Lowe: Stroll should be 'very proud' of drive
19 September 2017 – Williams technical chief Paddy Lowe says that Lance Stroll should be "very proud" of his drive to eighth in Singapore, marking his fifth points finish from eight races.
Stroll came under scrutiny in the early stages of his rookie season, failing to score a point over the first six Grands Prix amid a lack of pace, incidents and reliability issues.
However, he made a breakthrough on home soil in Canada, finishing ninth, capitalised on drama in Azerbaijan to claim his maiden podium and starred in a wet qualifying in Italy to land a front row start.
At Marina Bay, Williams suffered another double Q1 exit, as its dry-weather qualifying struggles continued, but rain fell in the build up to Sunday evening's race, presenting opportunities.
Stroll, in 18th, opted for Intermediate tyres, immediately making up ground as the Ferraris and Red Bull's Max Verstappen clashed, before picking off several other rivals.
He was one of the first drivers to switch to slicks, and held seventh as the order settled down, a gain of 11 places, only for a small mistake to let McLaren-Honda's Stoffel Vandoorne through.
Reflecting on Stroll's performance, Lowe said: "In Lance's case he drove a great race.
"He was one of the earliest to stop for dry tyres and he had good pace on the Ultra Soft, taking the advantages at every stage.
"He put up a good defence as well, particularly towards the end, and managed to get an excellent eighth place for his first finish in Singapore; one of the toughest races on the calendar.
"Congratulations to him for achieving that, he'll be very proud of himself for holding steady and driving so well throughout the whole two-hour race."
Stroll also expressed satisfaction at his result, which moved him to within three points of experienced team-mate Felipe Massa in the championship standings.
"I think it was a fantastic race," he commented.
"It was raining at the beginning so to capitalise on the start, overtake, and really come through the field due to others making mistakes was fantastic in tricky conditions.
"Then after that, we ran a steady race. We kept cool.
"I made one mistake letting [Stoffel] Vandoorne by. I just locked up into Turn 7 and he got past but all-in-all, a fantastic result and four points for the team."
Massa finished just outside the points in 11th, describing his day as a "disaster" after starting on the Wet tyre and lacking pace throughout.