Lance Stroll, Williams, Circuit de Catalunya, 2017

Bottas gets quicker as Stroll crashes again

2017 F1 season

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A flying lap by Valtteri Bottas left Mercedes just 0.024 seconds away from hitting F1’s target of improving lap times by five seconds.

However Ferrari continued to keep pace with Mercedes on the third day of pre-season testing at the Circuit de Catalunya. Sebastian Vettel got within a quarter of a second of the Mercedes driver’s time.

He did it while completing the highest lap time of any individual driver of the test so far. However his test came to an end a few minutes before the chequered flag was due to fall, when his Ferrari stopped on the start/finish straight.

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2017
F1 testing day three in pictures
None of the other runners got within a second of those times. Daniel Ricciardo ended up third quickest but as on his first day spent a long spell in the Red Bull garage.

The Renault pair of Jolyon Palmer and Nico Hulkenberg were next, sharing driving duties in the team’s RS17. Palmer had a minor spin at turn three during the first hour of the test.

Williams newcomer Lance Stroll had a more significant accident, and his second in as many days. The FW40 made contact with the barrier on the inside of turn nine on the driver’s 98th lap.

Stroll’s crash interrupted Mercedes’ race simulation exercise which was performed by Lewis Hamilton. The team passed the 2,000 kilometre mark during today’s running at which point only two other teams, Ferrari and Sauber, had done half as much.

Force India test driver Alfonso Celis spent the day in the team’s VJM10 and logged a race distance.

Pos.Car numberDriverTeamModelBest timeGapLaps
177Valtteri BottasMercedesW081’19.70575
25Sebastian VettelFerrariSF70H1’19.9520.247139
33Daniel RicciardoRed BullRB131’21.1531.44870
430Jolyon PalmerRenaultRS171’21.3961.69151
527Nico HulkenbergRenaultRS171’21.7912.08642
69Marcus EricssonSauberC361’21.8242.119126
744Lewis HamiltonMercedesW081’22.0902.38595
88Romain GrosjeanHaasVF-171’22.1182.41355
918Lance StrollWilliamsFW401’22.3512.64698
1014Fernando AlonsoMcLarenMCL321’22.5982.89372
1155Carlos Sainz JnrToro RossoSTR121’23.5403.83532
1234Alfonso CelisForce IndiaVJM101’23.5683.86371
1326Daniil KvyatToro RossoSTR121’23.9524.24731

2017 F1 season

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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78 comments on “Bottas gets quicker as Stroll crashes again”

  1. Once again no mention of tire compounds used? Seriously? The Ferrari was on the soft, Mercedes on ultra soft. Two compounds difference, how is that not worth mentioning? Seems pretty important to me.

    1. Well the fuel level is just as important and we cant really know. The testing times are just testing times.

      1. We don’t know the fuel level but we know the tyres they were on so could be mentioned however it’s not hard to find the tyres used with a simple search to then give a vague comparison.

      2. @rethla
        Well at least we know what the tyres are (whereas the fuel levels are a mystery to almost everyone).

    2. @jfever78 i’m kinda mystified if there is like a real big elephant in the room i’m failing to see? I mean beyond the usual ‘don’t know till last day’, ‘don’t know till second test’, ‘don’t know till melbourne fp1’, ‘don’t know till q3’, ‘don’t know till raceday’, ‘melbourne is kinda specific, we won’t really know till the european season’, ‘can’t judge performance till after the summerbreak’ talk? it gets kinda hard not to get hopeful for ferrari

      1. “it gets kinda hard not to get hopeful for ferrari” no offence but I genuinely question the sanity of anyone who sees these times and think Ferrari are on the up and up.

        The same ferrari constantly showing “great pace” at or near the top in FP1 FP2 and FP3 most weekends?
        The same ferrari who essentially showed similar performance this time last year?
        The same ferrari who have been pretty tosh (by their standards) for 5/6 seasons?

