Lance Stroll, Williams, Monza, 2018

Force India checked Stroll fits in their 2018 and 2019 cars

2018 Italian Grand Prix

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Force India checked Lance Stroll can fit in both their current car and the new chassis they are designing for next year when he visited them on Tuesday.

However no decision has been taken on whether he will drive for them this year. Team principal Otmar Szafnauer indicated they could retain both their current drivers in order to maximise their potential in the championship this year without the distraction of introducing a new driver to an unfamiliar car.

In response to a question from RaceFans, Szafnauer confirmed Stroll “came and had a look around” the factory on Tuesday and “did a seat fit.”

“He fits in the car, just in case,” Szafnauer added. But putting Stroll in the car this year would cause complications which haven’t been worked out yet.

“As we sit here today I don’t know, I cannot predict, I can’t tell you, mainly because it hasn’t been decided. And for that to happen I’m sure a lot of other stuff has to happen and it’s not just a switch.”

Following its takeover by new owners after the Hungarian Grand Prix, Force India had to start over in the championship with zero points. It now lies 58 points behind fifth-placed Haas in the championship, which Szafnauer says is a realistic target, and could affect their driver decision.

“I think if we do a really good job, see how this weekend goes, we might even have a decent chance of fifth. Fifth is probably the best we can do, fourth might be a step too far, but fifth is do-able.

“So if we are chasing for that fifth and it goes down to the wire then you make one decision. Which is why it’s really hard to predict. A lot of factors involved.”

Putting any new driver in the car at this stage in the season could negatively affect the team’s performance, said Szafnauer.

“I don’t care who you are, when you move teams like that it’s sub-optimal you’ve got to learn a lot very quickly. And if you do it mid-season while you’re learning a lot very quickly you’re going to have some sub-optimal races so those are the two ways to look at it.”

The team’s technical director Andrew Green said they have made adjustments to their planned design for the 2019 F1 season to accommodate Stroll.

“What we wanted to do was make sure there’s nothing that needed to change on next year’s car subtly for him. And there are a few things we did change which we caught just in time.”

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 32 comments on “Force India checked Stroll fits in their 2018 and 2019 cars”

    1. Well he fits the Bill..

    2. A small problem for stroll is he is racing a bad car this year….but his team mate sirotkin seem s to be faster than him in the same bad car…..and isnt stroll the senior driver????

    3. Putting Stroll in the car next season could negatively affect the team’s performance!

      1. It would have been easier to say “putting Lance in our car would be sub-optimal”

    4. ”It now lies 58 points behind fifth-placed Haas in the championship, which Szafnauer says is a realistic target, and could affect their driver decision.”
      – I doubt it. The gap is a bit too significant to claw back entirely within only eight races since 7th, and 8th are the maximum positions they could achieve pace-wise when the six drivers from the top-3 teams aren’t suffering any problems, or anything other unusual, so a bit too unrealistic to achieve.

      1. Yes, agree, their target will be mclaren, who is getting worse, however might be faster after monza, depending on the races.

        I’m also ashamed of renault: not only are they risking to lose the 4th place race vs haas, if you count the points force india actually scored all year it’s very likely they’d have been in front too at the end of the year, and renault would like to challenge the top 3 teams in the future?

    5. “I don’t care who you are, when you move teams like that it’s sub-optimal you’ve got to learn a lot very quickly. And if you do it mid-season while you’re learning a lot very quickly you’re going to have some sub-optimal races

      The most recent ‘mid-season team move’ (Sainz to Renault) seems to support that, although the one before that was Verstappen to RBR!
      So it DOES seem to matter “who you are”.

      1. No real reason that Ves’s move couldn’t have been sub-optimal, I think it’s fair to say he is that good!

      2. It matters who you are and who you are replacing

    6. I’m glad Lawrence isn’t rushing to change things, but changes must occur. The team’s results under the previous management, even though officially annulled, show they were doing a lot of things right. I hope we do get to see Lance in a seat there sometime this year, but at the same time I do hope we don’t loose Esteban.

