Lance Stroll, Williams, Circuit of the Americas, 2017

Stroll intends to focus on qualifying in off-season

2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Lance Stroll says he wants to work on his qualifying performance in the off-season after another difficult session in Abu Dhabi.

Carlos Sainz Jnr, Renault, Yas Marina, 2017
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix qualifying in pictures
The Williams driver said his session was “not great” after dropping out in Q2 while team mate Felipe Massa made it into the final 10. Massa was over one second quicker than him in Q2.

Stroll said he “never really got into” the session. “I just couldn’t get the balance right and drive the car the way I wanted.”

“It was hard as we still have the disadvantage of the old power unit after the change in Brazil.”

“I also made too many little mistakes and I don’t think we were in the window for the tyres. I locked up in the last corner and lost it there on the first lap, and on the second lap there was a lot of traffic, and I was slower than I planned in the last sector.”

“We need to understand why this happens over the winter, to try and improve our Saturdays.”

However Stroll is hopeful of a more competitive showing in the race. “I am not saying it is the end of the world as tomorrow is another day and we have started further back this year and come through to score some good points,” he said.

Williams chief technical officer Paddy Lowe said Stroll had endured “a tough day for trying to put the right lap together and we saw that in qualifying.”

2017 Abu Dhabi 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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  • 28 comments on “Stroll intends to focus on qualifying in off-season”

    1. Stroll needs to learn how to drive an F1 car properly without sawing at the wheel all the time. Does that sound harsh? Good.

        1. He was worst than Brazil…l didnt think it possible!!!!

      1. He deserves ‘harsh’ a bit; he’s still young and eager to learn.

        A bit disappointing that after some good performances mid season, he seems to be overdriving (certainly over-‘steering’) the car again.

      2. @john-h
        Imo, Stroll needs a season or two in F2, along with some FP1 testing for Williams. It’s become increasingly obvious that his F3 title was not an indicator for him being ready for F1, which is rather normal if we look at the recent past. Sure, there was Verstappen, who jumped right into an F1 car after finishing third in F3, but that had been his first season in a formula car, with clear signs of a steep improvement curve over the course of that season. Verstappen was the exception to the rule. The Strolls got it wrong by mistaking him for a blueprint.

        1. @nase
          Verstappen is not an exception here. You should compare Stroll to Palmer instead and you will see the jump from F3 to F1 is not the problem.

          Just make sure to not put Stroll in any top team that fights for wins and he can do just fine in F1 for many years to come.

          1. @rethla
            Erm, I’m not sure I can subscribe to you logic here. Yeah, Palmer’s career path was the exact opposite, with 4 years in GP2, before he moved up to F1, impressing absolutely no one. But that doesn’t mean the opposite has to be true. In fact, assuming the opposite results in complete nonsense.

            Actually, there is a lesson to be learnt in the comparison of Verstappen’s and Palmer’s careers:
            Verstappen hopped into a formula car for the first time in his life, and picked up the pace incredibly quickly, showcasing his talent and development potential.
            Palmer, however, had to spend years over years in junior formulae before finally winning something. His rate of development was on the other side of the Verstappen scale, implying that he never actually had the potential to be more than an also-ran in F1.
            Verstappen’s ascension from F3 straight into F1 was a bit of a risk, as the difference is enormous, but Verstappen’s equally enormous talent allowed him to compensate for his lack of preparation in no time.
            Palmer, on the other hand, was prepared. 4 seasons in GP2 and 2 seasons as a test driver in F1 meant that he had all the preparation one could ask for. Sadly for him, talent was what he lacked, which is why he came into F1 without looking like an underprepared rookie, but failed to improve from there.
            Stroll is somewhere between those two drivers. His F3 title is a clear sign of his talent, even though the circumstances of that season mean that it is unlikely he was simply the best driver in a field of 20 drivers with equal machinery. It took him two years, and an insane amount of preferential treatment, to get there, so it was clear to see that his development curve wasn’t as steep, wasn’t driven by the same all-conquering talent of a Verstappen.
            That’s why, when he jumped into F1, his talent wasn’t sufficient to compensate for the deficits in his formation up to that point. It’s not like he makes the typical rookie mistakes, driving erratically and crashing, but he’s nowhere near competent in the field of tyre management, which is the key aspect of racing in F2 nowadays.

            Long story short:
            I did the comparison, and to the surprise of absolutely no one, I stand by my initial statement.

    2. only the qualifying? Mwah.. There’s More Work to be Done..

    3. Hamilton > Bottas > Massa > Stroll. People in the paddock must be making these comparisons and the gaps are not small. He is not shaking the daddy’s boy pay driver image dispite a handful of good results. He should have his two years to try and improve as all drivers should. But if he dosn’t he should be gone. I doubt he will go though as that image is not so far from the truth.

