Lance Stroll, Williams, Bahrain International Circuit, 2017

Stroll similar to Vettel and Raikkonen in their first seasons – Williams

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams defends Lance Stroll’s record over his F1 career to date, claiming it bears comparison with Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen’s debut seasons.

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@George tips next week’s race to be a major test of Mercedes’ title prospects after Sebastian Vettel went 25 points clear in the drivers’ championship:

Montreal is definitely a circuit that should suit the Mercedes, it all comes down to whether they can make the tyres work though. Certainly Hamilton and Bottas exemplary records there so there can’t be any excuses from the driver side.

If they don’t have a one-two there (without extenuating circumstances) then I might agree with Lauda’s statement. As it is I think on pure pace they’re slightly ahead of Ferrari still, and are likely to out-develop them.

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  • 163 comments on “Stroll similar to Vettel and Raikkonen in their first seasons – Williams”

    1. Oh yes, compare Stroll to Vettel and Raikkonen. GREAT idea.

      1. she says some silly things sometimes. boss’s daughter an’ all.

        1. I can see why Claire is defending Lance, they have a lot in common..they BOTH have been given massive leg ups in the world of F1..where would they both be in the real world without their daddies????

      2. No it is not a great idea. Stroll should be compared to the best drivers in the current grid namely Alonso, Hamilton and Verstappen.
        Vettel and Raikkonen are spoiled pay drivers who started their F1 career in a race-winning car. Give Stroll a half-decent car and he will make F1 great again.

        1. Toro Rosso and Sauber are race winning cars?

          1. Technically, it was Sauber for both of them.

        2. Say what?

          Vettel started as a substitute driver for BMW Sauber before going to Torro Rosso. Raikkonen started for Sauber as well. What on Earth are you talking about them starting in race winning cars?

          1. @k-l-waster …..sarcasm?

            1. @davidnotcoulthard: Thanks for figuring that out :)

            2. We live in an internet where people will argue that the Earth is flat — you need an awful lot of exaggeration to stand out these days….

        3. That’s right. Vettel paid his way into four championships as well. As well as beating Hamilton so far this season.

        4. @magnusy: your sarcasm was hard to distinguish with hardcore anti-Vettel rants :-))))

          1. @ifelix: I thought it was obvious as everybody knows that Raikkonen and Vettel started in midfield Sauber and toro rosso and both have shown promise immediately
            I remember watching the Turkish GP practice in 2006 and the commentator kept praising the young Vettel for topping the timesheet and Vettel kept proving he is among the best by scoring the only win for Toro Rosso/Minardi to date, incredible run in RedBull and winning in Ferrari.
            The only hiccup for Vettel was in 2014, which I believe has something to do with his contract (he can be released from the contract to move for Ferrari if he is not third or higher in September).
            To wrap it up: Stroll and Palmer are not worth being in F1 and yes I am an armchair expert :)

            1. @magnusy

              I thought it was obvious as everybody knows

              Don’t think it would be good if everybody here have watched F1 since at least 16 or 10 years ago – that’d mean f1’s done a terrible job of attracting new customers (though to be fair, perhaps it actually has lately)

            2. Everyone knows that KR started in a Sauber, and Vettel in a BMW (Sauber), .. so you can understand everybody making mistakes with you post

        5. This has to be a joke. I’ll assume as such. I mean, of that list only Hamilton started his career in a race winning car.

          1. @selbbin: Of course it was a joke. I think that almost 99.9% of F1 fans can see how terrible Stroll performed from winter testing until Monaco GP

      3. Is Claire asking for more abuse. Both Raikkonens and Vettels debut seasons were strong. The best comparison she could make is with Button, he was still more impressive than Stroll.

        1. In my humble opinion you can only compare Stroll (agewise) to Max Verstappen. Verstappen in the STR, with only 1 formula season under his belt, did some things a racer could only dream of. Outgunning your’e teammate who had more experience, doing overtakes that seemed impossible to do at the time, 2 times finishing 4th and a very big NO!!

          I quess every team wants to find the new Verstappen. The thing is, Verstappen truly is a 1 in a generation or lifetime talent looking at his age and talent. Can’t remember a single driver being that good at that age. Sure you have talents like LeLclerc, Giovinazzi, Sainz and VanDoorne? (considered to be in the same bracket as Max, but now that wev’e seen him race might have to reconsider :D)

          Stroll entering F1 is a bad thing in general. His dad paying the bills, got his son in the best preperation window money could buy but still isn’t delivering. His speed isn’t there, his skillset?, up to date I didn’t see it and the arrogance that comes with it?, this guy needs to get out of a Williams. An embarrassment for Williams who have a fantastic history concerning championships and drivers.

          The reason why Stroll didn’t do the lower categories is because you can’t make a difference carwise, iike you can in F3. To big of a risk that Stroll wouldn’t cut it on merit and talent. That’s the only reason his dad draw his wallet and payed what? 100 million in advance? for his off season testing, simulator, buying a Williams F1 car 2014, hiring the best personnel to get his boy up to speed? Like I said, an embarrassment.

          1. In my humble opinion you can only compare Stroll (agewise) to Max Verstappen. Verstappen in the STR, with only 1 formula season under his belt, did some things a racer could only dream of. Outgunning your’e teammate who had more experience, doing overtakes that seemed impossible to do at the time, 2 times finishing 4th and a very big NO!!

