“Definitely, development is the name of the game. Everyone is trying to do better and be quicker, and we have to do the same,” he said.
“Last year, towards the end of the year, we saw that the competition was getting stronger; so we’ve tried to make a step over the winter coming into this year to be more competitive and hold that fifth place, or maybe even get fourth in the constructors’ championship.
“We’re doing everything that we can to build a quicker race car.”
After the first few days of testing were interrupted by bad weather, Stroll isn’t sure yet how competitive Williams will be at the start of the season, but is confident he can now maximise the potential of the car, unlike the early races of last season.
“We’ll see where the car is; if the car is capable of competing for points every weekend, then definitely anything can happen. If the car is only capable of finishing eighth, then I want to get the most out of the car.
“A podium is always possible [later in the season] if you’re in the right place at the right time. It really just comes down to where we’re going to be in the field, and we’ll go from there
Despite failing to score in any of his first six races for Williams, Stroll finished his debut season just shy of teammate Felipe Massa in the drivers’ standings and scored a memorable podium at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Stroll explains what was behind his early struggles, and the subsequent upturn in form.
“It was a combination. I was very young when I came in last year, I am still very young, but coming in from Formula 3 at 18 years old with last year’s regulations, there was a big step, and the cars were probably 20 seconds quicker than an F3 car. I had to really adapt and get used to it,” he said.
“With experience, and some races under my belt, it helped the results to come my way. That’s just going to continue to happen, even now, I’m still only 19, so there’s still a lot of progress I can make and a lot more I can get out of myself in the coming years.
Images Courtesy: Octane Photographic