Gutierrez not letting Monaco setback get him down

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Esteban Gutierrez is refusing to let his disappointing end to the Monaco Grand Prix hold him back and stop him from pushing for points in the next few races.

Gutierrez was in line to score his first points of the season at the last race in Monaco, but a mistake at La Rascasse forced him to retire from seventh place.

“I knew I had very strong cars behind me, and everything was going perfect up to then,” he explained in Canada. “I was trying to cope with a little bit of understeer I was having on the car, trying to anticipate a little bit the corners. I went a bit too far on the edge.

“It was definitely one of the most painful mistakes of my career, because of the position we were in and the race that was developing.”

Sauber has struggled so far this season, and is yet to record a top ten finish. However, Gutierrez is still confident of making an improvement and scoring some points in the near future, believing that the team will not let this error in Monaco get them down.

“I think that [Monaco] has to go behind, and keep on with the strength that we’re having because the reading as a driver and coming through it’s very important to keep on going,” the Mexican explained. “It’s really painful because it’s a missed opportunity for everyone, but this cannot hold us back.”

Gutierrez’s Formula 1 career so far has been a difficult one. After taking – in his own words – 80% of the season to get used to the new car and the sport, he managed to score some points at last year’s Japanese Grand Prix with a seventh place finish, but has not finished in the top ten since that weekend in Suzuka.

After a fine junior career that saw him win the GP3 title in 2010, Gutierrez will be hoping that his sophomore year in Formula 1 is not his last. He will undoubtedly be under pressure to keep his seat for 2014, given that Sergey Sirotkin, Giedo van der Garde and Simona de Silvestro are all targeting a seat at the Swiss team.

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.