            I quess every team wants to find the new Verstappen. The thing is, Verstappen truly is a 1 in a generation or lifetime talent looking at his age and talent. Can’t remember a single driver being that good at that age. Sure you have talents like LeLclerc, Giovinazzi, Sainz and VanDoorne? (considered to be in the same bracket as Max, but now that wev’e seen him race might have to reconsider :D)

            Stroll entering F1 is a bad thing in general. His dad paying the bills, got his son in the best preperation window money could buy but still isn’t delivering. His speed isn’t there, his skillset?, up to date I didn’t see it and the arrogance that comes with it?, this guy needs to get out of a Williams. An embarrassment for Williams who have a fantastic history concerning championships and drivers.

            The reason why Stroll didn’t do the lower categories is because you can’t make a difference carwise, iike you can in F3. To big of a risk that Stroll wouldn’t cut it on merit and talent. That’s the only reason his dad draw his wallet and payed what? 100 million in advance? for his off season testing, simulator, a Williams F1 car 2014, hiring the best personnel to get his boy up to speed? Like I said, an embarrassment.

            When Lance told he needed “Help” on the radio during the Monaco GP…that’s were I gave up all hope on Lance

            1. I agree completely. The way that Stroll bought and paid for last years F3 championship was a disgrace. The fact that he has that title to his name is meaningless since there was no competition from his teammate, rival teams sat out the season & he had F1 mechanics helping him with car setup. Under those circumstances he won’t even have learned all the things that he should have done at that stage of his career (rather like playing a video game on the easiest setting with all of the driver aids turned on). We will probably never know how good he could be as there is nowhere else for him to go now that he has made it to the top withou completing any kind of education first. And it’s all downhill from the top…

        2. @peartree

          Agree. Although Button’s debut season was still more impressive due to how he stacked up against his teammate.

          I’m pretty sure Lance’s dad pulled out his cheque book and paid Claire Williams to make statements that any rational human being wouldn’t make.

          Vettel score points on his debut debut (a mid season stand in for Kubica at BMW Sauber), then went on to regularly score points in a Toro Rosso in his debut season and give them their only win to date. He tangled with Kubica and Webber, but when he was fighting for podium slots. Stroll on the other hand has wrecked his car in almost ever session while fighting for the 2nd to last spot.

          Kimi also scored points on his debut in a car that was a part of the lower midfield. He went on to finish 8 times in the top 8 that season, which was much higher than expected of the Sauber in 2001. Stroll has crashed his car over 8 times before the halfway point of the season and has failed to score a point in a car that should be scoring points on a regular basis.

          Claire Williams really needs to be comparing Stroll to the right set of F1 drivers –
          1) Pastor Maldonado – Both Stroll and Pastor have come in F1 after winning in junior categories. Both started the season massively off the pace of their teammates and were involved in tangles with other drivers. Both underperformed on their debut seasons. Pastor did however, go on to win a race next season, something Stroll cannot even dream of at this point in time.
          2) Romain Grosjean – Although his real debut was in mid 2009, let’s consider his 2012 season as a comparison. He went up against a sabbatical returned Kimi, kind of similar to Stroll’s current position. Grosjean was accident prone for most of the season but did show impressive pace in the Lotus on occasion. Stroll is also accident prone, but has to yet reveal his pace.
          3) Marcus Erricson – Was involved in a handful of crashes in his debut season and often trailed his teammate in qualifying and race performance. Stroll is in a a similar situation, but has more than a handful of crashes and trailers his teammate by a larger margin. Marcus was in a Caterham, so it was always going to be hard for him to score a point, but going by Stroll’s current record, he’s entirely capable of doing the same in a very capable car.

      4. What is being said doesn’t correlate with what we can see. Stroll needs too much time to become an average driver, before we talk about best in the field. Williams don’t seem to have any ambitions of late. So he can stay there as long as he wants.

      5. I don’t think we do him any favours comparing his rookie season to Vettel’s, Raikkonen’s, or (agewise) Verstappen’s; those guys were in the top 10 in the first race they finished.

        Fair point from Claire to “ask from people to be a bit kinder”.

      6. Stroll similar to Vettel

        I want to know what she smokes.

        You can make a fast but crash prone driver consistent. But you can’t turn a slow and crash prone driver into a WDC.

    2. if the Longbeach GP goes ahead, i vote for Snoop Dogg to do the post race interview! fo’ shizzle

      1. If it’s a wet race he’ll have to bring his umbrella. For the drizzle.

      2. You got that right, he’ll shizzle the trizzle all over the hizzle

      3. “With so much drama in the LBGP, it’s kinda hard bein’ Snoop D. O. Double G.”

    3. I would like to see a Lance Stroll win in Monza.

      1. I was about to say the same thing. Hats off to him if he manages.

        1. Also, hats off to the simultaneous aerial flyby by a squadron of prime porkers. :)

      2. Well searching for “Lance Stroll Monza” doesn’t really help his cause….

      3. Or score points in his debut race (by finishing P6) in a sauber

          1. He’s talking about Kimi. Both guys got a point in their debut, driving for Sauber…

          2. @david-a 2001, 6th was 1 point.

    4. Next year… there is a weekend where the Wimbledon final and World Cup final take place on the same day. It would be sub-optimal to have the British Grand Prix on that day. It’s a tight schedule.

      The British GP took place the same day as some other major sporting event in 2010 (World Cup final), 2012 and 2014 (Wimbledon final) and in 2016 it clashed with both the Wimbledon final and the UEFA Euro Cup, which was completely idiotic to say the least. Who’s going to watch the GP when two major sporting events are DECIDED on the very same day?

      Even if they don’t clash with the Wimbledon final on the very same day, they cut it too close, holding the GP during or right after a 2 week long Grand Slam with huge attendance. Sure, it’s not the same public in general, but coverage is focused elsewhere… you need to make an impact in the country you visit… it’s like holding the US GP the same weekend as NASCAR’s title decider.

