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Lieb on standby for Porsche at Le Mans, will test 919 Hybrid next week

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SPA, Belgium – Marc Lieb will be on standby for Porsche at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans should the German manufacturer require a late replacement for the endurance classic.

Lieb won his first Le Mans title with Porsche last year en route to the FIA World Endurance Championship drivers’ title alongside Neel Jani and Romain Dumas.

The German driver was dropped from its LMP1 line-up for 2017 and relocated within Porsche motorsport, and will take up an unofficial reserve role at Le Mans, with his first test in the updated 919 Hybrid car set to take place next weekend.

“As we know, officially in the regulations we don’t have a spare driver, it is not allowed. Obviously we have a very strong guy ready in the background for us which is Marc Lieb who could jump in if anything could happen in the Le Mans weekend,” Porsche LMP1 team principal Andreas Seidl said.

“We will put Marc Lieb into the car in Aragon for some stints to have him ready again. It’s also great from his side to be available for us.

“He has a new job at Porsche, he’s very busy there, but he knows the way around at Le Mans, so it’s a perfect solution for us also.”

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.