        Short memory, eh ;)

        1. Basically Ferrari are showboaters in non-competitive settings; it protects the management and minimises complaints from the Tifosi.. when stakes are involved and everyone turns it up to 100 I’d put money on the fact that Ferrari are a distant 3rd or even 4th best this season.. they will then have the litany of excuses they always have. #yawn

          1. @timi i don’t recall this sort of tyregap from last year. Also, Ferrari looked capable of winning races early on in the season if not for botched strategies. I’m still convinced the uncompetitevness later in the season was because they basically lost their chief designer during the first flyaways when Allison’s wife died and noone was there to develop the car.

        2. @timi So, let me get this straight. What you are saying is, it’s insane to think Ferrari could have gotten it right for once?
          I see the times, the compounds used, the approximate fuel loads, I read opinion pieces by different spotters on the track how the car handles around different corners compared to the Mercs, and it is my complete insanity that says “hey, Ferrari are not shabby, not shabby at all this year”. What if it weren’t a team called Ferrari, but a team called Red Bull doing the same stints? Would you still think this?

        3. Ferrari would of won Australia 2016 but for a strategy error so this testing last year was not far off. Its clear however they all wish they had a chassis like McLaren.

      2. @mrboerns .. sorry.. assumed “reply” would auto-tag the person you are replying to

        1. Now that’s a good idea!

    3. Personally I don’t find the lap times worth mentioning at all, let alone what tyres they’re on.

      All that matters in such a summary to me for testing is the laps column. More familiarity for the drivers, more data for the teams to aid development and to dial in correlation with the simulator to help with setups. That last point most important of all I think, it’s the difference between the team getting to the track and the drivers saying they just can’t get anything working or saying the car’s really dialed in, which can make or break a championship.

      Lap times at this point mean relatively nothing at all.

      1. Well that’s what people said about brawn…

        1. Ferrari topped the time sheets last year…

          1. One a softer compound to tho – not the other way around this year. There’s a difference

        2. I ‘memba :D

      2. Well yeah I’m aware of all that, but we have a rough idea of the differences between compounds, so listing them at least takes one more question out of it. If we knew fuel loads, should they not be included? Why show lap times at all, if you’re not going to give all the information?

      3. Nonsense. The pecking order is generally pretty visible after the end of the pre season tests. Sure, there are a couple of teams (Mercedes and red bull in particular) who sandbag. Sometimes teams get their act together between pre season tests and the start of the season.. like Mclaren did in 2012 or Red Bull did after a disastrous 2014 pre season test. But in general, the pre season tests give you a very good picture of the pecking order.

  2. There are stories out there that Ferrari might have deliberately run the car out of fuel to have fuel usage data for the race. Is this legal? You would assume letting cars just stop on the track because they run out of fuel would be extremely dangerous to other drivers.

    1. @ducpham2708 The teams have done this forever. You just see less of it now because track time is so valuable. This allows them to calibrate their system. Or in other words, allows them to know for sure when they will run out of fuel.

    2. Just testing. Whenever a car breaks down a red flag is brought out. And Seb put it pretty close to the start finish line on the inside.
      And considering you need at least 1.5 kilo’s after a session for the FIA to take a sample I won’t think any of it. Just testing the limit and seeing how the new PU compares in fuel to the old one.

    3. @ducpham2708
      Yes it’s legal, they all do it. Not sure why they’d do it now instead of on a filming day, but then I’m not an F1 engineer.

  3. Almost tempted to create

    1. you’re too late

    2. @redbullf1I saw that is already reserved.

          1. ExcitedAbout17
            1st March 2017, 17:37

            Sorry, I did not refresh before posting.

