Charles Leclerc, Lance Stroll, Albert Park, 2018

Stroll lost engine modes in race due to team’s “mistake”

2018 Australian Grand Prix

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The engine problem which Lance Stroll suffered in practice before the Australian Grand Prix meant he couldn’t use its high-performance mode in the race, the Williams driver revealed.

“We can’t race at the moment,” said Stroll after finishing 14th at Albert Park. “We have major, major overtaking issues.”

“I had no mode on the engine because of the mistake the team made on Friday. We had an overtaking issue and we lost a lot of ‘race-plus’ mode which is the extra power we use for Safety Car restarts and all that stuff. I had none of that today.

“For the moment we can’t race and from the beginning as well I had a problem on the first lap. That’s why [Esteban] Ocon got me, we were in the wrong mode for some reason. There was a lot going on today, a lot of big issues that cost us a lot of race time.”

Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen, Albert Park, 2018
2018 Australian Grand Prix in pictures
Williams chief technical officer Paddy Lowe confirmed Stroll had “a problem with the engine strategy which meant he didn’t have his boost on the back straight” on the first lap.

“We have to manage engines around a level of duty and due to a problem which got a little bit out of control on Friday we consumed more life than we should have done then,” he explained. “That was penalised in the race.”

Lowe said the over-stressed part was not the battery but the engine itself. “It’s got a certain life to last seven races and you have to use it at the right rate,” he said.

The team’s frustration was compounded as they were unable to reclaim the position from the Force India. “[Stroll] lost a place to [Charles] Leclerc which obviously we need to go and understand because we were hoping he would gain a place to Ocon on a much better tyre at that point.”

Valtteri Bottas suggested Mercedes had not got the cooling level right on their car and Lowe said Williams, who use the same engines, had similar problems.

“In Lance’s case the pace was very poor. Some of it again following cars. But even in free air at various stages in the race we were struggling for grip.

“At other stages in the race, particularly towards a the end, the car was working well for us. So pace variations during the race.

“We had overcooked it slightly on the temperature capacity on the engine. The ambient was warmer today than we’d predicted so it did mean at the end he was making attacks on Leclerc but not able to sustain them because we needed to recover temperature in the end.”

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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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39 comments on “Stroll lost engine modes in race due to team’s “mistake””

  1. Andre Furtado
    30th March 2018, 13:21

    Stroll you are the problem with the car.

    1. I read the title “Stroll lost engine modes in race due to Stroll’s racing team “Stroll”

      1. Williams is sold, next year’s car will be the Stroll-Mercedes LS1, in the lime green colours of Go Daddy.

  2. It looks from the outside that Williams is such a mess, that none of the staff is good enough to even lead the midfield pack. Drivers are far from top of the line, factory workers and aerodynamicists can’t properly develop the car, and top management takes bad decisions. Actually, everything starts from the top, so I’d replace Claire with someone who can take better decisions. Of course, she is shareholder’s daughter, so that is almost impossible, but there are more shareholders in the team, so I don’t understand how they can live with such decisions.

    I was rooting for Williams to go back to their glory days, at least to get back to winning ways (I am no Williams fan though), but now I finally lost all the respect for this team. This is no racers’ team anymore and in this regard they were overtaken by Haas and Force India.

  3. You add that to the mistake the team made last season…

  4. It’s probably easy to side with Force India and call them proper racers while Williams are not. But reflect on the fact that Force India are rumoured to be currently struggeling to survive financially. Maybe it’s fair to say that a middle way between a driver-focused philosophy and a finance focused one would more optimal than either teams’ approach.

    I would’ve loved to see Williams have at least one experienced, solid driver. In my mind, Wehrlein would be that driver.
    But of course, this article isn’t about that. It’s operational issues. It can happen, especially if people within a team are a bit sloppy, or rather rusty at the first race of the season. I think the season is far from a write-off for Williams. They can still catch and beat Force India, especially if Force India’s finances dry up, and with it their in-season development.

    1. What?

      Both FI drivers are ‘pay’ drivers.

      1. Does that make them bad.

      2. They’re not even in the same category. Force India’s drivers bring money with them because they are talented.

        Stroll has daddy indulging his hobby and Sirotkin has backing because Russian backers want a countryman in the sport.

        1. @philipgb

          just look at Perez’s statistics before F1.
          when he first came to Sauber he had less results and a lot less F1 experince than Sirotkin.
          Just because the guy is russian doesnt mean he is bad.

          1. @flyingbasil

            Being slower than Stroll isn’t the best evidence he isn’t though

        2. @philipgb

          Cmon. He was slower on 1 occasion that being his first ever qualifying session.
          After the tests where he had to give the car to Kubica every now and then.
          Hardly an indication.

          1. @flyingbasil

            Yeah not comprehensive data, but Stroll is such low hanging fruit that it doesn’t exactly paint the picture of an uber talent

      3. Both force india drivers earned their place with their racing results. A pay driver is only hired for his money (see: stroll, sirotkin, ericson).

        1. @socksolid
          and how is Perez different to Sirotkin? Really.

