2017 F1 team mate battles: Massa vs Stroll at Williams

2017 F1 season review

Posted on

| Written by

Last year Felipe Massa had the worst qualifying score line of any driver. Valtteri Bottas out-qualified him 17-4.

So what does it tell us that Massa had one of the best qualifying scores of 2017? He thrashed rookie team mate Lance Stroll 17-2 (Massa withdrew from the weekend before qualifying in Hungary). On average he was seven-tenths of a second quicker in qualifying.

Nor was Stroll showing great signs of progress in this respect. He was a second slower than Massa in four of the last five qualifying sessions.

Go ad-free for just £1 per month

>> Find out more and sign up

So either Massa made a quantum leap forward in terms of one-lap pace in his final season of competition (one which, 12 months ago, he was not going to take part in) or Williams got nowhere near the true qualifying potential of their FW40. The likelihood it was the latter may well influence their decision on who to replace Massa with in 2018.

Yet remarkably, one of the very few occasions Stroll out-qualified Massa was in dire conditions at Monza, where he put the car on the front row.

There’s little doubt Stroll was flattered by the points scores at the end of the season. He may have performed better in the races than he did in qualifying, but not enough to deserve to end the year three points off his team mate.

Massa vs Stroll: The scores

Massa vs Stroll: Season results

Felipe MassaQ
Lance StrollQ

2017 F1 season review

Browse all 2017 F1 season review articles

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

14 comments on “2017 F1 team mate battles: Massa vs Stroll at Williams”

  1. Wowzers…….

    When it is all clearly laid out, it is even more embarrassing….

    With so much money coming into the team from the family, I hope it is not one of situations where any chronic underperformance is not sugar coated to the point where Stroll feels he is not to blame.

    Having said that, he should certainly have another year to sort it out.

    1. I think he should have several years out of F1, and come back when he’s more experienced. I don’t think he was (or is) ready for F1.

      The speed he has shown randomly throughout the year shows he’s got the potential

  2. A big problem for Williams next year is that, with Stroll so inconsistent, it will be very difficult to measure their performance, and indeed the performance of their other driver

    1. @strontium – Paddy Lowe’s had a year to look to the 2018 car. So, once again, I’d see where Williams’s new driver compares against Force India, by way of comparison. And then see where Stroll stands relative to the three of them.

  3. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    1st December 2017, 13:09

    If other teams followed Williams’ lead to drop the stronger driver to keep the one with the more money, here are the decisions that we’d be seeing:

    McLaren would have to drop Alonso and only keep Vandoorne
    Renault would have to drop Hulk and keep Palmer
    Toro Rosso would have to drop Sainz and keep Kvyat
    Force India would have to drop both Perez and Ocon (Ocon performed too well to stay)
    Haas would have to drop Grosjean and keep Magnussen (or both drivers)

    It’s shocking when you apply their decision making to the other teams and the funniest part is that we haven’t even touched the top teams where 2 drivers with 8 WDCs between them would get the axe :-)

    1. Agree Michael.
      Seems money really matters for Williams, otherwise I think their race mentality has left.
      The test Stroll continues to do, to me shows he is willing also to work and knows money combined with skills is better, that is positive.
      Like Ocon vs Perez Mag did also very well against Gro, he had 2/4 of the evaluation scores, Ocon 0/4.

    2. Stoffel Vandoorne did not and has not any financiel backing whatsoever,certainly in Belgium where King soccer rules.
      He did it on merit alone,the only advice he got was to win everything if you want to make it in F1. That’s why McLaren picked him up.

  4. It makes you wonder why Williams showed Massa the door. There’s no guarantee Kubica will be as quick as he was before his accident (just look at Massa), and Sirotkin has less experience than Stroll. They’re really rolling the dice.

  5. I do think Massa made a bit of a jump this season. This generation of cars which hearken back to the pre 2009 models get along more with his driving style I feel. Although that obviously doesn’t explain the massive difference to Stroll, especially as he was doing far more testing through the year.

    While we’re in the subject, does anyone know how man private tests Stroll took part in?

  6. I think the point deficit is the best Stroll would like for his first season, but it doesnt say the truth of their on track difference… Stroll has come in F1 too early(2 years earlier IMO) & he has struggled a lot.He has showed some good skills(like his wet skills) but he jumped too early in F1. Massa started really well, putting the car where it should be & he even had a race(Bahrain) where he battled with Ferrari’s & RBR. After Spain, just like 2016, the team lost the development war & the car went backwards. That affected Massa performance much more than Stroll.

    The big difference beween Massa & Stroll season was the luck they suffered. Massa lost tones of points in Russia, Spain, Canada, Baku, Mexico,while Stroll had the luck in Baku & Mexico.In Stroll’s case,he had the benefit of other cars retiring/being out of shape when he had a good race…The only time when Stroll showed sonething impressive was in the Monza weekend:he had an excellent qualify & in the race he defended when it needed & had good pace throughout the race. Stroll beat Masaa 3 more times, but in all 3 of them, Massa had some kind of an issue:In Singapore the team left him wih no reason on full wet,in Malaysia he had damage from Lap 1 contact & in Mexico he had a slow puncure which ruined his race.

    Massa’s season has been much better than 2016:He was much more stable in overall & he did 3 excellent races (Bahrain,Baku & Brazil), showing that he still got what it takes.His whole performance in Brazil & Baku mostly, was impressive.

    To sum up this huge text,i believe the lack of downforce of the FW40 was the biggest issue for some of the struggles & not their drivers(especially Felipe).

  7. This is how the comments will go:

    Stoff did quit well, taking into account he as driving alongside Alonso
    Stroll was rubish, he didn’t even managed to be on the pace of a guy like Massa.

    Scroll away people, scroll away

  8. @keithcollantine Season results table looks weird with the abbreviations you’re using. Two “AUS”es appear, UNI instead of USA, GRE instead of GBR etc.

  9. > = Much better

    Massa > Stroll (2017)
    Bottas > Massa (2014-17)
    Hamilton > Bottas (2017)

    Lol, Stroll is so bad..

Comments are closed.