Lance Stroll, Williams, Yas Marina, 2017

“I was lost” Stroll admits after three-stop race

2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Lance Stroll said he was “lost out there” after finishing last for the second weekend in a row in Abu Dhabi.

The Williams driver made three visits to the pits while none of his rivals made more than a single stop.

Start, Yas Marina, 2017
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in pictures
“It was not a good race today,” he said. “I hate to be negative, but nothing worked this weekend.”

“I just couldn’t get the tyres switched on and I was just lost out there. We weren’t in the race today.”

Stroll called for his first pit stop early, telling the team he had two flat spots on his tyres. He returned to the pits two more times, telling his team he wanted to “do something different with they tyres, maybe I can learn something.”

“We had three pit stops and still it didn’t work,” he explained afterwards. Stroll believes his problems began at the previous race and tyres are at the root of his trouble.

“The last two weekends were ones to forget and before that, we were doing just fine. We need to understand what exactly went wrong.”

“I know it was tyre related, but we are missing a huge chunk of lap time and it is coming from somewhere because before that I was confident in the car.”

“Now I shall have some time off, but then get back to work and work harder than ever and come into 2018 as strong as I can possibly be and be on top of my game as much as possible.”

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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  • 16 comments on ““I was lost” Stroll admits after three-stop race”

    1. If Massa can’t get a drive in F1 when he’s 1 second faster than Stroll, there’s something wrong with F1… What’s next? Bernie Ecclestone and Jean Todt replacing Kimi at Ferrari?

      1. To be honest if I were Williams which I am not (they are way smarter unfortunately for me) I would keep Massa, take Kvyat as a testing driver, give Stroll a couple of FP and young driver tests appearances while he climbs the ladder and put Kubica on the other seat. If you convince the Strolls to keep pumping the money, it would just be better for everyone. Stroll and Kvyat could improve while no longer being under pressure, Massa would always be under pressure of getting replaced and would just perform better as he always does when he is on a mission and for Kubica it’s self explanatory really. This could result in better point scoring, better development for 2018 and better potential for the future. Here;s hoping they haven’t made a huge blunder and ruined it for everyone involved.

        1. I’d have a Kubica-Kvyat lineup with Stroll in test and reserve. Let him have every FP1. Good race drivers and cash as well.

      2. Williams have let go the wrong driver.

        1. Massa only outscored stroll by 3 points this year. Give me a break. Massa has had his chance, now its time for someone else to get a go at it. Fans have been begging massa to retire for 4 years now.

      3. I would like to see Wolff and Horner in those seats, but money talks and pay drivers Bernie and Todt will no doubt get the drives.

    2. If Alonso was head of Williams: “Embarrassing. NO TALENT! NO TALENT! GP2 DRIVER! ARGHHHHH!”
      Jokes aside though, Stroll kind of seems talented enough for F1 (especially in the rain). He just seems to lack the brains for it. Not sure if it is partly the team’s fault for his tire problems, but he should be able to figure this out. I mean, being a genius behind the wheel is part of being a modern F1 driver. I know he is too young to be expected of being able to understand very complex tires but this maybe goes to show why they should leave the kids playing around in the lower series: Not because of their lack of talent or physique but because of their lack of understanding how racing cars work. Verstappen wasn’t exceptional only because of his speed but because of his understanding. He got to terms with open wheel racing in 1 year when he went from carting to F3 euroseries. Maybe this is why RedBull decided to promote him to ToroRosso.

      1. …this maybe goes to show why they should leave the kids playing around in the lower series: Not because of their lack of talent or physique but because of their lack of understanding how racing cars work.

        @redi So long as the families of these kids are able to entice teams with exorbitant amounts of money for the privilege, we might continue to see rookies have potential squandered through premature F1 starts.

        I wonder how Lawrence feels about his involvement in pushing his son into F1. It reminds me of those parents you see on talent show competitions who believe they’re doing their kids a favour, when in actual fact they get humiliated and their ambitions stifled.

    3. Now I shall have some time off, but then get back to work and work harder than ever …

      That’s the wrong way to do things. The correct way is to work harder than ever while the memory of what you want to improve upon is still fresh in your mind. You need to instill a strict routine of practice, practice and practice. Lance needs to look at the the time he completed each race in or best his Qualifying time was and to compare that to the winning time or the fastest time, then to use that as a guide as to the improvement he needs to make for each circuit. For example, in Q2 at Abu Dhabi he was approximately 3.2 seconds slower than the fastest time; if we halved that to 1.6 seconds, after 55 laps that is 88 seconds. If Lance had a deficit of 88 seconds behind Bottas then he’d have finished around about 6th or 7th place.

    4. Cant recall a driver ever admit “that he was lost”…. l find it concerning and career ending. Its wrong to keep a driver who is in over his head and its even wronger to keep the same driver for his money. But without that money the team begins to flounder. Sounds like the almighty dollar will solve this issue again. So the Williams lives on for another day with zero chance of winning.

      1. His pumping in a heap of money supporting the company and a lot of people. If i was Williams, id leave him in and just make sure Kubica is in the other car. Although you would have to feel for Stroll a bit, coming up against arguably one of the most talented drivers.

    5. Yes mate, that’s right, you are lost as a whole.

      Through out the year I did feel at times that we were being harsh on Lance, but I think it’s justified, he just isn’t good enough, that’s not to say that he won’t ever be. Williams should sit down with Papa Stroll and convince him to run Lance in F2 for a year, with a deal to come back to F1 after, or something of the like.

      Williams will soon find itself in the situation as Mclaren found themselves in. Once the money paid by Papa Stroll doesn’t make up for the loss of FOM cash due to lack of points, Lance will be sacked.

    6. The situation at Williams is intriguing. Lance Stroll has next year to prove that he belongs in F1, no more, as Williams cannot afford to keep him on for 2019 if there’s not a huge improvement – it would damage their reputation with their business partners too much. But Williams need a second driver, one that will not make Stroll look bad and the Stroll’s have the financial clout to make certain that this doesn’t happen.

      The problem is that almost every driver Williams potentially could sign WILL make Stroll look bad – heck, Ericsson has overtaken his Mercedes-powered Williams almost at will with the 2016-engined Sauber (cf Spain and Abu Dhabi). Last year, it came as something of a surprise when Ocon got the FI drive ahead of Wehrlein, who was generally perceived to be the (slightly) better of the two, and look at Ocon this year! Wehrlein and Ericsson are the closest driver pairing this season with only 0.049 seconds separating their qualifying efforts over the year, so no potential non-Stroll munching driver there. Kvyat? Not if the Strolls have anything to say about it! Kvyat was only 0.114 seconds off Sainz in qualifying and is way too quick for Lance. Di Resta or Kubica? Big gamble as either could soon prove to be 0.5 secs quicker than Stroll (Massa was 0.621 seconds quicker). Jolyon Palmer? Now that’s a possibility even if the rest of the world would immediately know who calls the shots at Williams.

      So who do Williams hire that is good enough not to tarnish their name while at the same time bad enough not to make Lance Stroll look completely at sea like Massa has?

    7. Lance does have his issues but I think it is one of the weaknesses of the Williams car to get tyres switched on. We saw massa pit and rejoin in front of Alonso but the Mclaren already had its tyres switched on and had visibly superior grip.

    8. Speaking of logos, is that “L S” logo on the side of Lance’s Williams hat a “Lance Stroll” logo? If so, I can’t decide which is more pathetic, the new F1 logo or the idea of an “Lance Stroll” logo.

    9. Here speaks the man leading Williams into next season.

      What a mess. Getting rid of Massa for this…

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