Lance Stroll, Williams, Albert Park, 2017

Stroll will “change approach” for Chinese GP

2017 Chinese Grand Prix

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Lance Stroll says he will change his approach for the second race of 2017 to take advantage of the more “forgiving” Shanghai circuit.

The Williams driver suffered a setback on his F1 debut when he crashed his car during final practice, leaving him at a disadvantage for qualifying. He started the race from the back row and retired following a brake failure.

Like Melbourne, the Shanghai International Circuit is another new venue for the Formula Three graduate.

“This will be my first time in mainland China, as in the past I have just been to Macau where I raced in F3,” said Stroll.

“I don’t know a lot about the circuit. I have only done some simulator work on the track, so I still have to wait to see what it is like in reality.”

“However, I have watched some of the races there so have an idea about the scale of the track. After Melbourne, which is a narrow track, I am going to change my approach a bit as it is a little more forgiving with the large run off areas.”

“Having said that, I shall just prepare in the normal way as well as I can for the race.”

Felipe Massa finished sixth for the team in Australia but chief technical officer Paddy Lowe believes this weekend’s race will give the team a clearer indication of how competitive they are.

“The Shanghai International Circuit is the first track this season which will test the all-round performance of the car and so we will arguably see a truer measure of the relative performance of the cars within the new regulations,” he said.

“It is an important race for us understand where we are in the championship to address the challenges for the season with our continued aim to improve and make progress,” he added.

2017 Chinese Grand Prix

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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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  • 87 comments on “Stroll will “change approach” for Chinese GP”

    1. Lance Chilton you just need learn to drive at the same level as your machinery, and keep your gob shut till you do..least you are making massa look like Senna.

      1. Chilton comparison bit unfair. Chilton at least worked his way through the ranks before seeing the opportunity to buy a seat. Stroll effectively had a team bought for him.

        1. You can financially support a team, but still have to race the car yourself under the same regulations. @hahostolze.

          As far as I recall Max Chilton never achieved anything better than 4th in a single seater championship (not for lack of trying), whereas Lance Stroll won each of the series he participated in (Italian Formula 4, Toyota Series, Formula 3).

          Doesn’t make me a fan/believer*, but I reserve my judgement for now.

          * Fance (you see what I did there?)

        2. @hahostolze Stroll’s probably better than Chilton.

          1. @f1-liners @peartree I agree that Stroll is most likely (much) better than Chilton. I’m just pointing out the scale of his paydriver-ness is unprecedented. His father and him just decided three years of preporatory formulae was enough and essentially bought him a (good) team to race for. That’s very different to paydrivers of the past, like indeed Chilton, who managed to get seats due to personal wealth and sponsorships all the way up the ladder and then get a seat at a troubled team in F1 who were happy to get the money to survive. Stroll probably has more talent than Chilton, but has not done enough to merit a Williams (a good team) seat at all. That’s what I’m highlighting.

          2. @peartree

            Don’t know if you remember.. but Chilton finished all his races in his rookie season. (which is a record). Currently it’s Chilton with a 1-0 advantage on Stroll

        3. Yeah…..Palmer would be closer.

      2. Agreed to an extent, but if he’s asked a direct question he has to answer it doesn’t he?

        I’m not particularly warming the guy from what I’ve seen in interviews so far, but let’s give him a chance.

        1. im with you @john-h – lets give the guy a chance – hes still feeling the effects of winning and being a champion in a previous life. that and being part of a billionaire family. lets give the guy a chance to deflate a little and realise he has to work one damn site harder to make it in this game.

          1. @greggriffiths I agree with you and those saying give the guy a chance, but as if he doesn’t know how much work he has ahead of him. As if he could do anything about his Dad being rich. As if he was supposed to refuse all that his Dad could afford. But if you saw the documentary I did on Lance you will see that this has been his passion since he was a child, and this is about his Dad wanting to see his son fulfill his passion, not twist his arm to do this just because his Dad likes cars too.

            Also, the cars just got made harder to drive by F1’s own admission as well as the drivers’ that it was too easy prior to this chapter. So Lance has been thrown into an area that Maldonado didn’t have to play in. PM crashed cars that better lent themselves to ultra conservation and delta lap running. Lance gets to drive cars that much better represent the pinnacle of racing. Yeah, it’s supposed to be hard. If he’s struggling a little to acclimatize that makes more sense than if he wasn’t. Perhaps F1 is actually heading back to being a series that at 18 you can’t come in and cakewalk.

