that the tepenager picked up his first championship points for Williams when he raced from 17th place to finish ninth.

"We are all looking forward to returning to the fantastic city of Montreal," said Williams chief technical officer Paddy Lowe.

"It is of course Lanceโ€™s home race, and also where he scored his first Formula 1 points last year in his rookie season, so it holds good memories."

"I canโ€™t wait to get to Canada as it is my favourite race of the year," commented Stroll, who was himself born in Montreal.

"Itโ€™s the one I look forward to the most and I am excited to be going back home. There is a grandstand for my fans this year and that will be very special.

"The track is cool and has some character," he added. "You have to get close to the walls, itโ€™s bumpy, technical and narrow in parts, but overtaking is possible.

"For me, this is a very exciting race."

Last year Stroll was racing alongside the experienced Felipe Massa. But this year it's Sergey Sirotkin who is the rookie taking part in his first Canadian Grand Prix.

"Iโ€™ve never driven the circuit in Montreal so Iโ€™m looking forward to driving there," said the Russian. "Itโ€™s a very tricky and old school track which I know I will enjoy a lot.

"Thereโ€™s a good mix of complicated chicanes and braking zones with no room for mistakes, so all the things I like.

"Iโ€™m looking forward to Canada, itโ€™s going to be a good race."

Whether it will be a productive one for the team remains to be seen. Williams is currently bottom of the constructors standings with just four points, all scored by Stroll in Azerbaijan.

The team had hoped to pounce on some points in Monaco, but the opportunity didn't materialise.

"As a team we didnโ€™t exploit the stronger potential we had in the car in Monaco due to some very unfortunate errors," Lowe admitted.

"But we have regrouped and will be back in Canada with the aim of doing our very best to get good results on both sides of the garage.

"It is a very different track to Monaco," he added. "It is much faster with some very long straights and so we generally lean towards running lower downforce levels on the cars. It is also tough on the power unit and brakes.

"In other respects however, it has some interesting similarities to Monaco with some low-speed corners, a low grip surface and it is difficult to get temperature into the tyres.

"We once again have the hypersofts as our qualifying tyre, which is a great tyre for grip, but it gives us some challenges with endurance during the race."

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