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Verstappen not dwelling on 2016 crash heading to Monaco

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Max Verstappen is refusing to let his crash in last year’s Monaco Grand Prix affect his confidence heading into this year’s Formula 1 race around the streets of the principality.

Just two weeks after becoming the youngest grand prix winner in history on his Red Bull debut, Verstappen came back down to earth with a bump in Monaco with multiple crashes over the weekend, including one at Massenet in the race.

Verstappen is yet to record a classified finish at Monaco, having also retired from the race in 2015 during his rookie season, but he is refusing to dwell on his past mistakes.

“There is no such thing as a low risk lap in Monaco, it doesn’t exist if you want to be fast because you have to be on the limit,” Verstappen said.

“Last year’s crash was very unfortunate but it doesn’t affect my confidence heading back there. It just makes me want to do better this year and learn from my mistakes.

“We still have a lot to learn from the car in terms of setup as it is always developing and we haven’t driven it on a tight street circuit yet.

“Preparation for Monaco is a little different, you definitely build up a little bit slower throughout the weekend and pace yourself. It’s important to find the limit carefully.

“With the new cars, I think the chicane around the Swimming Pool will be the most challenging corner this year.”

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.