            1. well said @robbie. and thanks for correcting me on his knowledge/acceptence of his work load. ill admite i dont love the guy but i see what your saying.
              where can you send me the link to this documentary you’ve done on him.

            2. @greggriffiths Thanks for the kind words. Sorry for my wording as I see now that it looks like I did a documentary on Lance. What I could have been more clear on was that I saw a documentary on Lance. I should have said ‘if you saw the documentary that I saw’…

              So it was a half hour show that was on a few days ahead of the first race. I’m in Canada and it was on our main sports channel TSN so maybe you could Google it and find it on You Tube…not sure.

              So some of the takeaways from it…he’s wanted to do this practically since he could walk…he’s fully aware of the criticism toward him because of his Dad’s money but basically says what is he supposed to do about the fact that his Dad has been ultra successful…it’s just the way it is, but he has still had to perform on the track…he’s not arrogant about his wealth and the way he talks it would appear that he has everything in the right perspective and is taking nothing for granted.

              Yes I’m sure there will always be those who will always put his career down to his Dad’s wealth, but from where I stand on the subject every WDC had to have the WCC winning car, and so somebody collectively had to spend hundreds of millions to put said winning car in the Champions’ hands, whether he personally came from money or not.

            3. @robbie, I suspect that, however he performed, he would have been criticised anyway.

              If he had come in and done well, I do not think that the fans would be saying that he was a good driver – rather, I suspect that they would complain that the cars were too easy to drive and rewarding a bad driver. If he comes in and struggles, well, people will just default to saying that he must be a bad driver.

            4. @anon Agreed.

      3. Really harsh to Chilton. He’s a good few levels above Stoll.

        1. Chilton was driving for Marusia and managed to drive for an entire season before he crashed out a few races into the next season… In 2015, he did manage to win a race whilst competing for Indy lights (which he dedicated to his former team mate Jules Bianchi who dies a few days previously).

          Stroll has yet to show any ability behind the wheel other than being a joke… so far he is one of the few drivers who would fail to get points in a Mercedes.

          1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
            5th April 2017, 20:00

            I appropriate your respect for Chilton. It seems to many say he was totally rubbish. But yes, he had a whole season without any retirements and he was the only one that achieved that in 2012. So clearly he was at leased a reasonable consistent driver.
            But I think you are being a little harsh on Stroll. He may have had a bad past but it wasn’t without plenty of wins and some decent performances. So saying he would fail to get points in a Mercedes is a bit silly really. He didn’t make any big mistakes in the race and it was the cars fault he retired. Judging by Massa’s end result, the Williams must have been pretty strong and I’m quite sure he could have managed at leased 1 point. If not, he will get plenty this season, I just am pretty sure he won’t beat Massa.

            1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
              5th April 2017, 20:51

              Just what happened to the word appreciate? I must have typed it wrong and then replaced it with the 1st word it suggested which wasn’t right at all! :D

            2. I just am pretty sure he won’t beat Massa

              I haven’t heard that since 2008

    2. Right, so now we know Shanghai isn’t one of the many current F1 tracks Lawrence Stroll and Williams rented for a few days testing.

    3. Chilton should never of been allowed to race in F1

      1. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
        5th April 2017, 17:48

        You’re getting confused with Maldonado

        1. Maldonado won in F1 and was very fast, his only problem was how to slow down.
          Stroll is not yet F1 material. It is shameful when a driver can afford to learn on the job in an advanced series.
          This is not testing and he won’t have all the track to himself.
          I do wonder what position Williams will finish in if they only have Massa scoring the points.

      2. Maybe with your bad grammar you shouldn’t be allowed to write?

        Chilton, while not the fastest of drivers, never looked out of his depth in F1 and Marussia were very happy with his race performances and how he presented himself and the team off track as well. Chilton is a classic polite rich gentleman racer, the complete opposite to Stroll who is a spoilt rich boy racer.

    4. Tommy Scragend
      5th April 2017, 9:47

      Stroll is going to change his approach because “Shanghai is more forgiving”. Implies he is going to be less cautious than he has been previously.

