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2018 F1 season
Baptism of Fire: Lance Stroll needs a clean weekend and points to settle into F1
Lance Stroll
Posted By: James Allen  |  19 Apr 2017   |  2:47 pm GMT  |  178 comments

Three races into the new F1 season and 18 year old Lance Stroll is still looking for a break. He’s failed to finish all three races and has completed just 52 of the 170 racing laps.

It’s prompting some to question whether his move straight to F1 from FIA F3 was the right thing to do or whether he would have benefitted from more preparation time and experience; for example racing against Charles Leclerc and his ilk in what looks like a terrific FIA F2 series this year.

Max Verstappen made the move straight from F3 to F1 and thrived, but he is an exceptional talent with an old head on young shoulders. Should Stroll have had more time to mature, so that he could come in and show what he can do with better odds of success?

With so much to learn and F1 being an unforgiving environment, the danger is that the pressure of racing in a car expected to score points at every round as well as not having the F1 database to ‘make things happen’ for himself, will begin to tell.

By virtue of his backing and his father’s influence in F1, he is more in control of his situation than some of the Red Bull juniors, like Jaime Alguersuari, who were pitched into the fray too soon, as teenagers by Dr Marko, on a strictly ‘sink or swim’ basis.

But F1 is not a finishing school, as the saying goes, and he doesn’t want to be in this position any longer than is absolutely necessary.

He’s clearly a good driver; whatever the tales doing the rounds of the advantages his wealth has brought him with facilities and developments not available to other drivers in karting and F3, he won the championship comprehensively and has always had his eye on establishing himself as an F1 driver.

So where does it go from here?

Lance Stroll

How’s it been going, Lance?

He managed to qualify 10th in China, 7/10ths slower than team mate Felipe Massa, while in Bahrain he trimmed that to 6/10ths and lined up 12th. The races have been the real problem, with a brake problem after 40 laps in Australia, then a collision in China at the start and another in Bahrain which was judged by stewards to be 100% Carlos Sainz’ fault, but which wrecked Stroll’s race.

He had made an early stop and was running at the back when Sainz hit him.

Speaking to at the Bahrain test he said, “What I really want is the end of that streak of poor luck – then I think many things are possible.

“I am still watching and learning. It’s not so much the difficulty of Formula One, but the difference of Formula One versus everything that I have done so far. When you come here the tyres seem almost a closed book and you have to open it and learn to read it. Then, of course, you have to learn the little tricks of the trade – for example, what it takes to makes the tyres happy. And that is why a day like Tuesday is so important – when you are not limited on runs. It is working round to getting to the maximum with my capability as a racing driver.

“Surviving in F1 I would say is 90 percent mental capability. When you are not mentally able to get over things you are in the wrong sport.

“There is nothing you can compare these cars with. It’s like nothing that you’ve ever been driving, so it is also much about the right technique – how to handle these cars right. They are real beasts!”

Lance Stroll

What’s the conclusion then?

A nice clean weekend in Sochi or Spain, with some points to settle the nerves and allow him to bed into his new role as a Grand Prix driver are what is required.

He certainly has the car for it; the Williams is at the front of the midfield pack, with a performance advantage over the Force India, Haas, Renault and Toro Rosso cars, although the Renault has started to look very quick in qualifying recently, but not matched that in race pace.

So it’s all there to be done and in many ways it needs to be done as Williams is a team in recent years that has been used to finishing in the top five in the Constructors’ Championship. It was 3rd in 2014. They cannot finish there with only one car scoring points against rivals like Force India, Toro Rosso and Renault. The pressure is going to come onto Stroll soon.

Massa has performed well so far, with two sixth places giving Williams fifth place in the table.

But it’s hard for him without a yardstick like Valtteri Bottas alongside him. He doesn’t have the pace to challenge the Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes cars and so is set for a lonely year of expecting to be around 7th in qualifying and race unless something happens to any of the top six drivers or one of the midfield rivals, like Renault, gains significant performance through development.

What do you think? Leave your comments below

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As a Canadian I was excited for JV coming through after watching him in Atlantics, then Indycar (or whatever it was called back then). It seemed like he was getting better every day. And then he entered F1 so strongly. This is like the inverse of that. It’s hard to be even excited for the guy being there, but he has done well in a few sessions. I hope he shows true talent at some point because the stand-out drivers can be counted on one hand. This is F1. They should all be *amazing*.


why compare villeneuve?
billeneuve has enjoyed several years in f1 and stroll has only had a couple of races. give him a break, will you?


I was comparing Canadian F1 drivers at the start of their F1 career. Who would you suggest I use? They both started in Williams following a lot of pre-season preparation. I think it’s an excellent comparison/contrast. JV had more “mature” success and a last name. Stroll has money and moderate ladder success.


current williams is not the same as williams villeneuve debuted at. villeneuve was in a championship winning car competing against top drivers who didn’t have the tendency to crash into him.
not fair to compare that with stroll’s.


I think he jumped in F1 too early & will have a hard year of learning in the deep end. I expect more incidents & errors as he establishes his race craft. Williams knew what they were going into & have accepted this due to the money they’re getting. His dad’s money though cannot buy him natural talent nor racing experience.

After GP3 or F3, GP2/F2 should be compulsory & used as the ladder to enter F1. F1 needs tiers for advancement which is lacking & should be based on talent advancing not how much $ you can bring to buy a seat. The new FOM may make it harder to buy a seat moving forward with it now owning F2 but I can’t see the buying of seats stopping alltogether as the smaller works teams still need a great deal of money to stay in F1.


After all that work and development and the scoop of getting Paddy on board, it would be unbearable to see the opportunities being lost if his skills and fortunes dont hold up.
I think he’s been unlucky so far though and there is no reason for alarms to be ringing.
Will be great to see some good fortune and good finishes for Franks cars..


christian horner says he gets infuriated by drivers using their phones to distribute their own stories during press conferences.
i wonder why he get infuriated by it after all drivers create f1 stories and should have full control over how their stories are distributed.


Aveli you clearly don’t understand how ‘rights’ are applicable to the world of Formula One broadcasting and distribution.


telling me that i don’t understand is not a point of argument.
i hope you understand that.


many journalist make up stories about what drivers have said in the recent past and some drivers have decided to take charge of matters. am glad drivers are giving us the chance to access the truth.
just like christian horner, you think your emotions should decide what is wrong or right. for your information, the written policy dictates what happens not how you feel..


@sarsippious…is that your point of argument?


Money > Talent. Sad state of F1 teams.
Some one said below we should respect Stroll for coming to F1 for risks and thrills – what risk in driving a car which can take a T34 head on. Can we stop this F1 is risk, life-threatening crap please? I have not seen a single driver die in my entire lifetime racing at full speed.


i have seen a few die, watching tv..


Must have been watching RC championships then?



If T34 is a tank…I think you VASTLY over-estimate the sturdiness of fibreglass.

