Paddy Lowe Looks at Stroll’s DNFs as a Learning Experience

William’s Paddy Lowe reflects on the string of failures and incidents that has prevented Lance Stroll from finishing each race of the ’17 season thus far.

Life is never easy on the rookies. You’re playing catch-up from day one, and the rest of the pack has a clear advantage over you. Or, in Lance Stroll’s case, you’ve just overcome a brake failure in one race to be taken out of the following two due to collisions from other drivers.

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - APRIL 16:  Lance Stroll of Canada driving the (18) Williams Martini Racing Williams FW40 Mercedes collides with Carlos Sainz of Spain driving the (55) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12 on track during the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix at Bahrain International Circuit on April 16, 2017 in Bahrain, Bahrain.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN – APRIL 16: Lance Stroll of Canada driving the (18) Williams Martini Racing Williams FW40 Mercedes collides with Carlos Sainz of Spain driving the (55) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12 on track during the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix at Bahrain International Circuit on April 16, 2017 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Although Stroll has expressed clear annoyance with the results, he’s not got much of an option other than to keep his head down and push through the tough times. William’s Technical Boss Paddy Lowe commented on Stroll’s bad luck, saying that the young Canadian is doing his best to keep learning from his experiences:

“It’s particularly annoying for him, but I guess that’s welcome to F1! He’s making steady progress, but it’s a big challenge.

What’s clear is that there’s an awful lot to learn in this sport, particularly around tires. He’ll have learned a lot from this weekend, and he’ll come back stronger next time.” – Paddy Lowe

SHANGHAI, CHINA - APRIL 08: Sparks fly behind Lance Stroll of Canada driving the (18) Williams Martini Racing Williams FW40 Mercedes on track during qualifying for the Formula One Grand Prix of China at Shanghai International Circuit on April 8, 2017 in Shanghai, China.  (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
SHANGHAI, CHINA – APRIL 08: Sparks fly behind Lance Stroll of Canada driving the (18) Williams Martini Racing Williams FW40 Mercedes on track during qualifying for the Formula One Grand Prix of China at Shanghai International Circuit on April 8, 2017 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

It’s a good job for Lowe that Stroll is flanked by one of the most experienced drivers in the sport – Felipe Massa. Massa’s track record is one of having nothing left to prove, and his sixth-place finish in Bahrain shows as much. Lowe is very much aware of the asset that Massa is to the team:

“I think Felipe drove a great race. He’s a driver of such huge experience, you know he’ll get the job done.

The pace of the car was pretty good. He was fourth at one point! We knew it wouldn’t last to be honest, and although he defended very well at moments there, it wasn’t sustainable.” – Paddy Lowe

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At least Williams can rely on Massa for the time being while Stroll trie to catch a break and complete a race. Williams will expect to finish this season in 4th and with a bulging midfield currently on par, the points are going to have to start coming from two cars.

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