First F1 points creates "special" feeling for Stroll

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Lance Stroll was delighted after scoring the first points of his Formula 1 career at his home race in Canada on Sunday, as the Williams driver finished ninth.

Stroll has been subject to criticism, with some questioning his readiness after a slow start, but the rookie produced what was comfortably his best race of the year so far, moving up from 17th on the grid into the top 10.

At the same time, he became the first Canadian not named Villeneuve to score a point in F1 and reflected on his ‘dream’ race later on.

"It's just special and it feels so good in so many ways," enthused the teenager afterwards. "Words can't really describe it; all I can say is that it's been a tricky beginning of the season.”

"We've known that we're capable of doing it, and there's just been so much stuff in the way of being able to just get points, contacts, and technical issues

"Today we just had a clean day, and that's what I was saying at the beginning of the weekend, it's about having a clean weekend, a clean Sunday and I'm positive it will come to us.

"And that's exactly what happened today. We had a solid race, I had good communication, good balance throughout the whole race and that's what got us P9 today."

Stroll managed to perform six great overtakes during the race, including a battle with double world champion Fernando Alonso which, despite McLaren-Honda's issues, the 18-year-old enjoyed.

"It was special to be able to overtake and fight. Today was a lot of fun even though it was stressful, with Alonso never giving up behind me.

"Every time I did a better lap he did an even better lap, there was always something happening every lap and I think is what was so much fun out there today, it was a proper race.”

Williams technical director Paddy Lowe, formerly of Mercedes, also hailed the Montreal native's performance, revealing: “Coming off the pit wall, just following the instinct of how I felt I started heading towards the podium!

“I know it was only ninth, but it seriously felt like a race win, just because we all know it’s been a very, very difficult introduction to the sport for him. We’ve all felt for him and especially in the team willing him to be better and to make the progress.

“I think he went out there today and just showed that he can drive. The talent was all there, the race-craft was fantastic. Those points didn’t fall in his lap, he went and fought for them.”

Stroll still has his feet to the ground and is now focusing on building on his first significant result to improve even further.

"I know that we still need improvement in many areas but I know that our pace can be really strong when we just get everything right," he said.

"The first points are done and now we move forward. It's not going to get any easier, we're still going to have hard weekends and hard days.”