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All 10 F1 teams to help Pirelli develop 2018-spec tires

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Pirelli has confirmed that all 10 Formula 1 teams will play a part in helping to develop its new tires for the 2018 season.

Pirelli called on teams to help develop its revised tires for the 2017 season, with an increase in size of 25 per cent intended to hark back to the look used by F1 in the 1970s and ’80s.

Only Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull decided to get involved, creating ‘mule cars’ – altered versions of their 2016 chassis to reflect 2017 levels of downforce – to conduct running at a number of circuits.

Pirelli once again approached every team on the grid to help develop its compounds for 2018, and confirmed on Saturday that all 10 have agreed to play a part using their current cars.

“The way that the tests will be carried out remains identical to last year, so these will still be ‘blind’ tests, without the teams and drivers knowing exactly which type of tires they are trying out,” Pirelli’s statement reads.

“Eight circuits will host the development program. As well as Bahrain, where Ferrari will devote one car to tire testing on Tuesday, tests will also take place in Barcelona, Silverstone, Magny- Cours, Budapest (again during the in-season test immediately following the grand prix), Mexico and Interlagos.

“There will also be a wet test at Paul Ricard, using the circuit’s facilities that allow the surface to be artificially dampened.”

Pirelli 2018 F1 Tire Testing Programme

1. Bahrain – April 18-19 – Ferrari
2. Barcelona – May 16-17 – Renault/Toro Rosso
3. Paul Ricard – May 31 – June 1 – Red Bull
4. Paul Ricard – June 29-30 – Red Bull
5. Silverstone – July 18-19 – Williams/Haas
6. Magny-Cours – July 19-20 – McLaren
7. Budapest – August 1-2 – Mercedes
8. Barcelona – August 3-4 – Ferrari
9. Paul Ricard – September 7-8 – Mercedes
10. Mexico – October 31 – November 1 – Sauber/Force India
11. Interlagos – November 14-15 – McLaren

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.