      Should be interesting!

      1. Thats not the word the Williams engineers would use :)

        1. Stroll/Monaco mind boggles

          1. Barrier repairs all over the place.

    5. I’m glad Stroll is on the grid.

      The most entertaining pay driver in recent history has been Pastor. He had some ridiculous driving, hilarious crashes, road rage incidents (on track) and the attitude of a donkey who thinks he’s a stallion. I didn’t think I’d actually miss Pastor, but honestly, he added a little humour to the grid.

      Now, we have Lance Stroll. A pay driver, with never ending pockets and a talent level just below Pastor. He’s not one to succumb to humility easily and is ready to finish the job Pastor started. I don’t see why people aren’t more excited about what he can accomplish this season.

      1. @todfod,
        For all his faults & absurdities, Pastor could be very, very fast in a single lap(in specific circumstances). I’m very optimistic that Stroll could be the next evolutionary step in pay-drivers. He’s got tons of money to hang onto seats for years, unlike the recent ones like Nasr, Gutiérrez, Haryanto, Stevens or Mehri.

        Exciting times ahead, definitely…at the expense of Williams. Oh, Pastor did the same

      2. “A talent level just below Pastor!?” Pastor had lots of faults but he was really quick. Stoll looks like someone playing F1 2016 online for the first time.

        1. Stoll looks like someone playing F1 2016 online for the first time.

          While we don’t know how good he will turn out to be, that first corner dive at the Austrlian GP reminded me of precisely that.

          We should starting calling it the playstation line

        2. As I mention above, to be fair to Lance he is also driving a car that is more of a beast than PM had. If we want F1 to be the pinnacle, and harder than it has been in recent years, don’t we want to see a newbie 18 year old struggling a bit? Should F1 continue to be made easy for the drivers? And hey…if LS continues to struggle maybe it will be an indicator that in fact F1 is so hard that 18 and F3 Champ is no longer enough to really be ready for F1. And that would only add to it’s mystique.

        3. @petebaldwin

          Disagree. He got absolutely creamed by Grosjean. He had one good race.. that’s about it.

      3. haha – love that @todfod

        ridiculous driving, hilarious crashes, road rage incidents (on track) and the attitude of a donkey who thinks he’s a stallion.


    6. ”I am going to change my approach a bit as it is a little more forgiving with the large run off areas.”
      Just be careful when entering the pitlane.
      Only a rookie or Pastor would get stuck there.

      1. Think that pit entry trap got a visit from Bernie’s big tarmac machine a few years ago, might be wrong though

        1. Nope, you’re right. It’s paved now.

    7. If Australia was the gravel-trap-aware Lance, then it would be for the best if we didn’t find out what the Lance relying on forgiving tracks will do. I cannot imagine it will end well.

      1. Monaco.. can see it now.

    8. Ben (@chookie6018)
      5th April 2017, 11:03

      Let’s be honest, he made practise more interesting in Melbourne as we all awaited his first crash.

    9. Miltiadis (@miltosgreekfan)
      5th April 2017, 12:19

      Stroll is lucky that Shanghai is a pretty wide circuit and its difficult to destroy your car(or cause severe damage).This weekend(if dry) he must be much closer to Felipe,in comparison with Australia, and mostly,fight for his first points.

      1. Arguably the second-worst driver we’ve seen in F1 in the last decade managed it. Narain the man. Stroll not nearly as bad, for all his faults.

        1. @hahastolze, Karthikeyan was not the worst driver of the 2010s by any means. He dragged that HRT dog around. He was a Williams reserve driver earlier in his career and he showed sudden speed at times. I’d say the worst of the 2010s is Sakon Yamamoto or Christian Klien. Two pay drivers who HRT used for money and money only.

          Stroll, though, is getting closer and closer to His Highness Lord King Pastor Maldonado. Can he do the opposite of Chilton in 2013 and DNF every race? We have to wait and see. Oh boy, Monaco will be fun!

          1. Klien wasn’t a pay driver… Yamamato and Chandok for me, granted Karuns a nice bloke n’all that

          2. Some Dude, so you are saying that Christian Klein, a driver who had his career backed by Red Bull all the way into F1, before working for both Honda and BMW-Sauber as a test driver, was “one of the worst drivers on the grid”? I’d say that there were far worse drivers on the grid in that era.

