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Lance Stroll

Is Lance Stroll good enough to be an F1 World Champion?

Lawrence Stroll has recently come out and said that he thinks his son, Lance, is a world champion in the making. Realistically the younger Stroll is somewhere in between.

Lance Stroll's career was always going to be put under the microscope. His family's wealth has in some way contributed to his ascent through the junior formula and his security in Formula 1 is all but assured as long as his father, Lawrence, owns a team.

While the above paints Lance as a pay driver who should consider himself fortunate to be racing in the sport, there is evidence to support the claim that he is there on merit. The issue that arises from defending Stroll is that for every teardrop of success that has come his way, his family's money can be used as a counterpoint.

For example, Lance has consistently highlighted the fact that he has been a champion in every single one of the championships he's competed in bar Formula 1. While this is factually true, his father also made a big investment in the Prema Powerteam to ensure his son had the best equipment and a team tailored towards his son's success.

However, the younger Stroll has still made the most of the opportunities presented to him and this can be seen in his last full season outside of Formula 1 where he romped to the FIA European F3 title by a staggering 187 points. Let's also not forget that the grid featured the likes of George Russell, Callum Illot, and the late Anthoine Hubert.

His Formula 1 career has also been better than most give him credit for. Lance was able to achieve a podium in his rookie campaign back in 2017. Racing in an unfancied Williams car, the then 18-year-old put in a steady performance over the course of the season finishing just three points behind the vastly more experienced Felipe Massa.

While he had a disappointing few seasons post his rookie year, the Canadian was able to stand on the podium a further two more times last year. His father believes that based on his performances in F1 alone, his son is definitely capable of winning a driver's title.

"Do I think Lance is talented?" Lawrence Stroll said to the Independent.

"I think he is immensely talented. I have no doubt he has demonstrated that he has world championship blood in him.

“Everything is equal when you get to the ring, and he showed that by putting it on pole in the rain in Turkey last year when the playing field was level. There are not many people who can do that."

			© Racing Point
	© Racing Point

While the comments made by Lance's father must be taken with a pinch of salt, the truth is the coming year could provide the best litmus test for the youngster's credentials.

The Canadian has shown instances of top level talent in the past. Just look back at his performance in wet weather qualifying at Monza back in 2017, when he set the fourth fastest time and started second after Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen were handed engine penalties.

Even more recently, Stroll put his Racing Point in on pole after another wet weather masterpiece in Turkey last year. He became the first Canadian to take pole since Jacques Villeneuve at the 1997 European Grand Prix, while also adding to his reputation as a force to be reckoned with in tricky conditions - usually a skill reserved for the top drivers on the grid.

Now partnered by Sebastian Vettel, who's reputation took somewhat of a bruising during his time at Ferrari, the German is still a four-time world champion and will push the young Canadian to his limits. Stroll was largely outperformed by Sergio Perez over their two years as teammates, and as a result the Canadian heads into the 2021 season needing a strong season to assert himself at the newly branded Aston Martin team.

He'll need more instances of his exploits in Italy and Turkey and fewer accidents like the one suffered in Bahrain last year after colliding with Romain Grosjean, but if the past is anything to go by, then the talent looks to be there to make moves further up the grid.

Charles Leclerc, who many consider a future world champion, marked himself out by outperforming Vettel over the past two seasons. If Lance wants to be mentioned in the same bracket, and his father certainly believes he can be, then the Canadian has a clear roadmap to how he can establish himself as a future world champion.

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