Torchwood Mobile

I was thinking that the Sainz – Stroll collision showed how heavy the new cars were, compared to a similar one with Maldonado ploughing into the side of Gutierrez and flipping his car into the air.

Surprised later on, to hear that it was the same race and same spot, where the pit lane feeds out into the on-track corner that the more infamous incident happened.

Carlos, as Maldonado before him, had full view of the car on the racing line before them, and ploughed into the side. No difference.


@Torchwood Mobile

compared to a similar one with Maldonado ploughing into the side of Gutierrez and flipping his car into the air.

The reason Gutti’s car flipped is because they touched Wheel (those Springy Bouncy air filled things!) to Wheel. Stroll vs Carlos was body to body.

However, I wonder if it would have flipped if it was Wheel hitting Wheel again.


In last couple of races other drivers have been using Stroll for target practice and looks like he needs to do Matrix style bullet dodging with his car in order to finish races. His overall pace is obviously pretty weak at the moment but he has won the championship in F3 so I guess the speed is there. Maybe he needs a lottery win with his car setup so he can extract more pace out of the car and get better results.


I think he has done well, he’s only 18 and he will improve as the season goes on, I’m not 100% sure though I think he was a Ferrari accadamy driver so they must have seen something special in him. Hope he scores some points soon.


i like lance stroll’s attitude. had i not known that he was a billionair’s son i couldn’t have guessed from his attitude. he comes across really down to earth and willing to please. other rookies seem to be in a hurry and say very little to the cameras…
as far as his driving is concerned, it’s better to start off not so good and improve than to start brilliantly only to fall flat on your face. he’ll surely get better with time..


are we talking about wine or F1 racing ?


come back when you’re sober without a headache..


You obviously didn’t see his ‘attitude’ post race otherwise you wouldn’t have got past ‘i’…


Williams is/was not a top team and wasn’t/isn’t an attractive proposition to hire a current top driver.
Therefore their decision for Stroll made perfect sense, as he had some mega impressive races in F3 and really dominated the championship. So in some sense, they were lucky to have him- with his strong funding being a big benefit.
So I think we need to give him some time and credit. As Grosjean also needed after his first appearance with Renault…
But it’s also a pitty, that Massa’s performances will never receive the deserved credit.


One thing that Stroll does need to learn if he has not done so already is that it does not matter if you have the right to take the ‘racing line’ and clip all the apexes if another upstart driver has put his car where he does not have the right to be. If Stroll drives like that every race he will struggle to get many finishes. The more experienced drivers are good at being aware of where the idiots (their competitors) are positioning their cars and adapting their cornering to avoid collision even if they get straight on the radio to moan about it! Everyone gets it wrong sometimes but the older hands get it wrong less. Racing with other people, as opposed to being able to do fast aps in testing, is about adapting to the circumstances of the race and surviving to the end even if that means taking a wider line than you wanted or driving off the track to avoid being hit. There is no point in being ‘in the right’ but back in the motorhome with the race still running.

Devils Advocate

Could be a bit early to judge, even though he doesn’t seem to have it all together at the moment. Yes, things are going against him, but then again he could be the one causing them.

MAX showed his race craft on his second race of the season with Toro Rosso scoring his first points of the season and his F1 debut. Clearly, there cannot be a comparison between MAX and Lance.


He’s clearly a good driver

Yes, he is a good driver, like thousands of other racing drivers around the world. But at a F1 level, up to what I’ve seen of his career, it’s obvious that he’s an average good driver. So there’s no taking away the fact that his fathers money has taken him somewhere he doesn’t belong just yet. He might prove us all wrong, but I highly doubt it. I wish him luck, he’s gonna need it poor boy.


alonso said “engine problem box box” as though he was the race engineer and the car ran like clockwork in testing. very disrespectful to spectators. why race at all if he thinks he’s too good to finish out of the points?



why race at all if he thinks he’s too good to finish out of the points

True. Lets just ignore it for now and hope from Barcelona Honda start kicking again.


honda has been kicking all along, just not hard enough.
alonso doesn’t want to finish out of the points so he retires.


To be fair to the kid, it’s only 3 races in and Bahrain wasn’t his fault, but he needs to be challenging Massa in qualifying and getting points by mid season!


The only F1fans more rabid than the British, are the Canadians. Important that they have a pilot in the series. Based on his lower tiers success, this youngguy probably isn’t a joke, but it would have been nice if he could have had a year in F2. Prodigys like Verstappen are rare, but it is an unfair comparison. Hope it works out for him. Give him a bit more time. For Williams, tho, not a great situation. The car might be very good.


It’s still only three races in and a lot can change. But still, he’s either going to grow and come to grips with racing at this level in these cars, or, coming into F1 too early is going to end his career.


Simply put Claire Williams has made a blunder. Stroll has shown no pace. In qualifying , they send him out first to avoid traffic. In race form, well he’s basically a driver not a racer.

The shunt with Carlos was his fault. I don’t care what Crofty and the rest of the SKY paid to blab crew think. In fact I am sick of them hyping this drvier becuase its on their cards to do so. This is how you damage F1.

Please lets call it what it is.


The Stewards thought otherwise – thats why Sainz has three place penalty foe Russia . Saint should have backed out Nand realised Stroll would not give him space . The Stewards called it as it was and the penalty for Sainz I’m afraid should have shown more discretion. I agree Stroll’s peripheral vision could be improved but saying the incident with Sainz was his fault is complete hogwash in my opinion . Sainz should have used common sense and backed out of it rather than punting Stroll off lunging late up the inside. The bashing of Stroll for that incident and I think they are much more qualified to make decisions about who is at fault than anyone on here . Some of the comments on this incident are truly laughable.


At best it was a racing incident.
Racers backing off ? This is F1rememeber. If you want backing off then look elsewhere.

Tornillo Amarillo

No pace? I think he was in Q3 in his second race. Stop nonsense, he is confident whatever some few fans could say.



Confidence is something the kid has truckfulls off 😀

Its his “talent” and “Specialness” – to suddenly be blessed with a drive in the Pinnacle of Motorsport – is what people question.

Put your hand on your heart and answer.. would this guy Stroll have survived a Red Bull Junior Program to make it into a Torro Rosso seat?

Frank Williams at this grand age after having the likes of Prost and Senna, I feel for him. Sure Claire wants the team to “Survive”, but that does not stop me from empathising with Frank.

Tornillo Amarillo

It was part of the Ferrari Academy between 2010 and 2015 before joining Williams.


He* was part of the Ferrari Academy between 2010 and 2015 before joining Williams.

Exactly.. he should have remained a part of it and see if he could mature his skills enough to get ACCEPTED into F1 organically in a natural way.

But he chose to not trust in himself and trust his deep wallet instead.


