Lance Stroll admitted that he didn’t expect Williams to be able to score points in the Italian Grand Prix, but it turned out to be a bonanza for them with both cars in points for the first time in 2018.
It was already a good weekend for the Grove-based team with Stroll making it into the Top 10 in qualifying while Sergey Sirotkin finished 12th in the order. The two had a good start as well in the race, running eighth and ninth after the Lap 1 drama.
They found themselves out of the points when Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo and Racing Point Force India’s Sergio Perez overtook them but with Ricciardo’s retirement, it helped the team to be in a better position to score points.
With Haas’ Kevin Magnussen, Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly and McLaren’s Fernando Alonso not in the picture along with the slower pace of the Saubers, both the Williams drivers were able to beat the pack to be 10th and 11th respectively.
Post race, a protest from Renault led to Haas’ Romain Grosjean’s disqualification which promoted Stroll to ninth and Sirotkin to 10th – meaning the Russian scored his first Formula 1 career point while the team registered its first double points finish of 2018.
The results though still is provisional since Haas decided to appeal the decision. For now though, Williams can be happy with a double points finish. “I hoped we would score points, but I didn’t really expect it,” said Stroll.
“We had good pace out there following [Carlos] Sainz all race and were catching him a little bit towards the end, so I am really happy with the job we did in the race and all weekend. We really nailed it this weekend in qualifying, the race and with the strategy.
“It was one of those weekends where it all just came together. The key was just solid work all weekend, we were on it and on top of the strategy in the race. In qualifying, we managed the slipstream very well, so one of those weekends where everything clicked.”
Before the change of results, Sirotkin said: “It was a good race. I really fought for it, I had to fight every lap but unfortunately I wasn’t the luckiest car at all with point I was getting the blue flags and where and how I needed to let the leader go.
“So, all of that if you put together into pure seconds, it was a lot and race time lost in there. I would be with Lance approaching and fighting with the cars and I am sure around the cars around me, I had the pace and I really enjoyed this fight.”