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Featured F1 Half Term Report: Rate the Grid - Lance Stroll

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by Paul Jeffrey, Aug 9, 2017.

  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment News Editor Staff Premium

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    Rate the Grid - Lance Stroll.jpg
    Controversial, rich, pay driver, all words used to describe Lance Stroll in 2017. How does the young Canadian rate in your book after the first half of the current season?

    Williams have always maintained the opinion that if they build the best cars, the best drivers will want to come and race for them, regardless of the wages on offer. Sadly for the once proud British team the last few years haven't been kind to the boys and girls from Grove, with results less attractive to potential drivers and sponsors than in the team heyday of the late 1980's and mid 1990's.

    With 2017 seeing the rather controversial introduction Lance Stroll, son of a billionaire and someone who has only shown glimpses of potential in his junior career, many felt as if Williams have opted for the ultimate pay driver for the new season.

    Stroll has turned a few heads in some races, most noticeably a podium in Azerbaijan, however all too often the Canadian has been dominated by his now ageing team mate Felipe Massa in the sister machine.

    The question is, has Stroll done enough to prove his worth in Formula One, or is he just another driver with more money than talent?

    Vote now to tell us how you rate the first half of 2017 for Lance Stroll, and leave a comment below!

    For more from the world of Formula One, check out the Formula One sub forum here at RaceDepartment and get involved with our awesome community..

    Rate the Grid - Lance Stroll 3.jpg Rate the Grid - Lance Stroll 4.jpg Rate the Grid - Lance Stroll 5.jpg
     
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  2. Matthew Allington

    Matthew Allington

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    Started off absolutely rubbish. But gradually got less crash-prone.
    Points in Canada was a real confidence boost for him and it showed in Baku with a great composed drive - outside of the top 3 teams, Stroll is the only driver to have stood on the podium this year!
    Seems to have slipped back again and I think his confidence has been rolled back a bit by the Williams being abysmal on tracks with corners. I'm interested to see how he gets on at Spa and Monza, being faster tracks....
     
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  3. rw3

    rw3
    Premium

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    Is Daddy wasn't rich he'd not be there. Nowhere near enough talent to be in a team like Williams.
     
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  4. James Cook

    James Cook
    Marcas fan

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    "Stroll has turned a few heads in some races, most noticeably a podium in Azerbaijan"

    Maldonado won a race. Every dog has its day.

    Maybe a bit harsh but I'm not entirely convinced by Stroll. He could just be another pay driver that comes and goes from F1.
     
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  5. Jan Larsen

    Jan Larsen
    Premium

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    3. Another paydriver who shouldnt be there in the perfect world. As others said; started off rubbish, then got a fluke podium due to attrition and has slipped back to rubbish again. Not helped by an absolute abysmal chassis with a great engine and topspeed. Would be nowhere near F1 without the damn money.
     
  6. Coffer

    Coffer

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    3. Fantastic podium and I genuinely like his personality, but he's been pretty worthless otherwise. He's improved since the start of the season, but he badly needs someone like Massa to mentor him for another year at least, especially while the car is still very bad. Do want him to stay in the sport, as characters are more important for the longevity of the sport than the mediocre racing and he's made a more positive impression on me than a good number of drivers either currently on the grid or who tried (or are currently trying) to make their way there.

    Williams are somewhat backed into a corner on this one. They need the money and they need a driver who's 25 or older if they are to keep Martini as a sponsor. There's not much more they can do at this point, as they had no other viable options for this year.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2017
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  7. Coffer

    Coffer

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    If only Stroll looked anywhere near that good.

    Even accounting for his crashes, Maldonado was robbed of several other podiums by car failures (Valencia KERS failure, Abu Dhabi KERS failure, Singapore outright retirement - 3 races where he easily had the pace to finish on the podium, if not win outright), extremely bad luck (DOUBLE safety car to give Alonso free points - a very common theme in Alonso's career in fact) and other idiotic drivers (Hamilton in Valencia). He also went 9-5 against Bottas and only got outscored because Bottas was the only one of the two who raced without the Coanda exhaust slowing him down. Even in his inexcusably awful Lotus years, Button being an absolute idiot and crashing into him twice were more notable than any of his personal bad incidents in 2015, and he still showed more much promise than Stroll ever has.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2017
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  8. Leonardo Chaves

    Leonardo Chaves

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    4, absolutely horrendous start, completely out of his depth, but has shown great improvement since (still rather weak right now).
     
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  9. oorjit07

    oorjit07

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    4. 2 good drives in Canada and Baku redeemed him, but he was thrown into the deep end way too early, which surprised me since Williams have experience with training young drivers.
     
  10. Coffer

    Coffer

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    They had little to no choice. They've run into cash problems and none of the other promising young drivers (particularly Wehrlein, whom I feel really sorry for) brought any sponsorship with them. Nasr would've been an option due to his brief time testing for them, but his sponsors conflict with Massa's and he's a worse driver, so he only had a chance if Massa rejected the offer to return.

    As well, keep in mind that these cars are much more physical than the 2016 ones. He would've likely been much better without the regulation changes. Him and Giovinazzi were really struggling in their first two races, easily seen through their head movements.
     
