Stroll, Massa reflect on Williams’ year of potential (VIDEO)

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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.

Valtteri Bottas wins chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix

Mark Thompson/Getty Images
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SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas won a chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix while six-time series champion Lewis Hamilton finished fourth after getting a late time penalty Sunday.

The Formula One race was interrupted three times by a safety car, and nine of 20 drivers abandoned, including both Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon – who tried to overtake Hamilton on the outside with 10 laps left, touched wheels and flew off track.

Hamilton was given a 5-second time penalty for causing the collision, having earlier been hit with a three-place grid penalty after an incident in Saturday’s qualifying was reviewed by stewards.

SHOW OF SUPPORT: Drivers take knee before race

Bottas led all 71 laps in the eighth victory of his career. It was the second consecutive victory in the season opener for the Finn, though he won four months earlier in 2019 after this season’s start was delayed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Lando Norris of McLaren F1 celebrates after his first podium finish (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).

Bottas started from pole position and Hamilton from fifth, but it looked like a straight fight between the two Mercedes drivers as has been the case so often in recent years.

But late drama in Spielberg ensured otherwise and Hamilton’s time penalty meant Charles Leclerc took second place for Ferrari, and Lando Norris sent McLaren’s garage into raptures – and threw all social distancing rules out of the window amid the euphoria – with third place.

It was the 20-year-old British driver’s first career podium, and his superb final lap was the fastest of a dramatic season opener.

Norris became the youngest British driver to secure a podium finish and the third-youngest ever in Formula One.

Valtteri Bottas leads Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton during the Formula One Grand Prix of Austria (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).