Racing Point: Stroll has the speed but needs to learn the 'other stuff' in F1

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Lance Stroll has the speed but is still getting to grips with the "other stuff" associated with Formula 1, Racing Point claim.

The Canadian will start his fourth year on the grid in 2020, having debuted as a fresh-faced 18-year-old with Williams in 2017, and has struggled to shake off the 'pay driver' most have given him due to the financial backing of his father.

Indeed, after moving to Racing Point, the team Lawrence Stroll now owns, last year it does feel like Lance has a seat for life but CEO Otmar Szafnauer insists he does have the talent.

"I see great potential, he’s a fast racing car driver," he told RACER.

"What we’ve got to teach him is the stuff around the edges. We don’t really have to teach him how to drive fast, he’s got that – he’s less than 0.2s per lap slower than Checo [Sergio Perez] in qualifying on average, and race pace is even smaller.

"So it’s not that, it’s all the other stuff that goes along with Formula 1 racing, and you can’t teach that overnight."

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It is true that Stroll has put in some strong race performances but qualifying has been his biggest weakness, notably going 14 straight races without escaping Q1 between Austin 2018 and Britain 2019.

That was largely linked to problems optimising tyre performance, and it is skills like that Szafnauer believes he is slowly gaining.

"That takes time. He’s had a great first year, scored some good points for the team and this coming season I’m certain he will be even better," he continued.

"He will be on that trajectory – that learning curve, the steep bit of it – so he’ll do even better in 2020."

The Racing Point also noted how Stroll is up against one of the top midfield drivers on the grid in Perez, a man who has stood on the podium eight times.

"Checo’s done a great job," added the American. "Lance has done a great job too, but he’s learning, he was in his first year with us.

"Checo’s been here for quite some time and he’s a key member of our team. He knows what we’re about, we don’t have to teach him anymore and he’s done a brilliant job."

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