          3. Scott Speed.


        2. Miltiadis (@miltosgreekfan)
          5th April 2017, 18:06

          @hahostolze Yamamoto & Ericsson ”2014 version” for me

      2. The weather says it’s going to rain on Saturday. If he manages to take part in qualifying this time and ends up vaguely where his car should be on the grid, can you imagine him going into turn 1 on the first lap and getting through it? Me either.

        1. neither – not either.

        2. Miltiadis (@miltosgreekfan)
          5th April 2017, 18:09

          Yep,i cant see him survive a normal first lap,fighting for position with others without crashing…It will be worse than last year’s frst lap carnage

    10. How’s Stroll with rain? Beacause it looks like we’ll have some this weekend

      1. I think it just adds to the chance of him crashing.

        1. Lets see…..a more aggressive Lance in the rain at a track he doesnt know…..recipe for disaster.

        2. I think it3;&9#s great that you have made pictures for both of tem to remember each other. It is sad when a friend has to move away. Maybe you could try letting them Skype each other until you can make a trip to see them.

      2. He’ll definitely add a ton of entertainment in the race. I just hope he doesn’t DNF too early on in the race… he’d put on a great spectacle when racing back markers.

    11. Heres a thought, could Williams not just get a robot in there thats mirrors Stroll’s exact movements as he sits in a simulator back in Grove?

      1. It would end up crashing if it mimicked stroll.

    12. I’m amazed how negative you all already are about Stroll. Give the kid a chance! Yes, he has the luck of massive backing and, yes, his F3 championship win was on a depleted grid, but still … we’re only one race in!

      1. One race in and hes already crashing more than Maldonado.

      2. Giovinazzi had ininite less tracktime, testing ecc compared to Stroll but looked way more confident in Melbourne, and he started driving in FP3.
        Time is not an excuse, Stroll has to perform in China.

        1. @thegamer23 Exactly. It’s the attitude, Stroll was far too conscious of the pressure surrounding him. We’re only one race in but we haven’t seen a rookie drive so poorly on their first weekend since… I agree Stroll has to perform in China.

          1. No he doesn’t ‘have to’ perform in China other than to do his best. And I can’t say I know anything about Giovinazzi, but I will be curious to see how he does once he has time to let the pressure sink in…or…perhaps if he is only doing this one more race he will do fine again and have no pressure whatsoever. But for now here’s what I know…Gio doesn’t have a steady F1 ride and others do. Gio has nothing to do with LS’s contract with Williams, and LS can’t control nor worry about what Gio does. Folks that think Gio’s (for now) one-off solid performance means LS is inferior, don’t have the right perspective on the situation, or prefer to look with the luxury of hindsight and pretend woulda, coulda, shoulda. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised though that if after one race LS can be thrown into the trash, why wouldn’t Gio after one race be promoted to ‘the next Senna’?

            1. @robbie He “almost” outqualfied Ericsson who had alot of trouble and by many are considered the worst on the grid. He then stayed at the back of the field without crashing in the race.

              How can that not make him the next Senna? Hes stellar, already an all time great and fully deserving of an F1 drive.

          2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
            6th April 2017, 8:57

            What was so bad about his weekend? He may have had a crash in practice but I can’t say his race was that bad. He made a small mistake on the first corner but it didn’t take himself or anyone out. Not like the more experienced Kobyashi on the first corner here in 2014.
            Stroll then did several overtakes. More than many other drivers. It may have been easy because they were slower cars though. But anyway, later in the race, he had to retire, but he was not at fault for that. By lap 43 he was up to 13th place and then he had a brake issue. He may have managed to get a point if he could continue.
            I can’t say this was a bad race weekend considering it was his first in F1. It’s not like other drivers haven’t had worse race weekends when they’ve had much more experience in F1. Such as Verstappen in Monaco last year. I know he had stunning races at other times but in Monaco, he crashed out in practice, qualifying and the race and people let him off for this. Who knows? – it may be possible Stroll could come back next race and surprise us all. I think it is unlikely that he’ll do that, but I’m sure he’ll improve. I don’t like the amount of people I see compare him to Maldonado. But anyway, if they are comparing him to the 2015 Maldonado, then Stroll isn’t that bad. Maldonado had a reasonable season in 2015 and had quite a few strong races. But what we have seen of Stroll in F1 so far doesn’t compare to Maldonado’s early form.

