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'Stroll already at Ocon's level'

'Stroll already at Ocon's level'

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'Stroll already at Ocon's level'

'Stroll already at Ocon's level'

Racing Point team principal Otmar Szafnauer says Lance Stroll has already began to match Esteban Ocon's performance on the simulator as the Canadian begins life with his new team. Stroll followed his father Lance to the team after his buyout in the summer break.

Ocon was the one to make room for Stroll in the team formerly known as Force India, with Sergio Perez signed on for a sixth year with the outfit next season.

The Frenchman's departure and subsequent struggle to find a seat elsewhere – an unhappy consequence of his Mercedes junior deal – led many to comment that Stroll's move showed F1's misguided prevalence of money over performance.

However, Szafnauer is confident that the Canadian can hit the ground running with his new employers in 2019 after testing in Abu Dhabi and then getting to work back at the team's factory.

"Lance absolutely loved his time in the car, said the car can do the things he wants a car to do which is good, we were duly impressed with Lance," Szafnauer told F1's 'Beyond the Grid' podcast.

"We were already impressed with him when he ran in the simulator. He was on the pace very quickly, up to Esteban's level in the simulator.

"We were just hoping the pace that he showed in the simulator would translate onto the race track and it did. He was very quick on track too.

"So we've got some good potential there in Lance, we'll work with him to hopefully teach him some things we know about how to drive the tyre, how to preserve it and how to make it go quick and last over the stints and we'll do that with him, help him qualify better too.

"But he brings some great skills, he's quick, he usually does a great job at the start and over the first lap, he usually makes up places, so we look forward to working with him."

MORE: Force India? Racing Point? Details confirmed on 2019 name and livery
MORE: Stroll sets top-three target for Racing Point

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