Webber signs off in the US with a podium finish

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Mark Webber has finished his final grand prix in the United States with a podium finish after coming third in today’s race at the Circuit of the Americas ahead of his last outing in Brazil next weekend.

The Australian driver narrowly missed out on pole position yesterday, and he made a poor getaway off the line to drop behind Lotus’ fast-starting Romain Grosjean and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton at the beginning of the race. Webber soon caught and passed Hamilton ahead of the first round of stops to move up into third place before coming into the pits.

When Webber did stop, his team produced a world-record stop that saw his team change all four tires in just 1.95 seconds, allowing him to cut the gap to Grosjean in the race for second place. Despite trying and trying, Webber pushed too hard in pursuit of the Frenchman meaning that his tires soon lost grip and he could not catch the Frenchman in the final stages of the race, eventually crossing the line 2.1 seconds behind Grosjean.

The Australian driver has one final chance to win the tenth race of his career next weekend in Brazil in what will be the final grand prix of his career. However, he promised fans on the podium that he would be returning to the Circuit of the Americas next season with Porsche for the US round of the World Endurance Championship as he begins a new life in sportscars.

F1 2017 driver review: Lance Stroll

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Team: Williams

Car No.: 18
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1
Best Finish: P3 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 40
Championship Position: 13th

Lance Stroll’s arrival in Formula 1 at the start of the 2017 was a far from smooth one despite a significant private testing program being undertaken in the months leading up to his grand prix debut.

Even with older hand Felipe Massa at Williams, Stroll looked uneasy behind the wheel of the FW40 car through the opening run of races as he failed to reach the checkered flag in any of his first three starts.

The Canadian was left deflated after his first decent effort in Bahrain was cut short after a clash with Carlos Sainz Jr., calling it his “rock bottom” moment – but things would turn around on home soil.

Stroll produced a stunning fight through the field to take an excellent P9 in Canada, proving his talent seen in Formula 3 the previous year and shushing many of his critics.

Better would follow two weeks later in Baku when Stroll became the youngest rookie in F1 history to score a podium, dodging a crazy race to finish third. It would have been second had he not lost a drag race against Valtteri Bottas to the line.

Stroll’s form then fluctuated greatly. He was sublime on occasion, the best examples being Monza, when he started a remarkable P2 on the grid and ended as the top midfielder in P7, or Mexico where he took a brilliant sixth.

But there were too many weekends he was a little anonymous. Sure, Williams didn’t have the best car this year, but perhaps a little better was expected from Stroll.

2018 will be an even bigger challenge as he looks to the lead the team when a new teammate arrives – and at only 19, it is a lot to handle. Nevertheless, there are positive signs to be found; you just need to look for them a little.

Season High: Taking a shock podium in Baku after dodging chaos in front.

Season Low: A poor opening two races in Australia and China.