Lance Stroll said he was “shocked” after bouncing back from a tough run of form to claim his first career pole position in Saturday’s rain-hit qualifying session for the Turkish Grand Prix.
The Racing Point driver became the first Canadian to claim the front spot on the grid since Jacques Villeneuve in 1997 after a frantic finish which saw Red Bull’s Max Verstappen fail to better his time.
Stroll said: “We dream about these moments growing up. To put it on pole, it’s a special moment for me, one of the biggest highlights of my career for sure. I can’t put it into words right now. I’m shocked.
“It’s such a great way to bounce back after a rough few weeks, since Mugello it’s been a rough ride for me, so it feels good. Feels really good right now. I had the confidence in the car and nailed pretty much every corner.”
The decision to run on intermediate tyres in the later stages of Q3, a decision team principal Otmar Szafnauer revealed was made by Stroll himself, proved key to the surprise pole position, with the Canadian securing pole on his final lap of the afternoon.
Team-mate Sergio Perez, who starts third, ran intermediates throughout the session but had used the best of the rubber in the wetter earlier phase of Q3.
“Once I got on the inter I knew we were in good shape,” said Stroll. “It was pretty hooked up for these conditions. I was under a lot of pressure. I had Valterri spun in front of me then I had one lap at the end to do it.
“I knew we were up there at the front, listening to my engineer he was giving me feedback every lap on where we were. But in these conditions you don’t have time to think about where you are it’s just the next corner in front of you.”
Before you go...
Stroll stuns Formula 1 with first pole by a Canadian for 23 years since Jacques Villeneuve
Red Bull to keep Perez and Albon waiting until after season's end