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  11. Andrew Harper

    Andrew Harper
    Premium

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    Like most I have mixed opinions.

    At the beginning of the year I really did wonder what on earth Williams had done by hiring a driver that still has relatively little experience and that did show in the early races and practise sessions. Ok, rookie drivers spin and make mistakes, they wouldn't be trying otherwise, but it was important for him to get solid finishes behind him and get the mileage first. Considering how fast he made it into F1 I wouldn't criticise him if he finished 10th or 11th as long as he showed that he wanted to get the results in first.

    I would hate to think the damages bill so far this year though, I know that his Father is obviously supporting his career heavily but the amount of carbon fibre and parts he's gone through in the first half of the season is a bit eye watering.

    The mid-field is tough, the teams are very close together and Williams have made a decent car this season so I'm hoping he improves over the next half of the year, otherwise they could be beaten by Force India again.

    His performances have been improving and in Baku he did a great job all weekend. Only time will tell if he manages to maintain that form.

    I think he's here to stay though, how long he'll be at Williams for only they know but with that amount of financial backup he could end up being there five years...

    He already reminds of Sato, a driver with massive financial backing (Sato has the might of Honda behind him), the odd brilliant performance but very erratic.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2017
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  12. Leonardo Chaves

    Leonardo Chaves

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    Maldonado was more than a bit on the insane side, but he had natural speed.

    Stroll has improved from his shocker of a start, but he is still easy pickings for an old Felipe Massa, he basically improved from completely inept to bad driver... but since he's filthy rich he will have time to change that.
     
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  13. oorjit07

    oorjit07

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    I think they could've tried to pick up someone like Sirotkin or Gasly in exchange for money from RB/Renault. Also, Wehrlein does bring benefits in the form of free Merc engines.
     
  14. Coffer

    Coffer

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    I don't think there's much shame in losing to Massa right now, so I don't think that comparison is particularly fair. Old as Massa might be, he's still much better than he was last year and still a veritable driver in every sense of the word, as seen through his monstrous drive in Bahrain.

    A fairer comparison would be to Vandoorne, who's stuck in a similar situation with another old respected teammate but had far more training, is much older and showed tremendous promise before getting the McLaren seat, including in that one race as a stand-in where he scored a point. Right now, I'd wager Stoffel's barely any better than Lance, which is shocking. In fact, Stroll's rate of improvement has been better so far this year than Vandoorne's, which should not be happening.

    They would've been backmarkers with a Renault engine, and both Sirotkin and Gasly are very mediocre. Gasly being the better of the two yet still being overlooked by Toro Rosso to the point where they're willing to break their old system of only keeping drivers for 3 years is very damning, and at this point it's possible that Gasly will in fact never make it to F1.

    And they would've only gotten a discount with Wehrlein, which wouldn't have helped their situation much. They needed a big injection to allow themselves to reform under Lowe.
     
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  15. oorjit07

    oorjit07

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    They wouldn't need to use Renault engines, they could just take some money. I think Gasly is very capable, it's just that Toro Rosso is trying to allow Kvyat to sort himself our before letting him off to another team, and Sirotkin isn't much worse.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2017
  16. Leonardo Chaves

    Leonardo Chaves

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    People often notice the improvement and think that now everything is fine, i'm just pointing out that although he has improved he is far from impressing even in his better days.
    A podium in Baku (where everybody was betting which lap he would crash lol) looks impressive if you take it at face value, but Massa actually had a fair chance of winning that crazy race (same thing for Canada where Massa looked like a good rival for the Force Indias).

    Vandoorne has also been a disappointment, but he also begun to show signs of life recently, at least in qualifying.
     
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  17. Sky

    Sky

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    lance and his pet rabbit, nelson.

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. aphidgod

    aphidgod
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    Let's all judge his career now, halfway through his rookie season, in cars the veteran drivers have called the most difficult to drive in years. He didn't master them immediately, so clearly he's a pay driver with no talent.

    :rolleyes:

    He seems to be settling in nicely after a shaky start. Long way to go, lots can happen. But he's not the worst driver on the grid and his attitude is among the best. If you didn't know his dad was crazy rich, you'd never guess by watching Lance. Give him time.
     
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  19. Thang Nguyen

    Thang Nguyen

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    I give him 7, for his effort in the Canada and Baku GPs. :thumbsup:
    Go on Lance!!!
     
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  20. burrito

    burrito
    It's an opinion, nothing more, nothing less. Premium

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    I don't remember ever seeing so many articles defending or supporting their new, young, inexperienced driver as I have from Claire Williams or Paddy Lowe this season.

    This being the latest one: https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/...la-1-after-shaky-start-s-williams-939838/?s=1

    I want him to succeed but when he isn't even on pace with Massa, who wouldn't even be in F1 if Rosberg hadn't left (and is IMO well past his due date (but that's another argument for another day)), then serious questions have to asked about his abilities and what else he brings to the team.

    He is young and while I expected to see the younger, less experienced drivers struggle more with these cars (as they should, there should be a physical entry barrier to F1, not a license system). But considering his preparation with Williams coming into F1 (throughout 2016) he hasn't performed and does deserve the pay driver moniker for this year at least.
     
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