It is a proven strategy at Williams – after all their last pay driver actually won a race for them! As for the shunt with Carlos I agree. The pit exit was the inside line for goodness sake. Was Carlos supposed to slow down and say “after you claude”. I thought the stewards were plain wrong on that one but maybe they felt sorry for Stroll.

Tornillo Amarillo

Nop, turn 1 in Bahrain is just like that, unusual like that and Lance took the racing line and Sainz should know what the racing line is and that the car ahead won’t take another line to do you a favor. You don’t race to give more room to the car behind!

Shame on Carlos, the stewards penalizedhim but the incredible thing is that Sainz ruined so early any hope of scoring points for Toro Rosso. Calm down Carlitos.

Tornillo Amarillo

Relax, I think the article need more balance. Lance is a rookie, I guess the rule is rookies make mistakes, a lot, and there are exceptions like Hamilton, Vettel, etc.

I remember established drivers in the midfield doing mistakes too (Grosjean? Kvyat? Where KMag was all this time?), and a lot of spins in the top (Kimi, Bottas?).
How many YEARS some drivers waiting for a win? How many YEARS Huld waiting for a Podium? Because he had the car (Force India, ask Checo).

Lance is only 18, and has full support from Williams, as Claire said, so there is no doubt. He will learn, Massa probably mentor him. In two years he will be 20 with a lot of experience.

It’s important to know that he is Canadian what it means time is not a problem, never in a hurry… The Circuit needs repairs? Yep, ok we will see, we will think about it Bernie, we will continue and we will put a deal until “at least”2029… Who can do that? Canadians 😉 And Bernie is out…

For sure many people will eat their words about Lance, as many people -me included’ are eating their words about Max…

He is a good asset with his personality, being from Montreal, speaking English and French fluently, no doubt.

I saw him pretty good between many cars in the first packed turns of each GP, I would say he is aggressive and composed at the same time.

If you have any doubt, I’m a supporter of Lewis & Lance, it sounds crazy but it’s not 🙂


Red Bull didnt need Max’s “money” to race.. they went for him because thier complex driver talent hunt programs identified him as a phenomenal talent.

Helmut Marko whose sole job it is to find talent, stuck his neck out to say Max was unbelievably talented. There was no point Doubting Max. Red Bull is not a desperate organisation, they had no “reason” to take him randomly if he was not crazy good.

WIlliams However.. I have rarely heard anyone stick thier neck out and say Stroll is an UNBELIEVABLE Talent. They all keep saying, he will get better in due time 😀

Offcourse Williams as a team unlike Redbull, need money.
Offcourse we all know who Stroll’s dad is.

Maybe he will work hard and improve and have a long and strong career in F1.. but nobody ever stuck his or her neck out and said he came in because Williams thought he was an eye popping talent!

Daddy may have brought him in, but too many crashes and he can eventually be blamed and banned.


So we’ve established that he retired with brake failure in Australia, he got hit by Perez in China, and again by Sainz Kamikaze-ing down the inside in Bahrain.
Give the kid a break. Qualy needs to improve, but Massa’s clearly loving the trip down grip memory lane with these new cars, and has umpteen years experience, with the F1 life, the tracks, the team.
This guy is three races in!
I think he’s doing pretty well, all things considered.
Let’s wait and see how things pan out by the time the summer break comes along. Think he’ll be up there with Massa…


Not to worry, if Lance has trouble staying at Williams then Daddy can simply do a hostile and buy the company. And if necessary, Daddy could do the same with Liberty Media and buy the entire series.


Let’s just face it,Williams sold their soul for a few bob.If he was any good ala Schumacher or Verstappen he would be outperforming an ageing Massa


Max broke through the ceiling that was preventing “kids” joining F1. His success has made it easier for other youngsters perhaps……..but it hasn’t done Lance any favours at all. Simply, he isn’t a “Max”. Max is very exceptional. He might be the best of all time. No doubt Lance is a good driver but he has joined F1 about 4 years too early. Now he simply has to try and cram 4 years experience into as short a time as possible, under the full glare and scrutiny of everyone in and out of F1.


Worry for the future of the Williams team more than anything. They don’t have the backing to be able to afford to slip down the constructors table, they need him to start performing.


There’s really anything to like about Stroll and how he got into f1…it speaks volumes for all the talented people who deserve to be on field on merit than guys like him who basically bought their way into the sport.
From the looks of it…he hasn’t shown any speed to be in f1. Its like those rich kids driving Ferraris on street except in his case daddy got him into f1.

Mohammed Nadeem

Lance Stroll needs talent to settle in F1!


It’s true that Lance hasn’t had the ideal start to his F1 career but his saving grace is he hasn’t been responsible for his DNFs so he is still under the grace period

Also Lance has age on his side therefore has time to iron out the rough edges

Having said that, Lance’s mistakes in winter testing show he should have first applied his trade in F2 so as to gain the necessary experience because not everyone is born with natural talent as the majority of people only get good at their job through lots of practice

So yes, Lance has pressure on his young shoulders because the Williams car is quick therefore he can’t blame the car for not scoring points thus helping the team in the constructor’s

Overall, due to the fact Lance is paying for his seat, he has a job security therefore can go about trying to learn on the job without the fear of getting sacked.


Massa is doing to Stroll, what Alonso is doing to Vandoorne. Both experienced drivers are crushing their teammates. They both have a bit of wiggle room because of the problems they’ve faced, largely out of their control. Still, when they are on track, their pace needs to get a lot closer to their more celebrated teammates before I get too excited by either one. (Same goes for Palmer, and he’s not a rookie anymore.)


Agree, been a few races now and the inexperienced kids are putting up a poor show against their teammates, more so than in recent years.

Must be incredibly tough for Vandoorne with that PU and alongside Alonso (for now)


On Stroll the jury’s out . Think you are being slightly harsh on Stoffel there. He had a lot a pre season hampered by reliability and his season has also been hampered by reliability issues . I think Stoffel will come good he just needs a trouble free weekend with no reliability issues/lots of laps and he’ll be closer to Alonso. Can’t really blame Stoffel for his performance given his lack of running and general F1 race driver experience . Be beaten by Alonso when McLaren have so many problems is understandable as he is a genius behind the wheel. Palmer I have all but given up hope on. He’s had a year to settle in yet he still isn’t doing what he should be doing. Palmer is the one driver currently in a works team I think Kimi would definitely beat over a season -not good for Jo as an endorsement considering Kimi is past his peak and is being dismantled by Vettel at the moment.


I think they’ve made a big mistake putting him into F1 so soon. It’s difficult to judge just how good he is from his F3 results, because whoever’s paying Prema the most money wins the title, but he did look to have genuine speed. He also looked a bit wild, and therein lies the problem.

So far, Lance has looked well out of his depth in F1. One crash in winter testing is understandable. Three suggests a lack of maturity. He doesn’t seem happy with the setup and driveability of the Williams. He doesn’t look physically comfortable in the car. He keeps on flatspotting tyres horribly; his ‘great’ first lap gains in Australia were the result of missing his braking point into Turn 1.

