Racing Point team boss Otmar Szafnauer says Lance Stroll’s recent Formula 1 displays show he is “fully deserving” of his 2021 position at the squad.
Stroll, 21, joined Racing Point ahead of the 2019 campaign, shortly after father Lawrence acquired a controlling stake in the organisation.
Stroll last year amassed 21 points to the 52 gathered by team-mate Sergio Perez but has made progress this season, assisted by the strength of Racing Point’s RP20.
Stroll has so far outscored Perez 57-44, albeit with the Mexican missing two rounds due to a positive Covid-19 diagnosis, and has taken points at each race he has finished.
The Canadian mounted the podium at Monza and was in the mix for a repeat result at Mugello until he suffered a high-speed crash, the exact cause of which is still being fully investigated.
Stroll will stay on at the team for 2021 while Perez will be replaced by four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel.
“The main thing is that there’s more to come from Lance, and the team too,” said Szafnauer.
“It’s been a really strong season for Lance – his best so far with some very mature performances in qualifying and the races.
“After the Monza podium, he was sitting fourth in the championship with just the Mercedes drivers and [Max] Verstappen ahead.
“He’s in the ascendancy and clearly demonstrating his talent, and why he is fully deserving of his place alongside Sebastian next year.”
Szafnauer added that Racing Point has tweaked its approach to recent grands prix weekends after focusing too heavily on Saturday results earlier in the campaign.
“Traditionally, we’ve always set up for race day and I think this year, with the car that we have, we’re also looking more towards qualifying form,” he said.
“But we’ve now regrouped a bit and reviewed our recent race weekend and decided that we will start focusing more on race day – as we did in Monza and Mugello.
“If you lean towards having a better race car than qualifier, you tend to get the payback on Sunday.”