          2. Omg haha !




    3. You know as a Canadian I was really hoping he had potential. I know he bought his way in, but I’d still like to have a Canadian to cheer for. Always hated Jacques, and Gilles was before my time, so it’d be nice, but I gotta say not looking too good so far…

      1. Gilles was my childhood hero, but this Stroll fella makes Jacques look like World Champion material. Oh, wait a minute…

  4. mark jackson
    1st March 2017, 17:18

    Lancetor Strolldonado

    1. Hahaha, I was thinking of something similar.

      Hopefully the rookie proves he can distance himself from that stereotype, not looking good though.

      1. Well, if we take an optimistic view – Maldonado has as many wins as Verstappen! :)

      2. Looking forward to Lance in the rain tomorrow! ;)

  5. So the conclusion for today is Palmer is a faster driver than Hamilton, we can always learn the unexpectable from those test sessions.

    1. mark jackson
      1st March 2017, 17:43

      And Bottas 2.3 seconds faster than Hamilton IN THE SAME CAR. I always knew Lewis was overrated. :p

  6. It seems Ferrari are faster than Mercedes so maybe the rule changes have managed to nobble Mercedes.

    1. Expect Ferrari to trail Mercedes again

      1. As a Ferrari fan I believe it when I see it. Next week all cars will be a few seconds faster at least. Some more than others. Holding on to 3rd seems promising, touching Merc performance is possible but more chance they will be behind. Red Bull also will be very fast come Australia.

  7. This is getting embarasing for Stroll…. and he had another off earlier in the day too at T4 that caused a brief redflag. So that’s 3 in 2 days now.

    The guy is 18, which is really young in general, and I think he might not be ready for F1 yet. Sure with Verstappen there were the same questoins but Verstappen got signed by the RedBull jr program because of his talent, not for money reasons. Verstappen also subsequently proved he belongs and then some, whereas Stroll now has crashed 3 times.

    I guess not every teenage kid is the same…

    1. @jeffreyj he should go to mclaren. Imagine the thrill wondering if he will manage to crash before the engine dies on him

      1. Haha, that would be great, he should swap with Alonso so he can rematch with Massa.

      2. Aw, so mean! :O)

    2. And also, the 2017 cars are supposedly harder to master. But I think since this is testing, we still give him the benefit of doubt. Time will tell if he will become a (as someone mentioned here) a “Diet Maldonado”. However, today he’s not a very popular guy amongst the Williams mechanics !

    3. Did you forget that Verstappen crashed during a show car event, before he even got to testing?

      1. But he never crashed during testing..

      2. Crashed during a show event? He literally just touched the barrier when the anti-stall kicked in. Comparing that to three huge spins on track is ridiculous.

    4. Don’t write him off. Its testing and he’s a teenager who’s driving F1 cars that are gonna be difficult for Alonso and others. People are so quick to judge. Give him a chance at least and when he does screw up (which he will) dont bury him under the ‘pay driver’ thing. All rookie drivers make mistakes. Some big some small but they all do it

    5. @jeffreyj I think we should give Stroll a chance, but comparing with Verstappen is harsh – I think Verstappen is a talent very rarely seen – I mean, how many of the present F1 champions driving have had rules named after them or made specifically because of them:-)

      1. Well, to be honest we didn’t need these silly infinity of “how to race” rules back then, usually common sense prevailed. :)
        But comparing Lance with Max is nonsense, they are in different leagues

        1. “But comparing Lance with Max is nonsense, they are in different leagues”

          Then why is he in F1 now?
          Why not have him learn his treat in GP3 and GP2 and then, if he’s good enough compared to his peers, get him to F1 in 2 or 3 years.

          1. Strollvwas good in junior formula. This years cars will be the fastest ever. Maybe unfortunate timing as last few years a number of toung drivers could come in and drive F1 cars without issues. Back in 2007 Hamilton had a huge crash in testing and this years cars will be much faster than 2007. Maybe the perceived driver order will be altered as only Alonso, Raikkonen and Massa were around in 2004 when the cars around this tears cars performance.

