With the Canadian and teammate Sergio Perez having had a difficult time in recent races, they both hailed the good progress the team has made with a raft of changes to its car aimed at improving its performance and balance.
The duo were both in the top ten in the more representative second practice session in Germany and were hugely encouraged by the step forward that the new package had delivered.
Stroll said afterwards: “It is good to see we are in the upper end of the sheets for a change on Friday. It has been a while. So it is always a good start to the weekend.”
Asked by Motorsport.com if it was his best day of the year, Stroll said: “It is definitely up there. The car is very different, she’s actually been on a diet. It is good and we have to keep it up.
“Days like this are always nice. But it is a practice session and it doesn’t count for anything. Sights are set on tomorrow.”
Perez was equally positive about the progress made, but said that the team still needed to work a lot on improving the balance of the car if it was going to get both cars in to Q3 tomorrow.
“I have to say that it has been a good day,” he said. “A difficult day to find balance out there, struggling still with balance, but generally with the level of competition we have shown today we can be pleased with that.
“I think we are looking good. Hopefully we can maintain the level of competitiveness that we have shown today. Obviously tomorrow is going to be a very different story. But we aim for Q3 after the day we have today.”
Asked if he felt there was a step change in the car from the last race, he said: “It is very hard to compare because we come from Silverstone, a track that is very smooth so the balance is always great in Silverstone. But here the balance is really bad, especially with these high track temperatures
“But certainly when we look at our balance and our levels of pace, I think we have definitely done a good improvement and the car is feeling better. I think we can work around it a little bit better, but I think have a lot of work to do in terms of balancing the car.”