Williams driver Felipe Massa stands up for his teammate, Lance Stroll, after the latter crashed in last week’s test and cost the team vital testing time.
It’s not easy being green. A greenhorn, that is. Lance Stroll, as the resident Formula One rookie out on the track, is getting to see just how true that is firsthand. Last week, Stroll crashed Williams’ 2017 challenger into a tyre wall, causing irreparable damage to the car that had resulted in Williams having to forfeit the remainder of the test.
Though many were quick to attribute the crash to Stroll’s inexperience in a Formula One car, his teammate Felipe Massa has stepped in to the young driver’s defence, opening by saying that starting in 2017 has made it harder for him as a rookie than anyone before:
“Surely it would be easier to debut last year, where there was less downforce to manage and less physical stress for the driver. These two aspects today are tougher. This one is not an easy car, and I understand that for a young driver is not an easy situation. I remember when I was 18 years old, and I remember very well how many mistakes I made.
We cannot forget that Lance is young, and has a long way to go. If we see what happened last week, it was not only his fault. The team lacked some spare parts – and, if we had them, probably the work program would be completed.
It’s always possible to do a mistake. I also came off the track, and I prayed that I had not broken anything. I was fine, but I could have compromised the day.
We must not start to criticise Lance, without giving him the time and tranquility necessary to make his way.” – Felipe Massa
With a teammate like that, Stroll will do just fine in his debut F1 race in Australia. His offs were mentioned more so than Palmer’s spin, Bottas’ kiss with the wall and Lewis Hamilton’s spin too. Stroll still has time to put it right.