Cape Town – Lance Stroll reckons the trials and tribulations he faced in 2018 will stand him in good stead as he prepares to turn out for Racing Point F1 next year.
After winning the FIA Formula 3 European Championship in 2016, the Canadian moved up to Formula 1 with the Grove outfit.
He scored a podium in Baku in his rookie year, but 2018 was completely different, as the team managed to score just seven points all year.
According to the 20-year-old, the differences between his first two seasons in the top tier of single-seaters make it difficult to compare them.
“I don’t think it’s really fair to compare the two [or] judge the year in general. It’s  been a fire-fighting season,” Stroll said.
“We picked up very few points but the few times that I picked up points were big highlights because we beat quicker cars around us.
“Same thing in qualifying: I scraped into Q2, got into Q3 in Monza, they’ve really been big achievements because it’s the performance has been really poor.”
All of the difficulties have helped the Canadian, though, and he believes that he is now more rounded after the adversities.
“All in all I do believe I’m a more complete driver today than I was a year ago,” he added.
“But I think that I just haven’t been able to demonstrate that due to the package.
“Which is the nature of the sport, that’s how it goes some years and you have to accept that as a driver.”
Next year, he hopes that he will be able to compete with Racing Point F1, as he moves to the team now owned by his father.
He will partner Sergio Perez in the old Force India unit, one that would have finished in P5 in the Constructors’ had it not been for the administration issues in 2018.
“I would say the main thing is just experience,” Stroll added.
“I’ve learned so much with another season under my belt of Formula 1, time with the engineers, expanding my knowledge of Formula 1, the tyres, racing, qualifying.
“Just with seat time you learn so much and that’s far from done.
“I just turned 20 years old and I still believe I’m very far from reaching my full potential. Every year I try to keep chipping away at it.
“Over the winter this year I’m going to reflect and work on my weaknesses and build on my strengths.”