Sergio Perez believes Lance Stroll will be able to show his full potential at Racing Point after a difficult first two seasons at Williams.
Stroll debuted with Williams in 2017, scoring a podium in Baku and a front row start in Italy as the team finished fifth in the constructors’ championship, but over 100 points adrift of Force India, Racing Point’s previous iteration. This year Stroll scored six of Williams’ seven points, and Perez says it would be unfair to judge his new teammate based on this year’s car.
“I don’t know him much as a driver,” Perez said. “In Formula 1, it’s so difficult to prepare, to know a driver from another team. Ninety-five percent of your results is done by the car. He’s certainly had a poor season down to his car. I think Williams had a lot of trouble.
“But the kid definitely has talent. He’s been on the podium, when it’s wet, he’s always up there, and I think he’s coming to a great team with one of the best engineers in the world. I think he will be in great hands to deliver his full potential.”
With Stroll joining the team that is now owned by his father Lawrence, Perez has no concerns about the dynamic within Racing Point in 2019.
“I don’t think so. It’s in the interests of everyone, including the team owners that this team is a successful team. The investment that they’ve done, it’s successful, so for that we need both cars as strong as possible. We both have to work very hard, we both have to work together to bring the team as forward as possible. It’s in the interests of everyone. We are a team now and we just have to work like that.”
Perez was beaten by Esteban Ocon in the qualifying head-to-head this season but scored 13 points more than the Frenchman, and says he places greater emphasis on the margin in race performances.
“In qualifying, he probably had the upper hand, although the gap between us in qualifying is less than a tenth, he was more often in front in qualifying than myself. But I think the gap in the races was bigger than in qualifying.
“In the races I did the biggest difference, always on pace, the pace was looking a bit stronger. It was very close again, but I think he was slightly better in qualifying, and I was quite a bit better in the race.”