Considering all that, though, his pace hasn’t been that bad and I wonder if there isn’t a handy F1 driver hidden under all these youthful struggles. If he can get his head down and keep out of trouble, he’ll be in a great place to learn from both Williams and Massa. I just think he needed another year or two in F2 or GP2 to knock off some of these rough edges. Only the very best drivers survive the express route to F1. Still, it’s done now and Stroll will have to live with the consequences. If he’s focused and resilient, and keeps his cool, he can yet turn it around.


Stroll’s pace has been absolutely dire so far. In Australia there was a massive 3.2% between his best qualifying lap and Massa’s. He got the gap down to a still large 0.5% in China, but in Bahrain it was back up to 1.2%. The median gap between Alonso and Massa over their time together was 0.36%, just to give some context here.
If he was up against a top talent like Hamilton, Alonso or Vettel, those gaps would be unacceptable. But he isn’t against a top talent, he is against an ageing Felipe Massa who was supposed to retire at the end of last season.

That he had success in Formula 3 is rather beside the point, plenty of drivers showed promise up to the Formula 3 level but plateaued once they hit GP2/FR3.5. Marcus Ericsson for instance won Formula BMW and Formula 3, but then spent 4 seasons in GP2 and never finished higher than 6th.


On serious note thought maybe by June July he’ll be out qualifying Massa and proving his caliber at least that what I hope.


If his poor form & bad luck continues then next year Lance would definitely be going for a stroll outside f1


Based on what I saw of last year’s F3 Euroseries (thanks to the FIA and YouTube), Stroll seems a pretty good driver. Like all drivers, he’ll improve with experience. He (and Williams) will just have to deal with the growing pains. As an aside, I wonder if F3’s devolution to a de facto spec series has hurt his preparation for F1. Of course every “official” rung on the FIA ladder has that in common, but at least F2 would be a step up in horsepower.


That’s my take. Money might buy you a good seat in F3, but you’re still going to need a good chunk of talent to defeat your rivals, who will be your teammates or in near-equivalent machinery. Stroll improved throughout his two years in F3 and took impressive control of his championship season. This has been too big a step for him, but there is talent there. Whether that’s enough remains to be seen, but the best thing he can do is have a couple of weekends at 8/10ths just to get some mileage under his belt and probably some points too, given Williams’ advantage over Renault/Force India/Haas.


Let’s not forget that his comparison is Massa, who had already retired and hasn’t impressed a lot of people in the last year. He’s a nice guy for all I know but I don’t think he has it in him to extract the last few tenths from the car and now he’s also not being pushed (forward) by his teammate anymore, so this begs the question of how fast the Williams really is. All of this combined then begs the question of how fast Stroll really is, or better worded: how steep the learning curve is he still needs to go through. It doesn’t help the whole world knows there’s a lot of financial backing for him but as James pointed out the guy won the F3 championship not because he was running around the back of the field.

I hope he proves us wrong in the next few races but all in all I’m not very impressed.


How many times do I have to tell people Massa didn’t end up retiring/unretiring at all. He postponed retirement as there were no races between Abu Dhabi ’16 and Melbourne ’17 he didn’t come out of it.


hey, if he played golf and/or went fishing between Abu Dhabi ’16 and Melb ’17 then he retired!


Other sites (f1i I think) have argued that while Sainz should shoulder blame, Stroll made an ill-judged move by not looking in the rear-view mirror. What’s your take on this James?


Stroll had plenty of time to see Carlos coming out onto the track , still behind the white line. It never registered to him that Carlos was going to be there on the inside into the corner.

Where did he think he would be? I would be wondering where he would be ? On my outside ? never.

So looking in his rear view mirror is pointless unless your a grandma. Intuition is what sets apart F1 racers from drivers. Max has shown us that age is not as limiting as we would have wanted to believe.


So I’m guessing Hamilton lacked this too at Bahrain last year when he didn’t look in his mirror to see Bottas!


we are not discussing Hamilton, we are discussing Stroll. Who in their right mind would equate the two ?


Sainz was coming from miles back, overcommitted. If he was alongside, or even close to being alongside, at turn-in you might have a point but he wasn’t. A more experienced driver might’ve taken the inside line earlier on, but basically this is two young drivers not managing an awkward situation very well. Fault has to ultimately lie with Sainz for keeping his nose in when the pass was never really on.


look at it again. If you were Carlos would you have taken the outside ? I think stroll was strolling along on the outside then he turns into Carlos. So it must be Carlos fault….. well if Crofty thinks so then it must be correct eh?


But Lance Stroll ran very wide and I believe Sainz did not deserve to be penalised


Wide or not, when looking at that corner and following the normal racing line while keeping in mind the speed they carry there, Sainz acted like he was the only one there, leaving Stroll no chance.
I don’t remember seeing an impact in a corner where one of the cars had the side pod in such a terrible state.


I said something very similar about this in the race report. Its called a lack of situational awareness, the same situational awareness that caused him to make contact with Perez in China. Its purely down to a lack of experience, plain and simple.


I read your post in the race report and agree with your reasoning there. Perez (and now Sainz) get blamed but Stroll is missing apexes by the bucketful. The other drivers just don’t know what to expect.
Compare it with experienced rush hour drivers: heavy traffic, sudden changes in speed, etc., but they all know what they’re doing and what to expect from one another.
It gets dangerous however on Easter Sunday when the twice-a-year chauffeurs hit the road. You never know when they will switch lanes, they’re doing 80 kph as opposed to your 120. Because of this even experienced drivers are more accident prone on days like that.
We see the same thing happening around Stroll.
Just hope he can adjust before too long.


Very true and I’m liking like the analogy as well.

As James said in this thread lower down, its a case of Stroll needing ‘racing laps and time in the car’. All the simulator work doesn’t prepare you for the real thing and that’s abundantly clear now.

Whilst Stroll is talented I doubt he’ll come to grips with these cars this year and I believe that would be a good thing for the sport if I’m completely honest.
Pay drivers have been a part of the fabric of Formula One for decades however having top teams such as Williams reverting to them is something the sport doesn’t need and certainly not when they’re as inexperienced and in above their head like Stroll is.


To begin with, he should really do something about his steering wheel handling. It just looks utterly nervous on onboard camera coverage. Reminds me of 1940s black and white movies with a car in the studio against a moving background image. The actors would tend to shuffle the steering wheel back and forth all the time, like see, I’m really driving!


Like Grosjean had at starts before he saw a peripheral vision specialist, you mean?


Actually with regard to the reverse sensor like beeps, the right rear beeps can play on the right ear phones while the left ear hears for beeps indicating people on the left rear and both head phones for rough straight behind. Intensity of beeping changes as per proximity just like parking sensors.


Well.. they do have large display units on the steering wheel these days. Perhaps they can have a fish eye camera feeding in the rear for just general awareness to actually start getting aware.

