Lance Stroll said that he gained plenty of confidence during the 2020 Formula 1 season thanks to the improved equipment he had underneath him.
With Racing Point far more competitive last season than they had been a year prior, the Canadian enjoyed his best season to date, finishing on the podium twice, taking his maiden pole position and ending the year 11th in the drivers’ standings.
The 22-year-old struggled in comparison with teammate Sergio Perez, who finished fourth in the standings and secured a race win, but there was a noticeable step forward compared to 2019.
“If you get a good car, you get good results, and then you just build confidence from there,” Stroll told Autosport. “Sometimes when I was in a bad car, if anything, it kind of backfired on me.
“Especially in the beginning of your career, when you’re in a bad car and you don’t know what it’s like to be in a good car until you sit in one, you kind of start to question what your ability is like, and if it is as good as the others that are in good cars, because you just don’t know what a good car feels like.”
With the design of the RP20 largely resembling the 2019 world championship-winning Mercedes W10, Stroll said he gained more confidence in the car and was able to push harder as a result.
“That’s one of the biggest advantages of being in a good car is what you can get out of yourself,” he added. “It gives you so much more confidence driving the car. It allows you to attack the corners much harder and just push the car much harder.
“As drivers, that’s what we want to be able to do. And sometimes when you’re in a bad car, it takes away that confidence and that ability to push the car. That has a big impact on a driver.”