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Lance Stroll, an unheralded Belgian-Canadian racing driver, just secured his first ever podium finish in Formula One.
What makes Stroll’s accomplishment remarkable is that he is just 18 years old and has barely finished High School.
Stroll, a mere novice in F1 racing, finished third in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on Sunday and becomes the youngest rookie to race to a podium.
Though he was pipped to the Baku finish line by accomplished drivers like Daniel Ricciardo and Valterri Bottas, Stroll still managed to do something unthinkable.
This is because Stroll kept a cool head to beat two of the faces of Formula 1 – Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari and Mercedes athlete Lewis Hamilton.
“I’m lost for words,” Stroll said. “I can’t believe what just happened. It was a crazy race but we stayed out of trouble.”
Vettel and Hamilton may have been involved in some of that “craziness” as the title rivals shared a flash-point in the middle of the race when Vettel seemingly rammed Hamilton’s car. Vettel was consequently struck with a ten second penalty.
Later, Hamilton was forced into an unscheduled pit-stop amid safety concerns over a malfunctioning headrest.
Both incidents clearly hampered Vettel and Hamilton’s chances of success. Vettel, after all, finished 5.97 behind race winner Racciardo, with Hamilton adrift by 6.188 seconds.
In the end, Ricciardo may have been the one to win a chaotic race but Stroll, at 18, undoubtedly won the event.
What a race for @lance_stroll ????
— Formula 1 (@F1) June 25, 2017