Also basic reverse sensor sonars (like parking guides sounds) with their beeping sounds should be put on for newbies that cover the 4 o’clock 5 o’clock.. up to 8’o clock positions using different beep tonality for different angles and offcourse changing intensity of beeps as per distance!!


Grosjean comparison apposite. Stroll has a precedent: in his first year in F3, he was banned for a race, I think, for causing crashes. He bounced back in 2016 to win the title but maybe there’s still an issue.


Really? I had no idea these people existed!!


James do you think the issue’s we’ve seen with Strolls recent retirements are a result of the higher cockpit sides and limited ability to see those around him compared to the cars he drove last season and thus a determining factor in them possibly?


They are what they are

It all happens pretty fast in F1. He needs time and racing laps

Rookies can drive quickly on a lap but you need experience to race well

There are outstanding exceptions but on the whole that has always been true


Very true and I think the regulation changes have certainly made that step up to Formula One a little bigger compared to the recent past which has had the desired effect of sorting out the men from the boys so to speak.


At least Stroll can take comfort in that Williams have provided him with a reasonably competitive machine that can finish regularly in the points………….at least in the next few races he may have a clean weekend and get on the scoring sheet.

Compare that with the other rookie, Vandoorne………….now that’s a baptism from hell! You wouldn’t wish even your worst enemy to drive that McHonda, never mind a very talented youngster. Oh dear, Stoffel…………wrong place wrong time mate. Still, life was meant to have tough periods that are “character building”…………


That’s a fair point. Vandoorne supposedly a real talent but saddled with the McLaren. He does however always have Bahrain 2016 to back him up.

Despite being somewhat disappointed with Stroll I still expect him to get it together and be beating Massa by Monza.

If not… Bottas back to Williams for 2018?!


Really looking forward to him further crushing into midfielders while making it easy for the Mercs by SCs deployment at the same time. Wondering why the wasted time by not pushing him in F1 straight after his first Go karts successful season.

Fulveo Ballabeo

None of this matters. As long as his dad’s cheques clear, Lance will have a seat in F1.


We have this impression that you have to be from modest but determined beginnings to be an F1 driver but its not really true.
Looking back in history the only people that went racing were wealthy. Those Bentley boys must have had a few bob.
Eventually wealthy people hired in a driver once they realised it was dangerous and
you would loose the ability to spend your cash by being killed.
This is probably where joe bloggs started to get a look in as someone willing and expendable.
So you have to respect Stroll’s desire to be an F1 driver with all its risks and thrills
and I would expect him to be matching or exceeding his team mate at some stage.



Eventually wealthy people hired in a driver once they realised it was dangerous and you would loose the ability to spend your cash by being killed.

So you have to respect Stroll’s desire to be an F1 driver with all its risks and thrills.

You sir/madam, have shattered moulds in my mind in ways I didnt see were possible 😀


all motor sports are expensive, right from karting up. It always has been and always will be a rich mans sport.


Try this..
Pretend that Lance isn’t from a wealthy family before offering any thoughts on his rookie year so far.
I’d say it was pretty good.
The sport needs some young blood tearing up the place.
It’s often mentioned about the importance of his team mate but I think the role of his race engineer is far more important in terms of helping him gain the experience and confidence if needs.
As to the constant references to his financial situation……who cares.
Can he drive? Yes.
Has he been a bit unlucky? Yes.
Does he need to shoulder some of the responsibility for flat spotting the tyres and needing to pit early and therefore bringing himself into the Carlos collision? Yes.
What I find really interesting is his reference to the tyres…..clearly he knows his weakness and therefore he can work on it.
The points will come once he does.


Exactly if folks didn’t know he was wealthy their reaction to him will be different.

It’s the way F1 journos have poisoned the mind of fans, most people commenting didn’t know about him till he signed for Williams and thus regurgitate what they have heard from journalists.



If people didnt know he was Wealthy.. people would be wondering how he made it to the Pinacle of motorsport while being so un prepared 😀

Craig in Manila

I think my jury is still out on this guy but, as a hypothetical, just how bad would Stroll have to be before Williams said “enough” and let him (and the cash) go ?

If he raced every race and didn’t score a single point, would they boot him ? Or is the cash just too important to them .?


They ran nakajima before who was horrible…so they will stick out with him and cash out the millions!


will stick out with him and cash out the millions!

And still barely break even with the likely drop in the Constructors standings and not to mention the perception amongst fans that Williams have sold their soul…Each to their own though right?


Lance Stroll should be within 2 tenths of Massa and in the points already. He is slow, the guy has had more testing KMs than others debuting in F1. I get the impression he lacks situational awareness and has bad peripheral vision, especially in China – most other mid field drivers would have assumed someone would try a move where Perez did, and there was enough space for 2 cars. He looks forward only.

He had a brake failure in Melbourne, this was do to his driving and not some random event. The over use of brakes will burn them out.

Unless they need his money, I would kick him to curb if he doesn’t improve his raw pace soon. Winning F3 means nothing in F1, it’s merely a door,, there are multiple examples of Champions in lower formulae (eg: GP3, GP2) that didn’t make it in F1 and were let go

He is slow, and he has not impressed. I would rather give a guy like WEHRLEIN that seat


James I think Stroll has been unlucky so far with the all the incidents he has encountered in races so far . I think he will get there if learns to smooth out his driving style as Lance makes a lot of sudden movements of the steering wheel from when I have seen when seeing onboard footage with him . He will get faster and gain performance if he reduces those unnecessary wheel movements- in fact its very similar to Massa in his rookie year in 2002 in that respect . He needs to smoothen his driving style out because I think the potential is there but it’s now a case of extracting that potential for Lance now. really wish him well and despite the scepticism of other F1 fans I think he will come good during the season. Williams is good team for him to learn in.


i am confident lance stroll knows a lot more about driving f1 cars than you.


Considering the length of Strolls resume, that’s debatable….


are you suggesting that its possible for a fan to know more about racing than lance stroll?


Everything seems to be happening too fast for him right now. You look at the shots of his wheel from within the cockpit and he’s fighting the car the entire lap. I’m guessing he’s mashing the brake pedal too. Would love to see the telemetry compared with Massa.

At the post race interviews in Bahrain he looked lost and like a little boy suddenly in a mans world. Zero of the confidence and self belief of Verstappen or Ocon both of similar age.

Mind you I’m seemingly the only person on the planet that thinks Sainz shouldn’t have been punished for his incident with Stroll!! So what do I know! :o)

For all the world that incident looked like a pure racing incident. Sainz joining the track from the pit lane had no alternative but to take the tight inside line because Stroll had gone out super wide and very deep into the corner.

If that’s Stroll normal line through the first corner then no wonder he’s 6/10ths a lap down to Massa.

50/50 for me all the way and if pushed to apportion blame I’d come down on Stroll.