    6. On the positive side, he just needs to complete a side impact collision to gain his Euro NCAP rating.

    7. ” Hello Aami ( geico etc) my name is Stroll, I’d like to arrange some insurance for my sons company car”.

  8. Damn, I kept thinking of Williams while reading about Bottas. Only when I reached the end of the article I recalled he is Mercedes now.
    I have to read it all over again now.

  9. I know all of the reasons: costs, etc. but I can’t help but think what a shame it is that young drivers don’t get extra testing time. Think about the advantage that drivers like Hamilton, Vettel, Alonso, Rosberg, etc. had via their extensive F1 non-race testing and training in their rooking and early years.

    1. Stroll SR paid for the Williams 2014 car+ crew to run at Malaysia for a private test for his son about a month ago….. The kid has plenty of milage in a modern F1 car.

    2. Did Hamilton have 20000 km testing before 2007? Merc have done just over 2000km in 3 days so thats like 30 days of 150 laps a day testing.

      1. Hamilton had over 10.000km. There was unlimited testing back then remember.

        1. The Hamilton rookie miles increase by the years. Facepalm.

  10. So do we know yet what was the problem with the Ferrari?

    1. Intentionally ran out of fuel.

  11. Regarding Crash Strolldonado, as I wrote yesterday, “another day, another five million dollars”

  12. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    1st March 2017, 21:26

    I think there is too much criticism on Stroll. It is just testing. It’s not like this has affected the points result he will get. 2 crashes in testing in an unfamiliar car is better than Verstappen’s weekend in Monaco last year for example. That was his second season and yet, he made a mistake in practice. That mistake was fair enough as it was only practice. But he didn’t seem to learn from that and crashed in qualifying, then not learning from that either, he crashed in the race costing him championship points. He just went too fast and wide round corners in the damp conditions. Nobody started calling him Max Crashtappen for that did they? Even though he also had a bad crash the year before at the very same circuit. Don’t judge what Stroll will be like in F1 this early when all he’s done is crash in testing.

    I think is it just stupid that somebody has made a website similar to that of Maldonado’s crash website. I think they are both silly. But I don’t get why somebody has made another. I personally didn’t even think Maldonado was bad at all in the last year he had in F1. He had several races that really stood out and were better than many other drivers races. The joke of that website wasn’t funny more recently as several F1 drivers had more crashes and worse performance in 2015 than him from what I remember.

    1. You lost me at “I personally didn’t even think Maldonado was bad…”

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        2nd March 2017, 9:13

        Well if you read my whole sentence, I said he wasn’t that bad in his last year in F1, which certainly is ture. Hardly any of his multiple retirements were his own fault. He just had far worse luck than any other driver that year. People just try to find fault with him based on his past. I don’t think this Crashtor Maldonado thing would have started if 2015 had been his only season in F1. I’ll say again, he really wasn’t bad that year! Nowhere near the best but there were drivers that were certainly less impressive than him.

    2. Maldonado was as succesful as Max thus far. 1 race win each and Maldonado had a pole position. He also won in a Williams who in the modern era are no where near Red Bulls level.

      1. @markp no he isn’t. Verstappen has 7 total podiums to his name.

        Let’s put it this way, A. Maldonado is as good as Verstappen or vice versa is not even a reasonable discussion and B if 2016 had been as open as 2012 VES would have likely won more than just 1 race.

  13. Putting it simply, pay drivers should be barred from f1.
    These drivers are meant to be the 20 *best* drivers in the world, in the best cars in the world.

    As Brawn says: f1 should be about meritocracy

  14. At this rate the money Stroll brings to the team will be all spent on repairing his car before the season has even begun. Paul Di Resta should be in that car. Having arguably your best driver as a reserve is ridiculous.

    1. @the-last-pope – But Di Resta’s interviews are unbearable, despite his charming scottish accent: He is never at fault – in his own opinion – he always backstabs his team, engineers, mechanics etc, when he has to explain another bad racing result he has made.

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