Last Word On Motorsports continues setting the scene for the start of the 2018 Formula1 season with this preview of the young blood on the Williams Martini Racing team. The two examined racers are Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin.
Williams Has Youngest Duo In A While
In 2014, it was a 25-year old and a 33-year old driving for Williams. The team had finished the season third out of the 10 teams, being the first podium finish for the team since 2003. Skipping ahead to the 2017 season, 28-year old Valtteri Bottas is driving for the top team Mercedes. The 36-year old veteran Felipe Massa just wrapped up his last season. Williams heads into the new season with two fresh faces in F1. Lance Stroll heads into his second season with Williams, while still being a teenager, and 22-year-old Sergey Sirotkin starts his first F1 season.
Sergey Sirotkin will be making history as the first Russian to fly the Red, Blue and Black for Williams. Sirotkin has run in the F2 Series (including when it was referred to as GP2), the Formula Renault 3.5 Series, Auto GP World Series, and Italian Formula Three. In 2015 and 2016, Sirotkin achieved back to back third-place finishes in GP2. These two seasons included wins at Silverstone, Hungaroring and the Hockenheimring.
Lance Stroll, who has run 20 races for Williams, had a rookie year that could be described as dramatic. The highs were high, and the lows certainly were low. The highlight of the year for Stroll was his third-place finish at the Azerbaijan GP. Stroll stood on the podium that day alongside Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo. Lance Stroll also had a successful outing at the Italian GP, getting fourth place in qualifying, finishing 7th.
Earlier in 2018, Stroll tested his hand at Prototype racing. Competing in the legendary Rolex 24, Stroll’s team, Jackie Chan Racing, finished 11th. This was Stroll’s second Rolex 24, getting 5th, driving for the Chip Ganassi racing team. Before making his Formula One debut in 2017, Lance Stroll had a dominant career in Formula 3.
Lance Stroll put on a show in 2016, winning 14 of the 30 Formula 3 European races that year. He finished that year first in the standings, with 507 points. Second place that year (Maximilian Günther) was secured with 320 points, a wide gap.
It’s hard to compare the two drivers, since their careers have never intersected. All of their racing in each of their careers are in different formats. Lance Stroll never did F2, and Sirotkin has never done a full season of F1. Any prediction of mine would be a pure shot in the dark, to be honest.
Although, if I had to choose for you which team to follow this season, I would say Williams would be a good go. F1 is nothing new to Stroll, so seeing better results from him is expected this season. Also, it will be worth seeing if Sirotkin will have a breakout year, or take his time getting used to the environment.
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