Wolff disappointed but keeping her head held high

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Susie Wolff has made no secret of her disappointment after her historic practice session was cut short thanks to a problem on the Williams car.

The British driver became the first woman in 22 years to take part in an official grand prix session, but an engine failure meant that she completed just four laps before pulling over at the side of the track.

“Massively disappointing,” Wolff said when asked to sum up the session. “On the one side it was such a good build-up to this weekend, and where obviously I’d done so much hard work, so much preparation to get ready for today and I knew exactly what I had to do on every lap out there, and it felt good, even the outlap.

“The first run was just about building up slowly, the wind was quite strong out there so I was kind of told to take it easy and build up lap by lap, and then I had two more runs to go for it a bit more.

“But that’s racing. I’ve known that over the years that it can be massive ups and massive downs as well, and obviously very very disappointing.”

Wolff will next get a chance to test the Williams during practice for the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim in two weeks’ time. Despite today’s disappointment, she is still determined to prove her pace and ability up against the regular field.

“I’ve still got Hockenheim, and for me I’ve got to go out in Hockenheim and show what I can do because I didn’t get the chance to do that today,” she said. “As much as that’s disappointing, on the positive side, I’ve still got one more shot at it, so head up high and look towards Hockenheim now.”

The engine on the car Wolff used was changed ahead of FP2, which saw Valtteri Bottas get back behind the wheel after stepping aside for Wolff.

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.