Stroll pleased to hit team target with seventh

2017 Italian Grand Prix

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Lance Stroll says he’s happy to have hit Williams’s target of a seventh place finish after starting on the front row of the Italian Grand Prix.

The Canadian rookie ran third in the opening laps of the race before being passed by some of the faster cars behind him, crossing the line in seventh place for his best result since his podium at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

“I am very happy with the race and I think it was a good one,” says Stroll. “I really enjoyed myself. I finished in seventh, which was what we were expecting.

“I had a good start, but unfortunately Lewis [Hamilton] didn’t have a good start and I wasn’t hoping for that. I was actually hoping for him to have a good start. So exactly what didn’t have to happen, happened. He blocked me and I had to back off and it gave the position to Esteban [Ocon], which was not ideal.

“Our pace was really solid all race long. Attacking Esteban, fighting with him throughout the whole first stint. It was a shame about the pitstop – that was not perfect.”

Stroll faces heavy pressure from Williams team mate Felipe Massa in the closing laps after locking up into the Rettifilo chicane when lapping Pascal Wehrlein.

“I had a flat spot, so I had to drag that all the way to the end and that’s why I was defending from Felipe a lot towards the end,” explains Stroll.

“It was just a very slight touch. I had a massive flat spot so I couldn’t see much and just miscalculated a bit. But it was wheel-to-wheel and ‘rubbing is racing’, I guess. It wasn’t a Perez-Ocon moment. We got it home in seventh and eighth, which is what matters. It’s good for the team.”

Having set a new record for being the youngest ever front-row starter in the history of Formula One, Stroll says he is learning the most from being involved in battles at the front of the field.

“Every opportunity I have to be in situations like I was in today, under pressure, pit stops that are really important and then defending and attacking or using the engine mode in the best possible way. It’s super important to know when the right time is to press the ‘overtake’ button or best time to us deployment to overtake the car in front – that’s all strategy that I learn every time I get into the car.

“Days like today or Baku, I feel like I’m getting better and better every time I have an opportunity to race the way like I did today.”

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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6 comments on “Stroll pleased to hit team target with seventh”

  1. Williams performed better in the dry and especially in the wet than they have in a long time. Hope they can get a handle on what was done right and carry it forward.
    Good job by young Stroll in qualifying and in the race. He did well to stay out of trouble and place as well as he could in the race, even holding off Massa on the last lap.

  2. Didn’t Massa have damage beginning with Perez’s contact?
    It’s one thing to go backwards from a front row start, but it’s another to brag about holding off the sister car when she’s not healthy.

    1. Stroll pitted for his tyres much earlier than Massa and he also ran behind another car for the whole race while Massa had mostly clear air until he caught up to Stroll, which together meant Stroll’s tyres were worse off in their battle. Should be taken into consideration.

  3. Lance has shown he deserved the seat

      1. Take his performance and not how he got hereas consideration and you will see he is doing fine and deserving a seat. For a rookie he is doing well.

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