I agree with you on the Sainz incident.. and I think Stroll was at fault himself as well (but not that he should have been penalised).


I think your interpretation of the crash is a bit weird. Stroll’s clearly on the clean line and seemed to take the same line Bottas and Hamilton in qualifying. Following Sainz’s onboard, at no point does the move look ‘on’ to me. It’s like he’s just expecting Stroll to stop and let him in . It’s bizarre and out of character for Sainz. The timing and position of the two cars was awkward and I suspect he just didn’t get out of it soon enough to make the corner. He was certainly going to go very deep had Stroll not been there to hit.


Kenny from the TV shots I’ve seen Stroll seems to go very deep into the corner and turn in late. To me that’s opening the door for Sainz.

My whole defense of Sainz is based on Stroll going in deeper, perhaps he missed his braking point? But if there’s an overhead shot or telemetry that shows me he’s taking the same line as everyone else then I’ll gladly change my mind.

It’s just not how I see it with the evidence I’ve seen.

Devils Advocate

I’m seemingly the only person on the planet that thinks Sainz shouldn’t have been punished for his incident with Stroll!!

Nope mate, you are not the only one 😉


Yes, even David Coultard has mentioned a few times that Lance is overly “busy” on the wheel, which is just a tactful way of saying that he’s wobbling all over the place. If you watch someone like, say, Hamilton, the steering inputs are much more steady and precise. I don’t really get why Stroll would be struggling that much with the physical job of steering with high g-force loads – I mean, surely he must have trained hard for the season, building up the strength in his shoulders and arms? Frankly, I don’t envy the position he’s in. There’s nowhere to hide out there. All your mistakes are plainly visible to everyone, from multiple camera angles. If you’re not up to the job, everyone knows it, including other drivers.


Agreed, whenever we get the onboard camera for stroll you can see how much he is struggling with the car, like its too much to handle…. And not just in the physic but in the mental as well, shouldn’t be easy for him to take all that pressure.

And yes, I also think it was not Sainz entire fault, he saw the opportunity to go inside since stroll was open, I think any other driver in the grid today would see Sainz and leave space then recover and try to attack in the next corner, or even easier with the power that william’s mercedes engine has, but the way Stroll cross the car infront of Sainz seems to me like he didn’t even see him.

Anyway, I did give the benefit of the doubt to Stroll, but I’m really changing my mind now because he has show in this 3 races and pre-season… But I just see him and Williams as a paid driver in a little team now.


Your correct. Carlos was not to blame. Stroll made a rookie error and got away with it thanks in part to Danny Sullivan who was the race steward.


stroll was penalised..


tell me it wasn’t Danny again!
Why do they let someone that can only turn left into race control?
After Russia two years ago, they should have banned him from going anywhere near a GP

Ricciardo Aficionado

I wonder if Max might have struggled a little more coming into this generation of cars?
Stroll hasn’t really made headlines so far this year. So I guess that’s a good thing.
I hope he can maximise his performance in coming races. I think he has speed but he’s got a steep curve ahead of him. His dad has earned him a spot in F1. And now the son must live up to his debts.


verstappen had a former f1 driver for a father who taught him all he needed to know from birth.
unfair comparison..

Ricciardo Aficionado

Unfair maybe but inevitable for sure given their ages.
You make a good point about Max’s upbringing.
That was his advantage, Stroll’s father is also his.


the verstappen didn’t only have funding but technical knowledge too.
that’s the difference…

Ricciardo Aficionado

I’d say a bigger difference is their talent.


we’ll see how their maiden seasons compare in november..

Tornillo Amarillo

Also Sainz is the son of a super rally champion, and what about Rosbergs, Hills, Piquet jr was in F1, Mick Schumi is coming, so of course that’s OK.


F1 has seen its share of talentless drivers, this is just another one.
Where have you seen “speed” in his performance to date in F1?


on track…


He’s been a good four tenths to one second slower than Massa, but considering how ill at ease he looks with the setup and how physically uncomfortable he looks in the car, that’s probably not bad.

His pace was only average to begin with in F3, but he got faster and faster. Setting up and managing an F3 car is far, far simpler than an F1 car though, and he’d have had a lot of support. I think it’s too early to write him off, but he’s going to need a lot of help from Williams.


Correct me if I am wrong but you don’t arrive into F1 with the notion that your going to use it as a grounds for improvement, you arrive into F1 because your simply special and your the best in the world.

Williams have made a serious error , and the are not the only team, in signing a driver for the cash they bring first and the talent second. Williams needs help from their racer, not the other way round.

This is not what F1 needs, its not what F1 is about.

Ricciardo Aficionado

Bit melodramatic don’t you think?
This is what F1 has always been about.

Ricciardo Aficionado

Testing, I think he showed a glimpse of pace in between wiping out entire days with a crash. Maybe it was too fast for him.
But anyway, it’s too early to make a call on his talent.


As a director of a corporation I would have made the call last week. I can’t believe we are even discussing this.

Ricciardo Aficionado

Yeah well as a director of a corporation you can hide behind the notion that your only obligation is to a horde of faceless shareholders and therefore would probably never have to take personal responsibility for backing out of a multi million dollar agreement less than a third of the way into the contract.
Good for you.
Claire Williams has her name on the door and therefore bares the repercussions of her actions.


I wonder if Max might have struggled a little more coming into this generation of cars?

I think this fact is something that many people overlook when making the inevitable comparison with Verstappen.
The higher g-force loads that come with the far higher cornering speeds on this years cars certainly make them more physically demanding to drive compared to the ones MV made his debut with.
Not only that but other factors such as the complexity of the cars themselves (particularly the understanding of what exactly that steering wheel can do with its multitude of options) and its little wonder the kid is floundering.
I personally witnessed Stroll drive in Melbourne and it did appear that the car was actually driving him for the most part and that’s sad to see.

MV inexperience showed in his first two seasons and whilst I was very vocal about his debut at such a young age initially he certainly has enjoyed a steep learning curve and the hype it would seem was warranted. I’m sure though that if he made his debut now it would be a very different story, as young Stroll is now realising.

Claire Williams has put herself between a rock and a hard place by signing the kid with the backing of his fathers money and I’m sure Williams be having some sleepless nights as to what can be done if he continues to struggle to the degree he has thus far.

I’ve said before and James himself alluded to it in the above article, Formula One isn’t a place you come to learn and gather experience, its the place where you apply the experience you’ve accumulated elsewhere.

Senna was once quoted as saying that without the time and effort spent learning in the lower Formulas, garnering that knowledge and experience , that he would never have been able to have the successful career that he did.

Carey (or was it Brawn?) has come out in the press saying that he wants to see the best drivers occupy every single seat on the grid moving forward and the only way that can be achieved is to distribute the funds evenly to all teams so that pay drivers aren’t a pre-requisite for teams to be able to line up on the grid come the season opener.

