F3: Determined Stroll keen to extend points lead in Belgium

Lance Stroll © DR

Lance Stroll heads for Spa-Francorchamps next week (28-30 July) and the next three FIA European Formula 3 Championship races certain it will be “business as usual” at the majestic Belgium venue. The 17-year-old Canadian will start the first race on Friday with a series lead of 56-points but is focussed on extending his championship advantage after non-scoring two consecutive races for the first time this season.

The Williams Formula One Development driver secured his sixth victory of the season in the first race of the last event at Zandvoort, opening up a very healthy 99pt lead. But having secured pole-position for the next two races, Lance was then forced to start both from the back of the grid due to the Prema Powerteam incorrectly measuring a new suspension component that had been fitted for the very first time in qualifying.
An innocent “victim” on that occasion in the Netherlands earlier this month, Stroll – and the Italian Prema squad – is intent that’s the one and only blip of the season. Lance had finished 15 of the opening 16 races in point-scoring top-10 positions – a phenomenal record considering this is only his second Euro F3 season. Indeed, Lance has recorded a staggering 10 podiums including six wins in his Dallara F312-Mercedes – plus five fastest race laps having qualified to start 14 of those 18 races from the front two rows of the grid – eight times from “pole”.

Stroll raced at the fast, sweeping and undulating 7.004 km Spa-Francorchamps track for the first time last June. He has matured both in and out of the car since that event 13 months ago, driving consistently fast and “clean” races to become the current “stand out” in this year’s F3 category. The timetable in Belgium differs from the normal format in that practice and qualifying is staged on Thursday (28 July), with races 1 & 2 on Friday and the final race on Saturday morning.  

“ »I’ll be pushing as hard as I can in the remaining 12 races that continues at Spa. We need to keep doing our thing like we’ve done up until now this season. My championship lead is irrelevant and will be until the last race at Hockenheim in October. What happened in the last two races at Zandvoort was unfortunate, that’s now behind me and is history. I’m looking forward to Spa and can’t wait to get back racing. It’s definitely a challenging track featuring high and low speed corners plus long straights. Weather conditions can change very quickly and so that aspect can be tricky. So all things combined it should be an interesting weekend.” »

Martyn Pass,