Lance Stroll believes another fifth place in the constructors’ championship would represent a good season for Williams in the face of strong opposition this year.
Having finished third in the first two seasons under the new V6 power unit regulations, Williams slipped to fifth place in 2016 after losing out to Force India in a tight battle. Last year saw the same end result, although the margin to fourth was much bigger as Force India was over 100 points clear by the end of 2017.
With McLaren expected to make a clear step forward as part of a new power unit partnership with Renault, and the French constructor itself continuing to invest significant resources, Stroll is aware it will be a big challenge to move forward given changes elsewhere.
“I hope we can have a quicker car, we all want to be better, but it’s not going to come easy,” Stroll told RACER. “The competition is strong. Force India is doing a good job, they were incredible last year – always in Q3, always scoring good points – and they just had a better car, so we need to try and catch them.
“But then at the same time Renault are not slow, when they had their good weekends they were very, very good, so we need to watch out for them, and then McLaren’s going to make a step in the right direction I believe.
“That being said at the end of the day we have to do our thing and that’s about trying to maximize the points we can score every weekend, getting the most out of the car and then we’ll see where we are at the end of the season. That’s the goal.
“I think last year we finished fifth – where we should have finished – and if we could stay there I think that would already be pretty good with all the other teams trying to make big steps in the right direction.”
The 19-year-old will be partnered by 22-year-old Russian rookie Sergey Sirotkin this season, with Felipe Massa having retired at the end of 2017.