Hamilton defends Stroll: “It’s not an easy car to drive”

2017 F1 season

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Williams rookie driver Lance Stroll received words of encouragement from one of his F1 rivals after damaging his car twice in his first two days of testing.

Lewis Hamilton said the more challenging 2017 cars make this an especially difficult time for new drivers to come into the sport.

“I feel for him in the sense that it’s the toughest year to come into Formula One,” said Hamilton. “The fastest cars, the most physical cars, and such a short amount of testing.”

Testing day four in pictures
“I know he’s been driving around the world testing in the Williams team,” he added. “He’s definitely had more preparation time than any other driver coming in would have had.”

Stroll had a spin on Tuesday which left the car with damage which prevented it from running for the rest of the day. On Wednesday he crashed on his 98th lap, and the resulting damage kept the team from returning to the track on Thursday.

“It’s to be expected,” said Hamilton, “it’s not an easy car to drive at all.”

“It’s so much faster through the corners, precision is even more important than in the past. Last year’s car is easy compared to this year’s car.”

Hamilton admitted he is enjoying the increased challenge from the new machines. “That’s what I love, that point I do really like,” he said.

“But it’s only the first drive, you can’t just jump in and drive from no experience at all to being consistent, that’s to be expected. It’s actually good for him to go through this now rather than the first race.”

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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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20 comments on “Hamilton defends Stroll: “It’s not an easy car to drive””

  1. I’m really hoping it does generate more mistakes. It’s a possibility. It does sound as though it could separate the men from the boys..

  2. Nice words from Hamilton, very welcome in order to prevent the boy’s confidence going downhill

  3. Sorry, but I was hoping for this very thing. F1 really needs to open their eyes here! This pay driver kindergarten carousel needs to be over and done with. The really sad part is Lance’s father may be inadvertently sending him to his death. Being the beneficiary of his father’s ricches only allowed his struggles to be concealed by having access to the best equipment and personnel to compensate. Your original glaring issue (team prize payments) begets another.

    1. @72defender What pay driver kindergarten carousel? Name 1 other driver who this applies to. And yes Stroll is a teenager AND a pay driver, but he is also the reigning F3 champion.

      1. I think the really sad part is people’s willingness to run the lad into the ground at the drop of a hat. These have been his first few days in a real, current F1 car, and he got some useful running in. Now they move forward from here. ‘Sending him to his death…?’ Really? A tad overly dramatic, no?

        1. This guy have much more mileage on a real F1 car than you think.

          The team would not put him there if he wasnt ready.

          1. @Ed Second sentence I agree. First sentence, true but not in a proper 2017 car on the proper 2017 tires. Just cars tweeked to try to replicate that, and simulator time. And…he did get the current car around the track for many laps so it’s not like he could barely drive it or something as some would make it seem, and as it would seem you agree.

          2. @robbie, I do agree that the fact that Stroll had racked up 98 laps by the time that he did crash does seem to have been overlooked to some extent. It also has to be said that Stroll wasn’t the only one who lost control of his car in Turn 9 – Bottas was lucky not to wreck his car when he spun – so even some of the more experienced drivers in the field were making the same sort of mistakes as Stroll did.

            To a certain extent, it does feel as if some of the posters here wanted to hate Stroll right from the very start and have therefore looked to these incidents as a way of validating their feelings about Stroll. It’s not to say that Stroll isn’t without fault, but at the same time I do think that some are perhaps jumping to conclusions a little too quickly.

  4. Good to know from a drivers perspective who has no self interest in protecting the mistake. It makes for great news but media pressure isn’t what Stroll needs. Even if it is fun to troll him a little.

  5. angelic (@angelicdarkness)
    2nd March 2017, 13:48

    This is what happens when you put a paid driver in an F1 car. Stroll proved this point beautifully, well…as beautiful a crash can get.

  6. Didn’t Alonso said that this cars required less from the driver?

    1. Yeah, so he gave it less…testing time that is.

    2. Alonso is only trying to hide his frustration and his analyses are way off.

  7. Yes he did, but then he hasn’t really had the chance to run really hard in the McHonda so far. But we should give Stroll a chance – Senna once said that if a new driver to F1 does not spin off in the early days then he is not trying hard enough. Lets see how he is by the middle of the year and then make constructive comments.

    1. I presume this is in answer to my comment, which was actually a slight dig at Alonso for his criticism and not at Stroll’s abilities, we know far too little about those

      It surprises me that after a day we have Hamilton saying the contrary

  8. Don’t forget there are some other rookies driving in these tests that did not put their car in the wall twice!
    I like that Lance is trying very hard…

  9. It is not the fault of Lance Stroll that someone from Williams Grand Prix Engineering decided not to take enough spare parts with them to Catalunya. When you put a rookie driver, who is still growing physically, into this new breed of F1 car it is inevitable that there will be a crash at some point with substantial damage done to the car. It is clear they went to this test underprepared, this is not at all encouraging for a team that wants to become title contenders again.

    1. I think that’s a fair point. I highly doubt Williams expected absolute perfection from every angle for this test session, so I think that’s a fair criticism.

      And in hindsight it would seem they would have been limited today in terms of what useful data they would have been able to gather, ie. If they had to miss a day this was the best one of the four so far.

  10. Looks like daddy might have to pony up some extra sponsorship bucks for sonny boy.

  11. Most rich kids are poor drivers.

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