    4. Lance Stroll says he wants to work on his qualifying performance in the off-season after another difficult session in Abu Dhabi = Daddy please get the chequebook out we need to book some test circuits to do multiple runs.

    5. 1 second off his team mate and yet Anthony Davidson praised how he was ‘on the limit’. Damon Hill then says that stroll makes many movements on the steering wheel and that Schumacher used to do the same. Is Stroll Snr paying the journos as well?

      It’s a shame pay drivers have this much influence on the pinnacle of racing, these are meant to be 20 of the best drivers in the world. Have also been wondering about why Wehrlein is not an option for Williams yet Di Resta, Kyvat and Sirotkin get consistently mentioned…

      1. Yes it is. I don’t think he’s literally bank rolling the journos, but Stroll snr’s influence must be making the journo’s think twice before commenting.

    6. Why all the Lance hate? It’s not like he’s depriving other more deserving drivers of a race seat simply because he has enormous wealth behind him..

      Oh wait, he is.

      Carry on.

    7. Comparison of sector times at Williams:
      Sector 1: Stroll +0.106 (+0.62%)
      Sector 2: Stroll +0.327 (+0.81%)
      Sector 3: Stroll +0.646 (+1.64%)

      Sector 2 stands out as the power-sensitive part of the track, with 6 slow corners and 2 very long straights, whereas sector 1 and especially sector 3 emphasise cornering speeds (traction being another important factor in sector 3).
      The thing is, his sector times clearly show that, despite his indisputable engine disadvantage, he lost most of his time in the twisty parts of the track.

      The speed trap points to a similar conclusion: Massa was second-quickest at 329.4 kph, but Stroll was just 1.5 kph (or 0.45%) slower. While the speed trap at the end of a long straight line might not tell the whole story regarding the power output of an engine (DRS and slipstreams potentially levelling the differences), the ‘maximum speeds’ measured at the end of every sector essentially confirm that impression:
      Sector 1: 290.9 vs. 289.3 (+0.55%)
      Sector 2: 326.7 vs. 323.0 (+1.145%)
      Finish line: 228.4 vs. 227.0 (0.61%)

      In the case of sectors 1 and 3, the differences are almost negligible, not even standing out when compared to other teams. Stroll apparently suffered a bit more on the second long straight, but the fact that his top speed on the first long straight was virtually identical to Massa’s, casts some doubt upon the significance of that one reading. Massa may have had a bit of a slipstream, in which case 3.7 kph would be insignificant. Even more so considering that the long straights only account for circa 26 seconds of full throttle, i.e. just over a quarter of the lap time.

      The most telling figure is the speed measured at the finish line, which tells us roughly how well the cars accelerated out of the slowish final corner on the short dash to the finish line. Stroll only lost 0.6% compared to Massa on this short run. By naïvely multiplying this deficit with the estimated full throttle percentage of 59%, Stroll’s acceleration-related time deficit over his best lap would’ve been circa 0.35 seconds, which might have put him ahead of Magnussen, who was 14th.

      Yes, the old engine definitely wasn’t helpful, but his engineers know that it didn’t play a decisive role.

      1. Appreciated this post. Thanks for it!

    8. He’s a below average driver.

      Williams should get rid.

      Hilarious they’re keeping him over Massa.

    9. The thing that i’ve been told by a few different people at Williams this year is that the biggest problem Lance has had is getting the tyres into the operating window for 1 lap in qualifying. His race pace tends to be on-par (Or at least not too far off Felipe’s) but he’s been unable to make full use of it due to been out of position & stuck in traffic.

      The private test’s his done have not been able to help in that area either as the tyres Pirelli supply for those test’s are completely different to the 2017 race tyres, There more durable & have a larger operating range because there designed to be used for demo runs & filming days with older cars (Lance has been using a 2014 car).

      It’s also something thats hard to test at race weekends due to the limited number of tyres available & how putting a heat cycle through a used set changes the way they work which means doing qualifying simulations during practice to help him figure out how to switch the tyres on has been difficult & the problems they had with the car mid-season hindered that more as they were having to spend time in practice trying to figure the car out rather than putting Lance on runs to help with his tyre problems.

      1. +1 Informative. Thanks.

    10. But still
      What stroll does is practicing and I don’t understand why other teams aren’t doing the same- in every sport people train to get better… so why isn’t Vettel (or others) pounding around in an old car to get better?

      1. @verstappen they certainly do in simulator, more convenient and far less expensive for the teams. So either Williams simulator is not on par with the top team, or money is so easy to get for Stroll than he prefer do real tests. Or boths.

      2. They practice on fridays and saturdays.

      3. It costs alot of money for that and while all F1 drivers are rich, none of them have Stoll’s Dad-level money.

    11. Stop moaning, he won’t be in F1 next year as Williams are keeping the clearly better of their two current drivers.

      Oh wait…

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