    7. That was a beautifully constructed way of saying, “He wouldn’t be quick enough to score the points we need, but Ocon is, so we want to keep Ocon until the end of the season. Please.”

      1. Drivers switching teams never perform at their maximum

        Even Verstappen admitted he was not 100% comfortable with the car after his first win

    8. That mediocre little rich punk may fit into the seat, but he’ll never fit into F1.

      1. Rich little zing! LOL!

    9. Seems like there hasn’t been a higher demand for a talented driver vs a pay driver then right now at RPFI. They know they have a quick car and can outscore quite a few teams by the end of the year and also know Stroll is unlikely to score much.
      I’m getting a really positive feeling seeing the team try to get (keep) the driver based purely on merit rather than money. Wish that would happen more often.

      1. Actually, THAT pay driver saved the team. If it wasn’t for him we would be watching 18 cars this weekend, not 20.

        1. @drycrust

          18cars is better than destroyed teams like Williams acting as an amusement park ride for rich kids. He can rent all the cars and tracks he want for his money but its a disgrace to have him “racing” in F1.

          1. Well said, mate.

          2. @rethla Completely agree, maybe we actually need to lose FI and Williams and other so the F1 world wake to the real problems. Does not matter how many teams he saved, this is a disgrace to see this him getting the seat of a better driver, just because dady can afford it. This mess is NOT the F1 i want to watch, and the more stroll the more likely i completely give up on that “sport”.

            1. If Alonso goes to Indycar I would be interested in watching that at least as much as F1

        2. So should all F1 drivers be billionare’s sons these days?

    10. Otmar “Stroll suck so bad, putting him in now will bankrupt his dad and us at the same time”.

    11. I do not think it’s possible that Lance will change team this year. His father may be the owner of Force India but that does not mean that he is so unintelligent of provoking such a move, obviously inconvenient for the team. Now, his own team.

    12. That would have been a pretty awkward visit.
      All smiles: “Tell your dad thanks for saving the team!”
      Under their breath: “What a waste of a seat!”

    13. He has such a punchable face.

    14. I wonder if Lance has any friends among the drivers in the paddock

      1. He will have, as the other drivers will havw a closer and therefore more realistic view of him compared to all the haters who just can’t get over the fact that their fathers didn’t support them to get into F1 ;-)
        As a matter of (ironic) fact Lance and Ocon are friends.

    15. He will have, as the drivers will have a closer and therefore more realistic view of him compared to all the haters who can’t get over the fact that their fathers didn’t support them to get into F1… ;-)
      One example that’s been mentioned is that Lance and Ocon (yes, ironically) are friends.

    16. He will have, as the other drivers will havw a closer and therefore more realistic view of him compared to all the haters who just can’t get over the fact that their fathers didn’t support them to get into F1 ;-)
      As a matter of (ironic) fact Lance and Ocon are friends.

    17. Vijay Mallya could have easily fielded a line-up of two Indian drivers or could have pulled his son into racing with family owned team. Or he could have had pay drivers and earned a lot of money out of Force India, but he always wanted to build a solid team , always said that he will go for drivers with talent no matter what nation they come from or if they bring money on board or not. Like Peter Saubar and Sir Frank Williams, he ran a Formula 1 team to nurture the best talent and pure racing. He let Fisichella pursue his dream of joining Ferrari and even gave hopes to sub par drivers like Sutil and Paul di Resta to find their true potentials. He saved the career of Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez when they were without seats and always tested the best young talent in the teams testing outings. He built the One in a Billion hunt to promote karting and racing in India and due to his efforts Jehan Daruwala and Arjun Maini are doing good in motorsports today and won’t be labelled worthless. He was instrumental in bringing F1 to India and fulfill his lifelong dream of an Indian team at Indian GP. His work at Force India is the best example of how a team with minimal resources can punch above its weight in a highly competitive and political F1 environment.
      Lawrence Stroll should be wise enough to at least learn from his legacy.

    18. My bet is on everyone keeping their seat for the remainder of the season

      Ocon to McLaren seems probable. Don’t know what will happen to Vandoorne though

    Comments are closed.