Lance Stroll

F1 Paddock Pass: Russian Grand Prix, Saturday edition (VIDEO)

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Life as a rookie in Formula 1 is always tough, but for Williams’ Lance Stroll, his arrival on the grid has been particularly challenging.

Entering F1 as its second-youngest debutant and after an extensive private testing program with Williams last year, big things were expected of Stroll when he made his debut in Australia.

However, his first three races in F1 have been far from ideal, all of them ending in retirement.

The DNF is Australia was the result of a brake issue, while incidents in China and Bahrain – both of which were hard to pin on Stroll – mean the Canadian is without a classified finish to his name.

So how has he dealt with the struggles? To find out, Will Buxton brings you a special edition of NBC Sports’ original digital series ‘Paddock Pass’ to lift the lid on Stroll’s start to life in F1.

You can watch the video in full above.

Williams to auction Russian GP race-worn gear for Billy Monger

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Williams Martini Racing will make a difference in trying to support Billy Monger, the young driver who lost his legs in an F4 accident earlier this month but who has already received several hundred thousand pounds of funding to help pay for his medical costs.

The team announced Wednesday it would auction off Felipe Massa’s firesuit and Lance Stroll’s boots from this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix via eBay. A link to bid is here. Funds will go to Monger’s JustGiving page.

It’s an excellent gesture from the team and perhaps the start of even more stakeholders in the racing community to support the young teenager.

Stroll sure luck will change after starting F1 career with three DNFs

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Lance Stroll was left ruing his luck once again last weekend in Bahrain after retiring from the race due to a clash with Carlos Sainz Jr., marking a third straight DNF to start his Formula 1 career.

Stroll, 18, stepped up from Formula 3 to join Williams for 2017, making his debut at the Australian Grand Prix after an extensive testing program.

Stroll retired in Australia due to a brake issue before being punted out of the race on the opening lap in China by Sergio Perez.

Stroll and Sainz came together early on in Bahrain at Turn 1 as the latter exited the pit lane. The stewards deemed the incident to have been Sainz’s fault, handing him a three-place grid penalty for the next race in Russia.

While he was not responsible for the crash, Stroll was nevertheless frustrated after the race in Bahrain as his weekend came to an early end once again.

“I have put it behind me – what else can you do? Yes, it is frustrating, but it’s not in my hands,” Stroll told the official F1 website.

“These three races were an accumulation of bad luck: a brake failure in Australia, some kind of racing incident in China, and on Sunday being torpedoed by Carlos. Unlucky, all three incidents – but the tables will turn.

“It wouldn’t change anything to look at it in a negative way. It’s all about looking at the bright side and there are a lot of positives to take out of the first couple of races. And we are improving at every race.

“There are still 17 races ahead – and we haven’t even gone to Europe where I know all the tracks which will make things easier for me.”

Facing such a steep learning curve in F1, Stroll said he has gained plenty from his first three races despite the limited running.

“There have been some good moments in qualifying, but I am still watching and learning. It’s not so much the difficulty of Formula 1, but the difference of Formula 1 versus everything that I have done so far,” Stroll said.

“When you come here the tires seem almost a closed book and you have to open it and learn to read it. Then, of course, you have to learn the little tricks of the trade – for example, what it takes to makes the tires happy.

“That is why a [test] day like Tuesday is so important – when you are not limited on runs. It is working round to getting to the maximum with my capability as a racing driver.”

Sainz handed Russian GP grid penalty for Stroll clash in Bahrain

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Carlos Sainz Jr. will drop three places on the grid at the next Formula 1 race in Russia after being deemed responsible for a crash with Lance Stroll during Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix.

Sainz and Stroll crashed at Turn 1 on Lap 11 at the Bahrain International Circuit, with both drivers laying blame with one another for the collision.

Replays showed Sainz exiting the pit lane and taking to the inside of the corner, with Stroll trying to take his usual racing line before the pair came together.

After speaking to both drivers and analyzing the video footage of the clash, the stewards deemed Sainz to have been at fault, resulting in a three-place grid penalty for the Russian Grand Prix on April 30.

“The Stewards heard from Carlos Sainz, the driver of car 55, Lance Stroll, the driver of car 18 and the team representatives, reviewed the video evidence which showed that car 18 was on the normal racing line, car 55 left the pit lane and made a very optimistic attempt to pass car 18 into the corner,” a statement from the FIA stewards reads.

“The Stewards decided that the driver of car 55 was predominantly to blame for causing the collision in violation of Article 27.4 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations.”

The crash caused both Stroll and Sainz to retire from the race, and marked the third round in a row that the former had failed to see the finish.

Tire pressure issues end Bahrain pole-man Bottas’ hopes of first F1 win

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Valtteri Bottas saw his hopes of taking a maiden Formula 1 victory in Bahrain on Sunday fade as tire pressure issues limited the Finn to third place at the checkered flag.

Bottas scored his first pole position in F1 on Saturday in qualifying, edging out Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton by 0.023 seconds with his best lap.

Bottas retained his lead through the first stint of the race, but was unable to pull away as he struggled to manage his rear tires, creating a train of cars behind.

Bottas lost the lead after a slow pit stop, and ultimately had to let Hamilton pass him twice on-track to allow the Briton a shot at winning the race, leaving the ex-Williams driver third come the finish.

“It was a really tricky race for me, struggling with the pace all through the race. I think the first stint we found a bit of an issue with the tire pressures, that explains the rear end struggle,” Bottas said.

“But after that I was just rear limited and out of the tools on the steering wheel. It was just oversteering all through the race and that’s where the pace was slow, which is a real shame because for sure the target for today was a lot higher.”

Bottas admitted that he was disappointed to have been asked to let Hamilton pass him on two occasions in the race, but conceded that it was for the good of the team as it tried – and failed – to stop Sebastian Vettel winning for Ferrari.

“I’m a racing driver, so being told to let your teammate through is the worst thing you can ear. But there was potential for Lewis to catch Sebastian, so I understand the team’s decision,” Bottas said.

“Personally it’s hard, but what I have to find out is why we didn’t have the pace today.