Lance Stroll: The Tenacious Dreamer

The life of Canadian Lance Stroll is worthy of a Hollywood film. Naturally talented, with a world-famous career, prizes and awards, but also facing a few pitfalls, such as a challenging start to this season. But this Sunday, at the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix, the hope for a dream final will prevail: to secure a first race ranking with his loved ones in the crowd.

inspiring conversation with Lance Stroll

Marc-Étienne Julien, CEO at Randstad, met with him, as he prepared for this major event. The inspiring story of a young prodigy, whose success lies somewhere between dream and persistence.

You lived in Quebec until you were 8 years old. How do you feel about coming back to Montréal?
I am very happy to be here, I don’t come often enough. This week is very special for me, it’s a dream come true. Not only am I a Formula 1 racer, but I’m racing in Montréal! It’s like coming home. I’m so excited!
You went from being a Formula 3 driver to a Formula 1 driver. What does that change mean to you?
Change is everywhere! We’re not focused on Europe: we travel the world! And it’s a lot of work. On the track, cars are harder to drive, both physically and mentally, and races are longer, which is very different in terms of physical training. And, off the track, you must also work with sponsors, the media and fans.
In Formula 1 racing, there is quite a bit of pressure and the stakes are high. How do you deal with that?
In the end, it’s all about perception. When I was a Formula 3 racing driver, it was the most important thing in the world to me. Now, it’s Formula 1. The pressure is on, but not more than before. It’s simply different. The key is to face one race at a time. I do my best, and then, whatever happens, I move on to the next one and try again.
You are a very young driver. What is the secret of your success, in holding such a coveted position at your age?
I feel you should take that very seriously, because it doesn’t come easily and it’s a lot of work. But I also think you should keep dreaming. Get up in the morning and believe it’s all possible.
Whether it is as a young athlete or a young professional, you must learn to listen to people who are experienced, in order to improve as much as you can. I also surround myself with the right people, both from my family and friends, so they push me in the right direction.

Are you always thinking about your performances? Do you take time to relax?
I look at what my work requires me to pay attention to, but I do take breaks. They help me return in better shape, with improved concentration. Of course, when things aren’t going well, I work as hard as possible at getting better. But enjoying life is also essential.
Sometimes, you only have a second to make a decision. How do you distinguish intuition from science?
It’s through experience gained since the age of 8 that I understand what needs to be done. It’s still difficult, but it’s part of the challenge and I keep learning. Chance and instinct also play a part in it. Sometimes, I try certain things and it works.
What is the biggest sacrifice you had to make?
It’s not exactly the right word because I chose to do this. Obviously it involves a lot of travel, not much time at home, and the pressure is always on. It’s not easy to deal with, but I am lucky enough to do what I love and I am grateful for that, every day.
Close to this exciting final, of which the outcome will take place on a course that is renowned for its tight corner exits, all eyes will be on Williams’ young star driver, the first Canadian racing driver to take part in the Canadian Grand Prix since Jacques Villeneuve, in 2006. If one could see Stroll’s eyes as they watch the start line lights, they would surely get a glimpse of that tenacious dreamer spark.
Lance Stroll Quick Facts
Lance Stroll has been part of the car racing field since he was 8 years old, when he would drive on Quebec karting tracks. What was first a hobby became a true ambition. At age 12, he leaves Canada for Europe, where he gets noticed internationally, namely by winning Europe’s Formula 3 championships in 2016, and Italy’s Formula 4 championships in 2014. At the age of 18, he joins the Formula 1 world in November 2016, with the Williams team, representing Canada.

about the author

Marie-Noëlle Morency - Communications Manager

Since I was a little girl, I have always enjoyed reading and telling stories. I am very luck, that, in my current role as Communications Manager at Randstad Canada, I get to work every day at finding, crafting and sharing stories that are informative, inspiring, and thought-provoking.

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