I wish Stroll all the luck in the world moving forward, he’s going to need every single ounce of it (and every single cent of his fathers money)!


Ross said it and he was absolutely correct. Carey has no clue.
As for luck I think it was Ron Dennis who repeatedly said ” lick has nothing to do with it” and I am afraid he was right as well.

Ricciardo Aficionado

Nice essay Sars.

Imagine Max rear ending Grosjean in Monaco if he was driving one of these cars!
But yes, the hype was worth it. A rare occasion these days, so another reason this season is potentially “All-Time”.

Unless the redistribution of funds leads to 10 teams fighting for the championship, I don’t think there’s any point having the world’s best twenty two drivers in the Formula. As it stands (maybe) only six ever have a shot at the title. After the top six you can put the “up and coming” drivers in (another six). After that the proven (but past it) veterans,(another six or seven). And then the rest are generally just filler. Might as well get them to pay for the privilege. Apart from the up and comers, who else wants to ply their trade in a Sauber?
The path to Formula 1 is pretty narrow. It is more than likely that at least half of the World’s top ten drivers are outside of Formula 1 anyway.

Stroll and Massa looks like a rather dire pairing superficially but I think the “out of retirement” veteran paired with billionaire’s “green like a fresh blade of grass, teenage son” has an interesting dynamic.
That relationship (if there is one) could provide a noteworthy narrative to the season. Stroll’s progress alone should be worth following. He’s already received his fair share of luck at birth. Now we’ll see what he can do for himself.


You mentioned very specifically “As it stands (maybe) only six ever have a shot at the title. After the top six you can put the “up and coming” drivers in (another six). After that the proven (but past it) veterans,(another six or seven). And then the rest are generally just filler.” – would you name the drivers in each category please?

Ricciardo Aficionado

Ok I’ll give it a go.
My numbers are pretty rubbery but I stand by the categories.

WC Potential
(Guys you’d put in your car if you had a shot at the title)


“Up n Comers”
Young, credibility intact.


Veterans or “Pros”
(a safe pair of hands, proven pace (once) but just a point sweeper nowadays if the conditions are right)





Ric as WC potential ?


Pay drivers are here to stay. Redistribute all you want, when the competition is spending 4 for your every one the likes of Stroll Maldon ado and Ericsson will continue having seats


Unfortunately you’re probably correct Rafa however you’d like to think that with more money from the owners that the need to take on those drivers would require far more thought about whether the pros outweigh the cons from the teams.
If you have two drivers of equal ability the one that can bring a large sponsorship will nearly always win over the one that brings the talent alone, money talks after all, although it would be great for the sport if it was the ‘ability’ that was always the deciding factor moving forward.
How that can be achieved, well, that’s anyone’s guess….


Lance Stroll reminds me Nelsinho Piquet a lot.
Obviouly at this point maybe it would hv been better for Papa Stroll to deal a FP1 session only for Lance and buy shares of WilliamsF1.
I believe this paradigm of domination in lower/access formula being good for a F1 rookie.
I didn’t follow Lance’s F3 season but if he had the best equipment and ran alone all year, maybe it caused a lack of racecraft on fighting for positions and sharing the track w/ other drivers.
@China collision, Lance was behaving like he was racing alone, with the track just for him. Obviously Lance wasn’t expecting Perez to dive in the apex, otherwise he would take a wide trajectory. The same Perez that did that dive bomb over Kimi at Monaco.
@Bahrein collision, again Lance was a sitting duck on the apex. Sainz clearly at fault, but a brake lock up with cold tires was very foreseeable. So it would be better to take the wide trajectory again.
But I will cut some slack bcs at Lance’s in car camera footage I couldn’t see Sainz out of pits.
For instance, at the start of the race Vettel overtook Lewis while he was in the inside line a had to brake much earlier than Vettel, to avoid a collision.

Also you can notice Lance is afraid bcs he’s been to agressive talking to the press.
IMO that goes beyong the lack of “midia trainning”.
With the new rules, the jump from F3 to F1 has become more challenging, but we will see at Barcelona where the Winter Testing championship was held.
I support Bruno Senna, but when he failed at the Barcelona qualy on a Lotus I understood he wasn’t F1 material… sadly.


Regarding Stroll’s F3 championship year, the field was pretty open for the first three races and then he took charge for the rest of the season, taking the title by a very long way indeed. I wouldn’t say he was racing alone, but two of his three nearest rivals were teammates and I’m not sure whether Prema employ a cash-based pecking order.

His first year in Euro F3 is perhaps more instructive. He struggled quite badly in the first half of the season, with a few ding-dong scraps along the way. He improved dramatically in the second half of the season, scoring several podiums and his first win at that level. I do think he’s in F1 a few years too early, but he probably does have the speed. He just needs some tidying up and a lot of learning.

I can’t agree about the Bahrain crash, though. If we’re asking drivers to leave room on the apex for cars that far back, we might as well ban defensive moves altogether.


unfortunately for Lance, perception is reality.
And the reality is that he hasn’t finished a race yet and he needs to do so pretty soon or the reality will be that he’s perceived as a dud an there endeth his F1 career.

Tornillo Amarillo

Max Chilton finishing more races than he’s started is not what we can love, can we?


@Deweberis –

[i]”I didn’t follow Lance’s F3 season but if he had the best equipment and ran alone all year, maybe it caused a lack of racecraft on fighting for positions and sharing the track w/ other drivers.
@China collision, Lance was behaving like he was racing alone, ” [/i]

Interesting Observation!


he must’ve done well to set up the car for running ahead of the field most of the time..


so that makes him the next Vettel, apparently he can only win from the front and doesn’t have the skill/fortitude for wheel to wheel racing… apparently!


Funny enough Vettel is not winning from the front this year, it’s Hamilton who can only win from the front!


I think the real problem with F1 is that everyone wants to believe they have found the next Verstappen not realising that God broke the mould after Max was created. I wish Stroll well but like I heard Mark Webber say running in F3 from pole is much different from racing in the F1 pack where nearly everyone has proved himself a winner.


f3 is surely different from f1 but errol has earned his f1 place and he will get better.


I don’t hold out much hope, but hey I won’t be upset if proven wrong.


Second that.


Stroll is the Enrique Bernoldi to Verstappen’s Kimi Raikkonen. A single, prodigious talent appears every 5-10 years then others grandstand on the back of them. Paul Tracy’s comment about Marco Andretti will apply in a year or 2.


I just don’t understand all your references. What did Tracy say about Marco? This sentence is also unclear to me.

Stroll is the Enrique Bernoldi to Verstappen’s Kimi Raikkonen.


@Red Rider – “This sentence is also unclear to me” – Stroll is the Enrique Bernoldi to Verstappen’s Kimi Raikkonen.

Enrique Bernoldi entered formula 1 roughly in the same years as Kimi.. Yet today we all know Kimi, while some of us have to google Enrique to remember (atleast I did).

