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Fresh start for Renault F1 in Montreal after Monaco struggles

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Renault Formula 1 chief Cyril Abiteboul believes that next weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix marks a “fresh start” for the team after a difficult outing in Monaco that saw it miss out on points.

Renault saw Nico Hulkenberg retire early on in Monaco with an engine issue, while teammate Jolyon Palmer continued his point-less run of form as he could only cross the line 11th.

The result saw Renault fail to score points for the first time since the second round of the season in China, but Abiteboul felt that the reliability issues that blighted its efforts were to be expected six rounds into the campaign.

“Monaco was a very testing weekend for the team. We experienced reliability issues on mechanical components that were on the last race of their cycle,” Abiteboul said.

“These are challenges that all teams can experience, it is part and parcel of life in modern-day Formula 1. Monaco highlighted the areas we need to improve and further confirmed elements we knew about.

“And with the new components, we are now ready to attack the next race with the same perseverance and attitude.”

Abiteboul confirmed that Renault would be taking updated engine and gearbox parts to Canada, where he believes the team can start a new for the 2017 season.

“Canada is all about bouncing back and making a fresh start. We now have a more robust engine and gearbox and we can fully focus on maximizing performance,” Abiteboul said.

“The team in Enstone are heading to the race with an aerodynamic package adapted to the Montreal circuit.

“However, due to the challenges of the track, we certainly don’t expect an easy race.”

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.