      1. @fer-no65 ”Even if they don’t clash with the Wimbledon final on the very same day, they cut it too close, holding the GP during or right after a 2 week long Grand Slam with huge attendance.” – The British GP has traditionally been held in July because that’s when the temperatures are usually the most desirable for F1. Yes, it could be run in August, for example, as well, but it’s the traditional summer break month so that it would require bigger changes to the race calendar to accommodate a 3-weekend gap there as we have now.

    5. Claire Williams is spot on, Stroll’s start is very similar to Vettel and Raikkonen’s careers. They all drove in cars, wore gloves and helmets. I mean sure Raikkonen and Vettel both scored points in their debut but that’s just nitpicking. I’d struggle to tell them apart.

      1. hahahaha!

      2. ;-) Good one. Why does Claire embarras herself and Stroll even more like this. By all means, nobody at Williams, except the Stroll family will believe the view she’s put forward here.

        1. @palle True but then again, nobody else but the Stroll family is paying them £50m a year either…

          1. So if it wasn’t a pay driver in that seat she’d be publicly running that driver into the ground?

            1. Omar R (@omarr-pepper)
              3rd June 2017, 14:20

              @robbie Maybe not, but there’s no need to exaggerate this shoe polishing! She should answer any Stroll-related question with a “we are working with him so he can deliver in the long term”.

            2. @omarr-pepper True and near the end of the video interview where her quotes come from, she speaks of Williams as being a great place for drivers in Stroll’s position to have their talent nurtured as they have done with other drivers, and that’s what they want to do for him too. Sheesh all she’s pleading for is some patience and understanding. But of course those quotes aren’t the ones as juicy, so we just get the ones that are more contentious, unless you hear the whole interview.

      3. @philipgb, mind you, the BMW-Sauber that Vettel drove in that one race in 2007 was the third best car on the grid at the time – it would be like starting off driving for Red Bull today.

        I guess that, when drawing the comparison with Vettel, she was probably thinking of Vettel’s first full season in 2008 – he started that year off crashing out on the first lap in three out of the first four races.

        1. But unlike Stroll those crashes were caused by other drivers.
          Anyways, Vettel had already done a few races in 2007 and managed a 4th place and was running in 3rd before crashing into Webber at Fuji. Vettel already showed a lot of potential in 2007. Stroll hasn’t. He’s been considerably off the pace compared to Massa.

          1. VET got the (initial) blame for Fuji 2007 though, although said blame was later shifted to another rookie.

          2. Baron, true, but at the same time nobody was then yelling “well, he should have had the spatial awareness to avoid those accidents in the first place”.

            Now, that is not to say that I think that Stroll is a great driver – however, I do feel at times that, even when he is not at fault, there are those that still want to find a way to lash out at him (such as, when being taken out by Sainz in Bahrain, we had some posters here trying to find ways to put blame back onto Stroll).

        2. #anon, mind you, the Williams-Mercedes that Stroll brought to Melbourne in 2017 was the third best car on the grid at the time – it might be behind RBR and FI now but that could add well be due to the poor performance and/or feedback of their drivers.

    6. Haha, hats off to Tony Kanaan. I don’t disagree with Lewis’ remark, but Kanaan’s retort hits hilariously close to home. :D

      1. True but I will say if I ran a single seater team in any category I would take Hamilton over any Indy car driver as in my opinion he’s many levels above all of them. Kannan is not in Hamiltons league.

    7. Yes. Never forget about the sound, that is thr most important thing that F1 should focus now. Without it the races are worse, just take a look at the last Monaco GP

      Even the other day I had to return a vacuum cleaner because it wasn’t loud enough. I even managed to answer a phone call with the thing on, how dare they.

      1. Tell me about it. I left the tennis the other day because the players weren’t grunting loud enough after each shot.

        1. Blasphemy. It was all rigged. Sharapova didn’t test positive, she recorded too much decibels, and they want to rob us of the experience

          1. I’m sure it was just pills to help her keep her youthful looks.

        2. Tell me about it, my wife bought one of those vibrating things and had to return it because it was not loud enough.
          @johnmilk, @travis

          1. I’m talking about a sonic toothbrush clearly ;)

            1. @f1-liners for a moment there I was about to ask if the thing wasn’t loud enough or if it didn’t made your wife loud enough. Glad you cleared that one out

      2. The only thing, if the racing is amazing you’ll forget about the sound

        1. How about we have a great sound and great racing? Lots of folks seem to think it has to be one or the other. Why?

          1. Because when technology evolves and we go eletric, naturally the noise will decrease.

            F1 does not need to be road relevant but it does need to be at the forefront of thech development, otherwise we can lose the 1 and call it GP something

            1. Btw I’m not in favour or against more or less noise, I just think it isn’t important to F1

      3. @johnmilk ”Yes. Never forget about the sound, that is thr most important thing that F1 should focus now. Without it the races are worse, just take a look at the last Monaco GP” – I disagree. The sound isn’t the most important thing in Motorsport. The only thing if anything that needs fixing is the ‘following another car closely’ problem. The sound is and should always be secondary to the quality of racing.

        1. @jerejj

          Why can’t we have both?

        2. @jerejj you did notice that I was joking right?

        3. @jerejj, and that is exactly the point that @johnmilk was making (unfortunately, the sarcastic undertone didn’t translate well) – that you can add all the noise that you want, but if the race itself is poor, then nobody will care about the noise and they will just complain about the racing.

          We saw how, in 2016, that race was one of the highest rated races that Monaco has seen over the past decade – meanwhile, during the V8 era, there were a number of similar races that were rated just as lowly as the race this year because they were so utterly predictable. If the racing on track is captivating, the noise of the engines just becomes, quite literally, background noise to the whole event.