    2. Something is wrotten with F1 when a team like Force India can succeed like they have then be in dire finances to be honest. When Silverstone are talking about canning the Grand Prix and a great team like Williams is forced to rent their seats out to rich kids who want to play race driver.

      It’s sad.

      1. That I agree with.

      2. Bernie’s legacy.

      3. To be honest their small group of engineer do the maximum which is also the spirit of F1. But Willems just a group of engineers together not an team yet.

  5. Coming soon: Williams’ next performance upgrade, Robert Kubica.

  6. “We have to manage engines around a level of duty and due to a problem which got a little bit out of control on Friday we consumed more life than we should have done then,” [Paddy Lowe] explained. “That was penalised in the race.”

    Lowe seems to be admitting human error was the cause of this, so Williams need to own this problem. Unfortunately for them, not being a team that can afford to discard engines, it looks like they will have to use this engine sparingly for the next few GP.

  7. Why do they care about the engine rate?? It makes no sense. If they rellace an engine early they get a grid penalty. So what? They start near the back anyway. Such a dumb team

    1. Probably because itll cost them a cool +$10 million for an extra one.

      1. And that will mean they need to rely on the funds from the drivers’ sponsors even more.

  8. I like the headline for the article –

    Stroll lost engine modes in race due to team’s “mistake”

    It’s ironic.. because I think Williams lost driver modes with Stroll. They’re stuck with rubbish mode ever since Lance first put his pedal to the metal.
    I also like how Stroll mentions that they lost engine modes through out the race, and Paddy confirms that Lance lost power on the start finish straight on lap 1.
    Lance is one delusional dude.

    1. Lets hope Lance continues to publicly criticise the team. We all know how that ends up for drivers))

    2. Everyone know the driver selects the modes in Race so it’s clear who is to blame.

  9. Mark in Florida
    31st March 2018, 1:36

    Williams needs to suck it up and go the route of Haas if they want to make it. They have all of this pride from the past but pride doesn’t pay the bills. They have two pay drivers, a team that is in apparent disarray as to the cars design and reliability. They can’t even get the engine modes right much less the drivers or the car itself. Williams needs a complete revamp in how they are run as a team. It seems as though they are stuck in the past, they should look the future before their isn’t one.

  10. Instead of knocking Stroll, isn’t anyone appalled by the fact that we have a team showing concerns over “excessive” use of a PU in a particular mode DURING PRACTICE?

    If we’re going to have teams limiting PU use in race 1 where are we going to be after 2 or 3 races?

    Teams will elect to not bother with P1 at all and possibly P2 just to protect their precious PU’s because with only 3 for a season, they darent risk them.

    I predicted before the season started that we’d see some really odd outcomes because of team concerns with PU’s but Williams have made that a reality from race 1.

    They “say” they made a mistake, something that seems to happen all too often at Williams, but I suspect that the outcome is just a sign of things to come.

  11. Perhaps this can be fixed if Laurence gives Williams $50 million per season, instead of $35 million, so that Lance can play Grand Prix racer.

  12. Shouldn’t Williams face sanctions not only from F1 but the U.S and U.K Govt after all Sergey Sirotkin is a Russian.

    Detective Hunch.

    1. Errr, what?)

    2. Yes, let’s be mean to all Russians from now on. Great idea.

  13. wibble green-tea
    31st March 2018, 12:10

    In short, Lance used high power for too long on friday because he thinks the issue is lack of power & not his ability to apply that power to a good lap time. Lancey baby…….. Sorry dude, you are a good driver, but you are not the pinnacle of motorsport. If you cannot manage your engine modes from the steering wheel: Go to indy CAR ~ they have 1 button. you’ll be right at home.

  14. Sadly the car was in ‘rich kid mode’ at the start of the race. The mistake ‘the team’ made was to hire him in the first place. The cure to get on pole, is to put the Pole in the damn car!

  15. I hate how this guy always has an excuse for everything that goes wrong blaming the team, but when he is the problem, driving a perfectly healthy car way out of the points, he says they are testing, learning, gaining mileage or something like that.

    Can’t wait to see him out of F1.

  16. I was looking through the post-Final Practice media notes on the F1 website and came across this comment by Paddy Lowe:

    “…and then this afternoon Lance’s car got too close to the power unit limits doing practice starts, so we stopped on track after the chequered flag to preserve the engine.”

    I must admit it had never occurred to me that starting a race would create wear upon an engine, especially by maybe GP races amounts, but it does sound plausible. Again we have Lowe quoted above as saying, “It’s got a certain life to last seven races and you have to use it at the right rate,” suggesting that the practice session had been more detrimental to the engine’s life than it should have been. As such, an obvious consequence of being overzealous in the practice sessions is to reduce the race performance. None of this should have surprised Stroll.

  17. Archit (@architjain07)
    3rd April 2018, 15:06

    How about Stroll loses his race seat too becasue of team’s mistake! i.e. they put Robert Kubica’s seat in his car with no time to replace for the weekend! :D

Comments are closed.