For Lance Stroll and Felipe Massa, being at the polar ends of their careers in Formula 1 has offered both drivers a chance to reflect in a different way on their 2017 season with Williams Martini Racing.
Canadian rookie Stroll, who only just turned 19 Sunday at the Mexican Grand Prix, has improved by leaps and bounds after a challenging start to the campaign. A points score at his home race in Montreal turned the corner and put him on the board, but set up unexpected moments of glory when he snared third place in Baku at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix and then started on the front row for the Italian Grand Prix. A sixth place last time out in Mexico was his second best result of the year, and Stroll has exceeded expectations to enter this week’s Brazilian Grand Prix 10th in the championship with 40 points.
Massa, by contrast, has been a consistent scorer with 36 but hasn’t scaled the heights of earlier in his career in what’s now become his final season in the sport. Massa announced his retirement last week and this time, it should stick after being called back under abnormal circumstances when Valtteri Bottas was called up to Mercedes to replace the retiring World Champion, Nico Rosberg.
Williams produced the above video to look at the two, who combined have scored 76 points and solidified Williams-Mercedes as the fifth-placed team in the Constructor’s Championship.
Coverage times for this week’s Brazilian Grand Prix, which will be Massa’s last home race, are linked here.
Joel Eriksson snatched pole position for Saturday’s qualifying race ahead of the Macau Grand Prix after a thrilling fight with McLaren youngster Lando Norris and Ferrari junior Callum Ilott.
Norris headed into the second stage of qualifying on provisional pole after lapping almost a second faster than any other driver in Thursday’s first opening session, and remained in contention early in Q2.
Norris was the first driver to dip into the 2:10s with a time of 2:10.744, only for Eriksson to go 0.024 seconds faster minutes later and snatch pole away.
Despite a later effort to try and reclaim pole, Norris was unable to improve his time, and opted to remain in the pits for the final five minutes of the session after using up his allocated tires.
Ilott was the final driver to put in a serious bid for pole position, falling 0.09 seconds short with his final qualifying lap to sit third on the grid for the qualifying race.
Maximilian Gunther claimed fourth place for Prema Powerteam ahead of Ferdinand Habsburg and Dan Ticktum, with Mick Schumacher taking P7.
Yuhi Sekiguchi wound up eighth despite a late crash that brought out a red flag, while Sergio Sette Camara and Guanyu Zhou completed the top 10 positions in qualifying.
Saturday’s qualifying race will help form the grid for Sunday’s main event, the 64th Macau Grand Prix.