          1. That moment where your level of sarcasm is so high, people start to think you’re stupid. I have to start measuring it a bit more

      4. @johnmilk Was it a v12 vaccum cleaner? Can’t stand anything below 12 cylinders, I even broke the knob on my stereo so I could put on volume 12.

        1. @peartree that was what I wanted, when I returned to the store to return it, they still had the audacity of telling me that I had to charge the battery before usong it. A battery?! How dare they. I went away and bought a leaf blower, it gathers power from gasoline, as it should be. Granted I can’t have pictures or plants around because theu fly away, but my neighbours love it, every time I use it they come to their windows waving their arms around and scream (I think I can’t really hear them), the joy in their faces is undeniable

          1. One thing is granted @johnmilk your neighbours won’t be threatening to leave you no more, and happily your neighbour mustn’t be David Croft, otherwise you would still hear him.

    8. Kanaan just got his 15 minutes of fame.

      1. He’s had considerably more than that already being an Indianapolis 500 winner.

        1. Thought you were better at picking up a tongue in cheek comment.

          Now he’ll get some more

          But glad you’re quick to run to his defence.

          1. a tongue in cheek comment

            didn’t look it to me initially either (written sarcasm simply often fails, I guess :( )

          2. Still not as fast as you running to Hamilton’s defence.

      2. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
        3rd June 2017, 12:44

        Big surprise defending Lewis again kgn.

      3. “The guy (Hamilton) competed in a two-car world championship last year and was second, so I don’t think he can say much.”

        Great comment.. the problem is.. he has a point to!

      4. June 3, we dub thee Sarcasm Day! Plenty to go around here today.

        btw: sarchasm. the gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the recipient who doesn’t get it

    9. I guess what Williams was trying to say was that even some very successful drivers were involved in some accidents in their first season in F1. I do have some sympathy for Stroll – he really was dropped in at the deep end. Raikkonen, Vettel, Hamilton all came along when the rules on testing were a lot more relaxed and were able to get some time in an F1 car before they were asked to go out there and race one for real. But that just means they should have given the kid a run in free practice similar to what Haas are doing with Giovinazzi.

      1. Uh, Stroll spent the last year practicing in an F1 car, just for him to get ready for F1. Forgot testing or FP sessions, Stroll has had such a ridiculous amount of hands-on prep time, hardly being dropped in the deep end. He’s had every advantage money can buy, and them some.

        As a Canadian I wanted Stroll to succeed, but it’s getting embarrassing. At this point it’s better to not have a Canadian driver in F1. It’s one thing to be a bit slow, he’s a rookie, that’s fine. It’s one thing to crash the car, again, he’s a rookie. It’s when he (and Williams) give shallow excuses or deflect from the issues and start comparing him to WDCs that it gets embarrassing. He’s only there because he has money: he knows it, Williams know it, everybody knows it, and the more Williams keeps trying to say this is just a being a rookie, the more the Williams name gets tarnished.

        1. Agreed. He’s slow and he crashes.

          Jacques Villeneuve or Greg Moore he ain’t.

        2. Stroll did not spend the last year practicing in a 2017 car on the tires they currently have. And he is not being compared to drivers that were WDC’s…it is their rookie seasons that are being compared, and to me SV and KR both had car time in actual cars that they would be racing, that hadn’t just had massive technical reg changes. SV and KR were helped into the shallow end, not thrown into the deep end.

    10. Poor Claire. This is the nth time she has had to justify signing the guy who she compares with the finest drivers of the previous decade and this decade…

      1. Yes. Why not say he is a talented driver who is hired firstly because he brings in a considerable amount of cash. Next to that he has shown potential in previous race categories and we expect him to keep climbing the learning curve

    11. I really hope F1 doesn’t expand beyond 20 races as I think that is the perfect number.

      Last year with 21 I was fed up with it by the end & that is something I’ve not experienced before with F1. If it goes above 21, Especially if it hits 25 I can see that feeling been even worse & I am more likely to just start skipping races rather than watching everything Live as i’ve done sine 1995.

      More races, More race weekends & less downtime may seem great at first glance but in reality I really don’t think it will be as great as people think.

      1. Actually I also think there will be an element where having more races will just result in each feeling less special, Something I think were already starting to suffer from. If you go back to when we had 16/17 races, Each one felt special; You would watch one & then wait 2-3 weeks for the next by which point you were super exciting/looking forward to it. The season would end in mid/late October & you would be waiting until Late March/Early April for the next again by which point you were recharged, super excited & ready to go again.

        I worry that more races will just see each feeling less special, With less downtime between seasons the start of the next will miss that feeling of craving for things to restart that you used to have with longer off seasons…. If you had 25 superbowl’s a year would it still feel as big as the superbowl does? If you had a football world cup every year would it have the anticipation or excitement that it has now when it’s an event that only happens every 4 years?

        I don’t know, Maybe i’m just going nuts or something????

        1. Nobody forces You to see it, You know. You can skip all the races You want.
          I would like to have a race every weekend, all year round if possible, but I hardly follow any other sports, so maybe thats the difference.

      2. Real Madrid plays 60 matches this season.
        Not too many fans complaining ;)

        1. @f1-liners Apples and Oranges comparison as they’re (the games of Real Madrid) take place in one country, unlike the F1 races.

          1. ‘they’

          2. Cardiff ;)

        2. @f1-liners And how many people actually watch every match?

          There is a lot of data out there that shows that with things like soccer where there are many games/matches or whatever over a year that the number of people that follow each one is a fairly small percentage.