So 15-20 years hence, the world will surely remember Max V, but perhaps not Lance Stroll.

Tracy, who’s noticed years of Marco’s participation on teams also named “Andretti” and a bunch of unremarkable, non-Andretti-like results, isn’t even convinced Marco deserves any ride:

Well, I don’t know if there’s anywhere else [Marco] can go. The only other ride I could see him getting is maybe with UBER


Thanks Nomad, thanks for taking the time.


Well, I don’t know if there’s anywhere else [Marco] can go. The only other ride I could see him getting is maybe with Uber.


Still too early to be overly harsh, but put Antonio in the car & what would we see?

I think it’s too much too soon for Lance. Daddy might save his career, but is that really the point?


I’m not sure that F1 actually isn’t a finishing school. If you look at say Alonso or Vettel, even Button, they spent a couple of years learning their craft in the midfield. Even Lewis honed his race craft a bit despite walking into a top team, he was a very different driver when he won the 2014 championship to when he won in 2008.

Same goes for Schumacher, who was rather much like Verstappen when he debuted (fast but overly aggressive on the track), but honed his skills a bit before he really began to come into form in 1994.

Generally though, the top drivers tend to stand out when they come into the sport, Stroll at this stage doesn’t stand out to me.


Alonso Webber raikkonen all were super fast and proved their mettle when they started in f1. Look at Kimi debut season to what stroll is doing now. You don’t need to be a scientist to figure out the difference.


Well when Vettel started in ’07 how many string of crashes did he have before he had a breakthrough at Valencia and then went on to win 4WDC’s so why not wait and see!


Generally though, the top drivers tend to stand out when they come into the sport, Stroll at this stage doesn’t stand out to me.

That is a powerful comment which disqualifies alternative thoughts I was having. What I want to know is, who exactly is his “COACH” ? Is it his main set-up engineer?

When for example, Lewis debuted at Mclaren in 2007, who was Lewis’ “Coach”? was it his Main Set up engineer? If so, could Lewis’ side of the garage benefitted by simply filling gaps in set up knowledge from Alonso’s side of the garage?

Perhaps setup data from Massa’s side of the garage is not suiting Stroll’s driving style while he struggles to figure out his own Setup.

So I am asking again if anyone has heard about who exactly Coaches Lance Stroll for his races?


I believe in the case of Stroll, he has an actual coach, not just his team of engineers.

When he left the Ferarri Driver Acadamy, he took one of the Ferrari coaches with him, as a personal coach.

As for Lewis, he had actual coaches as well. I’m doing a terrible disservice to the man, and I mean no disrespect, but I forget the gentleman’s name…Aki something, he passed away last year.

There’s another guy, he has some YouTube vids. He worked a lot with Kimi when he was still in his early years.


Hamilton’s coach at McLaren was Aki Hintsa. He was helping the drivers to develop their mental and emotional strength to translate their raw talent into disciplined race wins. He was previous the personal coach for Hakkinen and for Raikkonen, and later also for Hamilton. It is said that Hintsa played a key role within the ‘inner circle’ around Hamilton and that he was often the first person Hamilton would go to in times of stress.


It’s hard to judge his performance on such a small number of laps, I thought he was partly responsible for the collision with Perez, but think Sainz was to blame on Sunday. For me the bigger question is why is a team like Williams having to take drivers like Stroll? The much promised redistribution of funds can’t come soon enough.


Who would you replace him with? Who can add a tenth through driving ability alone? Alonso says he can, but Williams would have to pay $50 mill for him or someone similar, instead they chose Stroll who brings $50 mill, a nett gain of $100 mill… that buys you two tenths, so you’re better off with the pay driver.


Axwl, I think Fernando has more than a couple of tenths over Stroll, but I see the point you are making. I just wish a team like Williams could go f or the best driver available, rather than having to allow finance to come into it. I would rather see someone of the Perez/Hulkenberg calibre in that seat than any rookie.


2/10ths relative to whom?


I guess he means 2/10th relative to a Williams without the extra development boosted by Stroll’s (Sr.) money.


Think he means 2/10ths in development!


Williams compared to some teams have a pretty decent budget. They are no where near as close to going to to the wall as the other teams


Stephen, yes that’s correct, and yet they still have Stroll. I don’t think they would have taken him if they didn’t need the money, disappointing decision from them.


What small number of laps? He did pre season testing too. Plus all the sessions in all 3 race weekends. He is very likable guy no doubt, but his performance so far puts him in the same category as Palmer. For Stroll, I’d give him the benefit of doubt for two more races and if he still doesn’t perform to the expectation, he doesn’t deserve his drive.


Formula, he crashed twice in testing as well. He has plenty of time to improve, but I think it’s too early to judge.


I simply do not understand what goes through the mind of Claire Williams to think this kid is good to have around. They already have one weak driver in Massa so can’t afford Stroll. Whatever $$ he’s bringing, such a weak driver combo will cost them massively in lost TV revenue because of their lowly constructors championship performance, compared to where they would be with two good drivers.

Tornillo Amarillo


I would say Lance Stroll needs nothing… just Learn as a rookie & it’s what he is doing! Nobody even Williams were expecting any different from him!


I find Stroll being in F1 entertaining. I’m actually quite amazed how bold he is in the opening laps. I mean his steering is so wobbly and unstable but he can still push with such a confidence. I just want to see him finish a race.


I think they deserve where they end up. Promoting mediocrity over talent. I will be really happy when they end up in behind force India. Force India never put a slow pay driver in their car.


Agree on the drivers but the mediocrity that is killing Williams is having to run a customer Merc PU, and that sadly goes for any team with a customer PU who will never win another race in F1.


How about Red Bull?
Will they, or did they win a race being a customer?


Massa weak? Geez man, talk about high standards… I mean, he may not be the guy that so nearly won the 2008 world championship, but he is showing pretty well for a bloke that applied for his bus pass last year.


Could not agree more with ‘Big-H” and “Tornillio” above. Don’t think some folks really read and/or understand articles, then they go ahead and hammer drivers? ?

This reader appreciates the balance in the JA offerings. For example, of the three “races” thus far James writes: “. . . with a brake problem after 40 laps in Australia, then a collision in China at the start and another in Bahrain which was judged by stewards to be 100% Carlos Sainz’ fault. . .” that should lead a reasonable person to understand that two out of three issues weren’t anything to do with an individual’s performance or talent. One piece of wisdom from Dad might apply here – his words were to the effect of: “. . .sometimes it is better to keep one’s mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt. . .”

Oh, and then there’s the qualifying performance which JA also noted. As well as the comment about F-1 not being exactly a “finishing school” sorta crucible.


that should lead a reasonable person to understand (…)

Garrett, more and more it seems that “reasonable” is getting out of fashion, even obsolete. Good luck with your appeal to a balanced, non-extremist approach 🙄.

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Multi award winning Formula One photographer
Multi award winning Formula One photographer

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