Lance Stroll on the critics: 'There are always going to be haters'
Lance Stroll insists that he blocks out “the noise” when he’s criticized for lack of performance and the way his privileged background propelled him into F1.
Stroll races the biggest weekend of his rookie season to date as he appears in front of the Canadian crowd for the first time.
“It’s always going to be said and asked, about where I come from and all that,” Stroll said. “But I focus on the positives. I’ve won the championships to arrive here, Formula 4, Formula 3 European Championship, I got my 40 Superlicence points that the FIA has placed just for that reason. Drivers can’t just buy their way into Formula One, you have to actually go out and get the results.
“There are always going to be haters, there is always going to jealousy, that’s just the nature of sports in general. When you win it’s expected and when you have hard times people put you down and that’s how it goes. But I don't focus on that. I know who is important around me and those are the people I listen to.
“The rest of the noise, you just have to block it out, it’s out of your control," he added. "You have to know who you need to trust around you and that’s all you can focus on, and then it’s about going out on track. Sometimes there’s hard times, sometimes there’s good time but you just need to always go to the next weekend and be positive and try as hard as you can and that’s how I go about my business.”
Stroll admits that his rookie season has not been easy thus far. He has yet to score a point in his six outings, and wasinvolved in several incidents in the early races.
“It just sometimes takes some time to break the ice, and once you get rolling it keeps working. I mean, I think this year has been a bit different," said Stroll. "We have had some strong qualifying – in China, Bahrain, in Russia – there have been some Saturdays, but there has been some bad luck as well with technical issues and other things and we haven’t been able to capitalize on those results on Sunday.
“A lot of our non-finishes are because of that and I think we just need to stay calm, we need to stay focused, focus on what we need to improve on – myself, car, everything – and just every weekend try to get stronger and stronger.
The goal now is to keep calm and continue to improve form.
"We can’t panic, we can’t lose concentration; we have to stay in it," Stroll stressed. "It’s a long year. There have only been six races and there’s still 14 more to go. The year is a marathon and it’s about forgetting about what happened in the past and focusing on the next one. That’s definitely what I did in F3. There were a lot of hard times in 2015 and then I came back in 2016, worked on my weaknesses over the winter, and came back a much better, a much more complete driver. The same thing happens when you move into Formula One. There are new things to learn.”
Stroll admits that getting the best of the tires is the biggest challenge that he faces.
“The tyres are very tricky to understand, so that is definitely something I’m learning at the moment, trying to get on top of that every weekend as consistently as possible and just driving the car and getting used to it," he said.
“I’m getting more comfortable, more confident every where I go. A lot of the tracks are new as well. That’s definitely something that takes some getting used to. In FP1 you just have to learn these new tracks and all that. It’s time and experience. But at the same time you’ve got to always push as hard as you can and focus on what you really need to improve on, weekend by weekend.”