Williams's Lance Stroll finds criticism of tough F1 start 'funny'

Williams driver Lance Stroll finds the criticism he has received during a difficult start to his rookie Formula 1 season "funny"

Williams's Lance Stroll finds criticism of tough F1 start 'funny'

The 18-year-old has failed to score a point in the first five races of the 2017 campaign, retiring in the first three events before finishing 11th in Russia and 16th in Spain.

His team-mate Felipe Massa has scored points three times and sits ninth in the table with 18 points to his name.

Stroll had a first-lap collision with Sergio Perez in China after making it through the final part of qualifying, clashed with Carlos Sainz Jr in Bahrain and had a first-lap spin in Russia.

In Spain, he finished more than 11.5 seconds behind Massa despite making one fewer pitstops and having been more than 50s ahead of him on lap two after the Brazilian was involved in a first-lap incident.

"Obviously I come from a background that when I win, people try and put me down, and when I lose, people try and put me down," Stroll said.

"I accept that and I actually find it kind of funny.

"But whatever, that's out of my control, I'm focused on what I'm doing.

"I'm enjoying my time in F1, I'm enjoying the experience, I'm here competing at 18 years old and it's very special.

"I'm just taking it race by race."

Stroll came into F1 as the reigning Europea Formula 3 champion, and also won the 2014 Italian Formula 4 title.

He said there was "obviously pressure" in F1 but "nothing more than in the past".

"I won my championships to get here," he said. "I'm here and it's my first five races, and it's been a bit tricky.

"It doesn't just change everything. There's still a long season ahead of me.

"There's been opportunity for points. In certain races we had bad luck, in Russia I made a mistake on lap one, and there were definitely points there."

Stroll arrives in Monaco with experience of the Pau and Macau street circuits from F3.

He said his expectations were "neutral" for his Monte Carlo debut, for which he has asked Massa for advice.

"I don't want to come into it negatively, thinking that I'm going to struggle," he said.

"I'm coming into it thinking it's new, it's challenging, it's going to take time.

"If I get surprised with my performance then great, if not, we will work from there."

Williams technical boss Paddy Lowe says Stroll has faced "enormous pressure" from external sources.

"He's a driver with a lot of expectation around him, not just from people close to him, but even more from across the paddock," said Lowe.

"There's a lot of spotlight on how he got here, and does he really deserve the drive, and all of those things."

shares
comments
Sauber F1 team completes delayed upgrade package for Monaco GP

Previous article

Sauber F1 team completes delayed upgrade package for Monaco GP

Next article

Jenson Button: Doing Bahrain F1 test would've been 'useless'

Jenson Button: Doing Bahrain F1 test would've been 'useless'
Load comments
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Plus

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1’s elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he’s recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton Plus

How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton

OPINION: The Italian GP clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen followed a running theme in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight. Their close-quarters battles have often resulted in contact - and although Hamilton has shown a willingness to back off, Verstappen must learn to temper his aggression

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Two drivers produced maximum-score performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left several others ruing what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash Plus

Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash

The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates Plus

Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates

For the second time in 2021, McLaren will line up for the start of a grand prix from the first row. It knows it has the chance of “glory” if things go well for Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris at the start of the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, but even if they just maintain their grid positions, signs from the rest of the Monza weekend suggest success is very possible for Formula 1’s other orange army

Formula 1
Sep 12, 2021