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Tost happy with challenge posed by 2017 Pirelli F1 tires

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Toro Rosso Formula 1 chief Franz Tost sees no issue with the tires that Pirelli has supplied to the sport for the 2017 season, believing they pose a good challenge.

Pirelli revised its tire compounds for 2017 as part of a shake-up of F1’s technical regulations, making them more durable so that drivers could push them harder.

Teams have managed the new challenge with varying levels of success. While Ferrari has been particularly prolific on the softer compounds, Mercedes has struggled, with its failure to finish on the podium in Monaco being attributed to its ultra-soft tire woes.

Speaking over the Monaco weekend, Tost said that while Pirelli’s tires were proving a challenge for the drivers and engineers to understand, this was no bad thing.

“The tires are a challenge, to understand them, how they work,” Tost said.

“But it’s good for the engineers as well as for the drivers to find out in which window they can get their earliest peak and they can get the most out of it.

“In motorsports, they have to understand the tire because it’s a performance differentiator and therefore I can only say positive [things] about Pirelli.

“In my opinion they do a good job and today I saw the same for all the teams and we have to find the best possible solution and get the most out of it.

“And there are always complaints; either they are too soft or they are too hard or this or that. Forget it, they should sit in the car and should push. That’s it.”

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.