          Bringing it back to MotorSport & the obvious example of NASCAR. They have 36 races a season but statistically most fans don’t watch every one & that a big portion of the fanbase actually watches less than 50% of the season. This is why NASCAR often claim to have a large casual fanbase.

          And interestingly there’s data out there which suggest that a part of the reason for NASCAR’s declining TV audience over recent years is that most fans no longer want to dedicate so much time to so many races & that skipping one or more then makes them less likely to go back & watch more of the races as they kind of fall out of the routine so to speak & are less likely to go back.

          It’s called Viewer Fatigue I believe.

          1. And how many people actually watch every match?

            200M expected tonight.
            An average Bernabeu has more spectators (77K) than an average F1 race.

            It will be difficult to get anywhere near viewer fatigue in current F1, unless you include the fatigued fans who cannot find a channel to watch in on ;)

    12. Inevitably, people will jump on these comments by Claire Williams and ridicule them. But Stroll is young and needs more than six races to be judged. Trying to boost his confidence like this is the minimum they should be doing, as it’s them who thrust Lance into this position and assumed he could do a Max Verstappen.

      1. Oh…you had me until you said ‘assumed he could do a Max Verstappen’. I agreed with everything else, even the thrusting him into it part. But I’m not so sure they thought they had the next Max, did they?

        Just to add, I’ll ask, were SV and KR given no time, in a relevant (actual) car, until two months before their debut seasons? Were they jumping into their first full seasons in cars that had just been made intentionally faster and harder to drive, on tires that have been problematic to the likes of LH in a Mercedes? Did they have the pressure of having a billionaire Dad and the constant sniping and expectations that invites? Did they have a Max precede them? Were they really having to learn to wrestle quite unfamiliar beasts on tricky tires AND learn how to be in F1 at the same time, or did they kind of have the car/tire thing handled fairly well by the time they were starting their first full seasons?

        Money buys a race winning chance, just as all drivers have always had that money spent by someone, in order to get them the equipment to show their stuff. But it is no guarantee. Lance happens to have not squandered his opportunities, was up to the challenge, was qualified. “Came in too soon,” would be a sentiment from the viewpoint of hindsight.

        Stroll unquestionably deserves more time as he is under very tough circumstances, and is his own biggest critic, such is his determination.

        A year sooner and he would have been testing actual cars on known tires, well in advance, then running delta lap times in the races, several seconds slower, his compatriots asking for change and more challenge.

        So I also ask…would we prefer F1 remained mundane to the drivers and fans, such that Strolll et al should come in and cakewalk it? Or should F1 be this hard? And thus more rewarding when it is tackled.

        1. @robbie Oh come on man… Stroll is over a second slower than Massa every time.

          That’s really, really poor considering Felipe was significantly slower than Bottas over their time together (last year it even was 17-3 in qualy for Bottas with an average difference of 0.4s)

          1. @jeffreyj Yes…Stroll is learning.

            Comparing him to Massa vs Bottas is irrelevant to Stroll’s situation as I describe above. They have nothing to do with each other. If you want to try to prove FM or VB would be doing better by now as rookies under the exact same circumstances as Stroll is in, knock yourself out.

          2. @jeffreyj

            Felipe was significantly slower than Bottas over their time together (last year it even was 17-3 in qualy for Bottas with an average difference of 0.4s)

            0.285, actually.
            Which only strengthens the point: If Massa suffered a crushing defeat in qualifying, being almost 0.3 seconds off the pace on average, what are we supposed to call a gap that’s three times as large?

            1. What are we to call a gap three times as large? That of a rookie learning how to heat up and keep his tires at the right temp in a vastly different car?

      2. Many lols at Tony Kanaan’s comment about Hamilton coming second in a two car championship:

        1. 2 car championship, well it’s not like he could’ve finished 5th, so not sure what’s so funny.

          1. It’s funny because it’s true.

      3. At least he is not Palmer

    13. Stroll is exactly the same as Vettel and Raikonnen. How can nobody else see that. Apart from the billionaire dad, came into f1 with a good team, didn’t score points on his debut, out raced by his teammate and out qualified by his teammate in every race. Apart from that is eerily similar

      1. 🤔…. your right

      2. 🤔…. your right!!! Spooky

    14. I don’t think that much of the stuff that is coming out of Williams is doing anything to help Lance Stroll, If anything comments like this are just going to ramp up the negativity that so many seem to have for him been where he is.

      I honestly believe that Lance has talent, His junior career shows that as you don’t get the results, win the races/championships that he has without any & money or not he’d have got to F1 eventually based on those results. He could have done with a year or 2 in F2 & been moved to F1 too soon hasn’t helped him, He’s struggling & his confidence is down as a result of that.

      Best thing they can do is just shut up & let Lance drive, Gain experience & improve. Coming out with comments that inadvertently ramp up the pressure on him isn’t going to help him or them.

      1. GtisBetter (@)
        3rd June 2017, 7:13

        You have to keep in mind that these comments are usually part of an interview. The canadian GP is coming up and that is stroll’s home GP. Any interview with Williams will mention this and his struggles.

      2. Stroll didn’t get the results because of talent. He got them because of his dad’s money. In F3 last year Williams developed better parts specifically for his car. His Prema teammates were literally told not to race him, one of them even admitted it in an interview. Obviously the other drivers weren’t driving for Prema, so they had no chance of beating him anyway. On top of that, he had more experience in the car than even the most experienced drivers on the grid as he had done countless private tests on all the tracks they raced on. So basically he had a faster car, teammates that weren’t allowed to race him and knew the car and tracks better than anybody else. Had he not won the championship, he’d surely be the worst racing driver in existence.

