Getty Images

Vettel ‘not too stressed’ despite poor Ferrari showing at Italian GP

Leave a comment

Sebastian Vettel says he is “not too stressed” despite losing the lead of the Formula 1 drivers’ championship for the first time this season after a disappointing display from Ferrari in Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix.

Vettel arrived at Monza bidding to deliver Ferrari a first home win since 2010, only for him to struggle through both qualifying and the race, eventually finishing third, over half a minute behind race winner Lewis Hamilton.

The result saw Hamilton move into the lead of the drivers’ championship by three points with seven races remaining, having wiped away Vettel’s advantage in the past two races.

Vettel brushed off the result at Monza, putting Ferrari’s struggles down to a lack of confidence in the SF70H car which was always tipped to lose out to Mercedes given the high-speed nature of the circuit.

“I think we have some answers. It’s not always easy to turn them into solutions,” Vettel told NBCSN after the race when asked about Ferrari’s struggles.

“Equally I know that Monza is a very specific track. If you don’t have 100 per cent confidence, then you can lose quite a bit of time fairly easily.

“I’m not too stressed, and very much looking forward to the next races. I know this team has got a lot in them. We need to keep pushing, no doubt.

“Mercedes is still very strong, and a little bit ahead at the season, but it’s not the end of the season.”

Ferrari is expected to enjoy the upper hand over Mercedes in Singapore in two weeks’ time, but Vettel refused to make any predictions as to whether he would reclaim the championship lead at Marina Bay.

“I can’t make any promises, and to be honest, lead or no lead, it’s better to be in the lead,” Vettel said.

“But it’s more important to be in the lead after the last race. The rest nobody remembers.”

F1 2017 driver review: Lance Stroll

Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.