Lance Stroll outpaces teammate Massa to earn eighth on Baku grid

Lance Stroll will start in eighth place for the Azerbaijan GP. (Photo: Zak Mauger/LAT Images)
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Rookie Lance Stroll enjoyed his best qualifying session of the year in Baku as he earned a solid eighth place at a track he had not previously visited.

The Canadian was 12th in Q1 and seventh in Q2 before beating Williams teammate Felipe Massa for the first time when it mattered in Q3.

“It was a great day for me, it’s been a great weekend so far,” he said. “Jumping in the car in FP1 I felt really confident immediately with the track, the balance, everything kind of came together. Today was obviously a great day.

“I just missed out a bit in Q3 compared to Q2, with the track temp dropping, just that one push lap I didn’t feel that I was able to get the tires working perfectly, and it was a bit of a scrappy lap from my side.”

Stroll said setup was the key to his form, along with the boost provided by his good result in Canada. His education was furthered by a test in the 2014 Williams in Austin, shortly after the Canadian GP.

“For sure experience I gain from my side every time I get in the car. But I think there are a lot of other things to it. This weekend we came back to where we were with the setup where we were a few races ago when we were more competitive, in China and Bahrain.

“Then we drifted away from that to see if I liked something different. Now we came back to it, and I’ve felt so much more confident and comfortable this weekend. And of course Canada was great for my confidence, scoring points there was obviously great. A combination of things.

“It’s a whole different car I have in my hands this weekend. There’s a lot of details to it. It’s so many little things. It’s a bit of everything.”