        1. Despite having everything lined up you still have to take the chance and he did. To put this in perspective he is well above us lot commenting on here in terms of driving skill. At the elite level however he is not looking great but I still give him the edge over Palmer. Guess he will be around next year so I will reserve judgment until end of 2018. As for driver comparisons he is more like a roomie Grosjean and he turned out to be respectable.

        2. @retardedf1sh In F3 that may have been the case but he was winning races and championships and looking quite good before he got to F3 & before there was any of what you describe as happening while he was in F3.

          Also having people from F1 helping there junior drivers in lower series isn’t anything new. There were people from McLaren embedded in the ART team when lewis hamilton was in f3 & gp2 and i think even as far back as his formula renault days.

          red bull backed drivers get a lot of help that other young drivers don’t as well as far as simulator work (to help learn new tracks), engineering help etc… goes as well. as well as the bits of running they get in f1 cars from time to time.

    15. Love love love anything Honda/Acura NSX. Excited for JB. Now I want a plastic model of that Suzuka version GT car. Come on Tamiya, you’ve done the domestic car already…work of art that it is…do a race version like you have done of so many iconic cars before. Lol.

    16. “The guy (Hamilton) competed in a two-car world championship last year and was second, so I don’t think he can say much.”


      1. Hmmm Hamilton has competed in every F1 World Championship since 2007 and been competitive in every year and walked away with three of those championships, came second in two of them and finished in the top 5 of all of them.
        In fact he has not come less than 5th in any complete series since 2001.

        There are not many racing drivers can make those claims in any discipline.

        1. And he is the only driver in the history of F1 that won a race in all seasons he competed.
          (nonetheless, I smiled a little when I read Tony’s comment)

          1. Then he’s the only driver in the history of F1 that had a car capable of winning races with a team that didn’t mess up his strategy in those races in all seasons he competed.

            1. Hamilton has had an other-worldly talent since he first tried a kart. I think one would have to be rather eccentric not to appreciate that. I don’t think many seriously believe Nico to be quite in the same class.

              Tony Kanan’s comment was funny though, and I bet he was really pleased with himself!

            2. @paulguitar No one can say Hamilton is talentless anyway.

        2. Hamilton has had the luxury of driving a competitive car from the moment he joined F1. That’s indeed something not all drivers can say.
          Even the greats like Schumacher and Senna did not have that luxury.
          Could you imagine what Schumachers win record would be like if he had joined Williams in 92? Scary stuff.

          1. True enough, but having said that, Schumacher enjoyed a level of advantage never seen before or since. I believe he was the best of his generation, but for many years he really had no competition, even from his own team mates, who sadly had to hand victories over to him on the occasions that they could beat him.

            Lewis has never asked for that kind of treatment, which I think is to his credit.

            1. Schumacher no competition?
              Hard to say as if someone is so good others cannot touch him is it that the others are no good or Schumacher extra good. Had Schumacher been younger and joined F1 in 2007 he may have still done what he did so would todays other drivers be considered not as competitive. Schumachers rivals were every bit as good as todays top drivers it’s just Schumacher was that good. That Hamilton, Vettel, Alonso are not as good as Schumacher in his prime is why the current drivers appear to have stronger competition amongst each other.

            2. Victory, not victories. It’s one thing to have to concede one win. It would have been quite another thing if there had been multiple wins handed to him. But there weren’t.

          2. I agree Baron , though Lewis was quick from the getgo, unlike Mutton and DC who debuted in very quick cars…Stroll is kinda like michael andretti’s debut into F1 but much slower than Michael

          3. @baron

            You guys always bring out that line as if it is some sort of stain on his career. Yes he started in a top team, he still had to drive the car right? Did he not drive it well? I mean so well that the double WDC who was being paid a kings ransom compared to this little upstart, resorted to all manners of underhand dealings to get an upper hand.

            11 years 3 WDC & 55 wins later, he proved that he was well worthy of that start.

            That line has run its course, time to try a different one.

            1. @markp

              I am referring to the fact that Schumacher had many advantages never given to anyone else, before or since. I did acknowledge him as the best of his generation. It can’t be denied though that his teammates sometimes gifted him wins and there is still a good deal of suspicion that the cars were not always equal in his teams.

            2. Except for 2009, when his teammate was Heikki, the guy next to him also scored a victory, showing how Hamilton winning a race every season he competed in isn’t as big an achievement as some claim. And his teammates have won a combined 30+ in that time as well.

            3. @Mashiat

              So why haven’t Seb been able to do it?

            4. It’s not a stain on his career. It’s just to help put things into perspective.
              People often bring this up as some kind of feat proving Hamilton’s unique talent (often to prove he’s more talented than any other driver). He proved himself plenty by beating Alonso and winning as much as he did but him winning every season is more a testament to the teams he’s been working with.

            5. Seb hasn’t been able to do it because he didn’t have the car capable of doing it in 2006, 2007 or 2016.
              And now you’re no doubt gonna bring up 2014. To which i say 2013 and 2015. And, so far, 2017 as well. All seasons where Vettel won while his teammate couldn’t.
              Also, Vettel winning the constructors championship on his own in 2013 is a bigger feat to me than a race win in every season.

            6. @Kgn11 Schumacher won a race in every full season he competed in during his career (before his 2010 return), so it’s not as if Hamilton is unique in this. Vettel managed a win in every full season besides 2014 (where he was very poor). So this stat that Hamilton has won every single year is quite pointless, as name me a single season where he didn’t have a car capable of victory. A single one.

              2007 – Top 2 car
              2008 – Top 2 car
              2009 – Was poor, but was often the best at the end. Even Heikki managed podiums in that car.
              2010 – Top 3 car
              2011 – Top 2 car
              2012 – Top 2 car
              2013 – Top 2 car
              2014-2016 – Most dominant car in history.

