Roger Griffiths shifts to Andretti Autosport after HPD exit

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Former Honda Performance Development technical director Roger Griffiths has shifted to Andretti Autosport, where he was confirmed Tuesday as the team’s new Director of Motorsport Development.

This will give Griffiths a hands-on role within the seemingly ever increasing racing team organization, which runs four Honda-powered cars in the Verizon IndyCar Series, two factory Volkswagens in Red Bull Global Rallycross and an entry into the new FIA Formula E Championship.

“I am very excited to be joining the Andretti Autosport Organization,” Griffiths said in a team release. “I have, in past, shared a lot of victories with the team but now look forward to the opportunity to be able to contribute more directly to their future success and growth.”

Added Andretti Autosport team principal Michael Andretti, “I’m very excited to have Roger (Griffiths) join the team. A man with his knowledge, talent and experience will be a huge addition for not just Andretti Autosport, but also for VARX and Andretti Formula E. We look forward to using expertise in many different areas within our team.”

The Englishman has worked in Formula One, IndyCar, American Le Mans Series, European Le Mans Series and Super Touring Cars, so the Red Bull GRC and FE series will add to that list.

Griffiths left HPD in March. HPD president Art St. Cyr was at St. Petersburg and the manufacturer hosted a roundtable session for media with Mark Crawford, Large Project Leader of HPD, on the Saturday of the race weekend.

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.