      3. @shimks No. That kid looked like a complete noob on the in car footage… an embarrassment to the sport.

      4. He’s crashed twice in two outings…..testing and Oz… be the judge.

    13. angelic (@angelicdarkness)
      5th April 2017, 15:56

      So instead of going for the walls he’ll attack the drivers then. Or maybe he has already tried that. Lol. We have a Maldonado junior in here folks, its going to be a bumpy ride

      1. He cant catch the other drivers….all good.

    14. He needs to learn that when on the straights there is no need to turn or hack at the steering wheel. Hate to say it, but he’s going to crash.

      1. I thought Stroll was going to point that out. He was really nervy in Australia. China has big run offs I think he should calmly test the limits and go from there, tone it down.

        1. OK, I admit it! Stroll is a better driver than me. That isn’t saying much for his skills is it?

        2. @peartree
          I got the same impression, Australia has lots of short corners and close walls so it’s understandable he looked nervous on the wheel. Maybe in China with longer corners he’ll learn let the car settle down some more.

          Is there any onboard of his driving at Barcelona? I guess not. When I searched for it on the youtubes all I got was a load of crash videos :/

          1. @george We shall see. Personally I hope so.
            All the onboards I’ve seen are jerky of the insane violence of his hacks at the steering wheel.

    15. What comes to mind with Williams is that when Damon Hill was asking for a hefty pay raise after winning a WDC was let go. Now Williams is scraping the bottom of the barrel to fund its racing. Sad really.

    16. I don’t know a lot about the circuit. I have only done some simulator work on the track,

      It sounds to me like Stroll needs to do a lot more practice on the simulator. He needs to know that circuit like the back of his hand.

      1. @drycrust He cant know the circuit like the back of his hand from simulatorwork alone. I think you missed the point.

    17. Counting down the hours until Lance Stroll wins the Spanish Grand Prix..

      (Seriously, I will never fully embrace the fact that Maldonado WON a race. It warps my mind)

      1. Less things to crash into when all the cars in front of you have to get out of your way. Maldonado could occasionally be very fast, but was always weak at racing with other cars.

      2. Maldonado was a good racer in clean air, his problem was tunnel vision. Only driver I know that has cat like awareness is Alonso.

      3. I found myself nodding my noggin all the way thgoruh.

    18. After all this conjecture i wonder if he snores a point in next weeks scorefest

    19. I’m seeing a lot of Maldonado comparisons, and on a serious note, I think they’re valid on a number of levels.

      I think the problem with Maldonado was that his ability had absolutely zero bearing on his F1 career, and he knew it. As long as he had his financial support, he’d have a place in F1. If that support disappeared, so would his F1 career. That’s why I think Maldonado was so crash-happy – he never had the same pressure to perform that other drivers face. That’s what worries me about Stroll. He’ll probably crash again this weekend, but he’s still going to be racing in Bahrain. I’m not saying he’s careless, but he certainly doesn’t need to care about his driving.

      And really, all that is embarrassing for the sport. It’s supposed to be a sport for the world’s best drivers, but I can’t distinguish Stroll from those businessmen who fund a sports car team so they can race in some club-level GT series for fun. Stroll is no professional, he’s just a hobbyist.

      Okay, maybe I’m being too harsh. Perhaps he has potential, he just needs a year or two to learn about racing in F1. But even if that is the case, he shouldn’t be in F1 now. It’s Formula 1. He shouldn’t need time to learn the sport, he should be able to use several years of experience and race craft honed in junior formulae to be up to standard immediately (or at least have an abnormal level of talent to justify that promotion).

      At worst, he is an amateur who would be better suited to racing in a national GT championship. At best, he’s an unknown quantity who is still several years away from being F1-worthy. Either way, there’s a pretty quick race car that’s going to waste in F1 2017.

      1. So you must have objected greatly to Max’s entry into F1 too then, I take it? And how did that work out?

        I disagree strongly with your assumptions on LS.

    20. What a neat artecli. I had no inkling.

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