              Look through history. Most great drivers that have had winning cars in any season have won at least one race that season.

    17. JB didn’t learn Fernando’s lesson.
      I remember the first round of SuperGT this year: one NSX broke down at the start of parade/formation lap, second one – at the formation lap, third – at the race start and fourth on lap 6 or 7, forgot this. Was five in total. Interestingly, there was also said that Honda’s GT500 engines are being made at the same factory as their F1’s, and on the stand tests GT500 inline fours performed even better than F1 V6’s.

    18. When you hire a pay driver, you accept that his money will make up for the points he will not be able score, meanwhile picking up little points is the task of an estabilished and trusty driver, in this case, Massa. The situation is similar to 2011, when Maldonado was in the shoes of Stroll, and Barrichello in Massa’s. Hiring pay drivers was, is and will be a part of the economics of F1, that’s how privateers can survive, and in this regard we have to say thanks for them. Moreover, the 2017 cars are the most difficult to deal with for a rookie since 2009 I would say, so racking up track time would be essential, and for the end of the season Strolls performance would be more fair to evaluate.
      Pay drivers do not lack talent, without the promise of skills and potential no F1 team would be interested in a pay driver nowadays. Strolls rookie year thus should be compared to Perez in 2011 or Maldonado in 2011, however, the relative competitiveness of the 2017 Williams is higher than the 2011 Williams or 2011 Sauber, and hopefully he follows Perez’s route.

      1. @andrewt

        Hiring pay drivers was, is and will be a part of the economics of F1, that’s how privateers can survive, and in this regard we have to say thanks for them.

        I do seriously hope Williams is economically healthy enough to wait for their prize money rather than needing it upfront. Now, two, maybe three positions in the constructors is a whole lot of money in itself, and if Stroll is not beginning to improve, that is what he is costing Williams.
        Probably the best thing a privateer in the current market situation can hope for is a young gun from a works-team junior-program, where talent is combined with some financial benefits. If you can’t have that, the “classic” pay-driver-scheme of a lesser talent making up for it in money is a maths equation that can go wrong. And if it goes wrong, it also creates a difficult situation where turning back from pay-driver (money ahead/during the season) to constuctors money (a year later) is a financially difficult undertaking.

    19. Raikkonen finished 6th on his debut. Stroll is yet to score a point in a car that is at least as competitive as Raikkonen’s Sauber in 2001.

      1. Not only that but he’s nowhere near Massa. Who isn’t exactly F1’s benchmark. I’d say Maldonado was a far better investment for Williams back in the day. Similar money but more speed.

    20. Regarding the ”Formula One wants more than 21 races a year” article: ”He added that the calendar should not include “too many back-to-backs” and was not convinced they helped reduce costs.”
      – How would less back-to-back events reduce the costs? I don’t understand the logic behind that claim. Less consecutive weekend pairings than what we have now (which isn’t too many) would just increase unnecessary back-and-forth travelling, especially with the flyaway races.

      1. @jerejj Agreed

        I think Liberty should even do back to back’s only with one week in between and they should stay in one area at the time. For example start of the season in the America’s, then the European season, then the Asian season and finish in the Arab’s.

        That way the cars stay in one area at the time for longer, plus F1 can really make an extended marketing effort in one area at the time.

      2. Sundar Srinivas Harish
        3rd June 2017, 11:16

        @jerejj @jeffreyj Given the differences in each track, every team finds it necessary to go back to the HQ/factory after every race. For example, the tail-end Americas stint – the teams would go from USA to their HQ, then go to Mexico and back to HQ, and then go to Brazil. If the races were back-to-back, it would mean that they have to pack up and move much faster than they normally would, thereby incurring more cost. Having less back-to-back weekends makes the logistics much smoother.

        1. @Sundar Srinivas Harish I doubt they’re doing back-and-forth travelling between the US and Mexican GPs with only four full days between the US GP race day and the Mexican GP practice day. The cars at least will be transferred straight to the next venue of any given back-to-back weekend pairing.

        2. That’s not true, e.g. at the start of the european season it is said that this is the first instance when the cars have come back to the factory. i.e. all previous races the cars were in transit from circuit to circuit and not from circuit to HQ and back.

    21. Vettel and Raikkonen didn’t have an entire testing program out of daddy’s pocket (supposedly 80 million!) set up for them before they had their first full season.
      Vettel and Raikkonen didn’t get outraced by a guy who they first retired to get you in his seat and then had to beg him to come back since their first driver left for a bigger team.
      Vettel and Raikkonen scored a point in their first GP.
      Vettel and Raikkonen’s team bosses didn’t had to come out every week and tell the media that it was a learning year for them and that they would do better in the future.

      Not helping Claire!

    22. Antoon van Gemert
      3rd June 2017, 10:08

      Strange and somewhat protective remark from Claire Williams, because it’s a quite ridiculous remark and she knows it! Williams took a big gamble signing Lance Stroll and the gamble took the wrong turn when Valtteri Bottas went to Mercedes, leaving the old and very young trying to do there best for Williams, with no points for Stroll so far. Don’t get me wrong, I wish him all the best in F1, but his task right now, in these circumstances, is very difficult. I don’t want to talk about he money or the comparison to Max Verstappen (they raced already together at the beginning of 2014 in the Florida Winter Series), that’s not fair, but I’m not sure if he’s gonna make it in F1, it’s a hard world out there. By the way has anyone heard countryman Jacques Villeneuve spewing his critics views towards Lance Stroll, as he did so many times towards Max Verstappen?

