Lance Stroll: Williams' FW41 'hasn't improved at all' in 2018 F1 season
Lance Stroll says Williams has been “surviving” at each Formula 1 event in 2018 and believes its FW41 “hasn’t really been developed” all year.
Williams finished fifth in last season’s Constructors’ Championship, repeating its 2016 placing, but adopted a new design concept for 2018 as it sought to make gains.
However the FW41 proved to be the least competitive car on the grid, suffering not only from a lack of downforce, but both front- and rear-end instability, with cooling also an issue.
Williams is rooted to the rear of the Constructors’ Championship having taken only seven points, courtesy of Stroll's results in Azerbaijan and Italy, with Sergey Sirotkin also chipping in at the latter round.
Stroll is poised to join the Force India team owned by his father’s Racing Point consortium in 2019, and the young Canadian lamented Williams’ form through his sophomore season, comparing its position to the gains made by Sauber.
“It has been very challenging,” Stroll said of 2018. “The car just hasn’t been there. We’ve just been surviving every weekend rather than competing.
“[We’ve] been getting knocked out in Q1 at lot, we also had races where I’ve made a good start and been in a points-scoring position, and we’ve just fallen back down the order.
“It’s kind of always been the case, we’ve always been on the back foot throughout the whole year.
“We haven’t really developed the car since Australia. I don’t think we’ve really improved the car at all.
“It’s been tough to see some of our competitors like Sauber for example who were neck and neck with us in the beginning make big steps in the right direction compared to us.
“It’s been a survival year, that’s all I can say.”
Stroll nonetheless stressed that he has still been able to draw lessons from a challenging campaign.
“I’ve still developed as a driver, matured as a driver,” he said.
“Second year in Formula 1, more seat time, more experience, I’ve absorbed lots of information, even though it has been a very challenging year compared to last year. That’s the nature of the sport.
“As a driver, you have to accept that some years are more challenging than others, that’s part of the game.”