      1. Hahahaha, the all knowing Villeneuve. Haven’t heard him yet on Stroll. Hahaha what a man. His comments always make me smile. Hard to believe he gained so little knowledge on the game whilst having been part of it

    23. I just seen where Alonso commented on how F1 has no “surprises” and that we know who’s gonna win.

      And yes I have read what everybody here says about him. And yes I agree that he has been pretty arrogant with making sure he is the #1 driver on the team. It sucked. But when you look at Alonso, you can see he is not like that. Alonso has been prodded by the most cheating underhanded and conniving manager who has drilled it into his head to force himself as #1 driver. When push comes to shove, yeah, F1 places that precedence. But ya know what?… being a nice guy goes a long ways. And I truly believe Alonso’s negativity within a team has been placed on him by his manager.

      Yeah I know it’s off topic, just wanted to get it out cause I have wanted to say it many times and just never did. I think Alonso is the best driver in F1. Who has the best car is winning, but nobody brings junk equipment to the front better than Alonso cause he is just that good.

      I was not impressed with his childish mentality a couple years there, but I blame that on Briatore.

    24. Laurence Stroll’s contract with Williams includes a $100,000 bonus payment for each positive comment from Claire Williams about Lance Stroll that is picked up by at least three media outlets.

      1. Yeah, zing. Nowhere to be found. Heh.

      2. SevenFiftySeven
        3rd June 2017, 11:33

        There’s probably some coming in from Mercedes also. Notice the choice of drivers used in her erroneous assessment. The slant is obvious.

    25. With 2020, when we do the new engines, quality of sound should be an essential part. It is very important.

      I’m not sure why Wolff thinks the sound of an engine is important, unless it is to offer some sort of mild sedative so fans are less discouraged from watching F1 races by the price. Price to watch F1 races on TV is a proven deterrent and is far more effective at driving fans away than the sound of the car engine. As far as I can tell there isn’t any reason to believe making the sound louder will have gain viewers on a long term basis.

    26. Yes, let compare Vettel and Raikkonen to Stroll. Lance has finished what… one race? No points. Kimi and Vettel scored on their debuts. They got their seats on merit, not daddy’s bank account and so far Lance hasn’t demonstrated that’s the case with him as well.

    27. So the teams don’t seem to want more races, Comments from the drivers that I have seen indicate they don’t want more races, The results of the recent global fan survey shows that most fans don’t want more races…….. But were getting more races anyway.

      What happened to the new owners listening to what fans & teams wanted?

      I know from my side that going to 25 or more races would result only in me no longer watching every race as i simply don’t have time to dedicate so many weekends anymore & if i miss one i’m going to be less likely to watch the next as I don’t like watching things out of order, find that ruins the flow of the season for me.

    28. I don’t think there’s much of an appetite from anyone outside of Liberty as far as adding more races to the calender goes.

      I know from speaking to people within F1 that it’s something none of the teams are really in favor of, Many of the mechanics, engineer’s etc.. are even less in favor of & not many (If any) of the drivers are looking all that forward to.
      I also know that on the FOM/TV crew side there isn’t all that much support either as setting up a broadcast (In terms of setting up cameras/equipment/TV tent) & tearing it down isn’t exactly the easiest/fastest things to do.
      Also seen a relative lack of support on the broadcaster side as it means more travel & expense for those that take crews to every race.

      As somebody above noted already the recent fan survey there wasn’t much support (Only 20% of fans voted in favor of 21+) & i’m not seeing much support for 21+ on any of the other fan discussion places i contribute/lurk.

      It’s something that seems to only have support on the Liberty side as they see it as a fairly quick/easy way to bring in more revenue.

    29. Ivan Pacheco
      3rd June 2017, 14:24

      Being kinder with Stroll? This is not an elementary school all-get-a-throphy contest, this is Formula 1. If the kid is good he will deliver no matter what, specially no matter what people are saying. These comments looks more to defend Claire desision than to defend Stroll.

    30. to be fair, it took years for GRO to come good (though if its easier to make fast cars reliable than to make a reliable car fast…..perhaps the same goes with drivers?)

      1. I think it’s comparable to Honda, you can’t make a slow and unreliable engine a competitive one, the same way you can’t make a slow and crash prone driver competitive.

    31. Love Kanaan’s one liner there, brilliant + Claire Williams is clearly running away with the F1 double-speak championship this year.

    32. Stroll is similar to Vettel and Raikkonen as rookies?! What does she smoking? Why does she insist on damaging her father’s team reputation with some of the stupidest statements I’ve ever heard?

    33. For Haas to make such a profound statement, I obviously found that to be disappointing.

      Mallya overlooks Force India got a payout from Formula One Management while Haas, who finished inside the Top Ten in the Constructors’ Championship, didn’t. As such, it wouldn’t surprise me if Haas relied a lot on the generosity of Ferrari’s credit to keep racing. If so, then one can hardly be surprised that Gene Haas made such a comment. Maybe the payment Force India received wasn’t, in their eyes, fair, but for a team who finished 8th to receive nothing from a $965M prize pool is even less fair.

    34. That is right. Based on what is her comparison? Did they crash a lot? Struggled to finish a race?

      Kimi was spectacular especially in early years, he was on it.

      Seb won with. STR. With pace.

      Williams also said Bottas reminded them a lot about Senna..

      So they talk nice about their drivers, but there is a thin line between praise and exaggeration.

    35. Hahahahaha, Williams… what a fossils. If that is how you want to play the game the way back to the top will be very very very long. Hahahaha, yeah I think he will become at least a 4 times WDC winner too..haha

      1. Why not say he is a talented driver who is hired firstly because he brings in a considerable amount of cash. Next to that he has shown potential in previous race categories and we expect him to keep climbing the learning curve.

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