Lance Stroll recently spoke of Felipe Massa as a “mentor”, but the young Canadian has now corrected himself, referring to his Williams Martini Racing team-mate as a “rival”.
Following Stroll’s appointment as a full-time driver at Williams, Massa was coaxed out of retirement to provide much-needed experience to the line-up and potentially take Stroll under his wing. This was a notion Stroll himself seemed to welcome.
“I am really am looking forward to Felipe to being a mentor to me,” he said.
But with the new season drawing closer, he has now stated that he sees Massa as much a rival as his other grid compatriots.
“I think mentor is the wrong word,” he told F1i.com. “He’s here pushing for himself as much as anyone is pushing for themselves.”
“I think it’s just great to have him in the team, helping the team move forwards, bringing a lot of experience to the team and there’s a lot definitely that I can pick up from him. Him and myself are going to help the team move forwards as much as possible.”
This is not the first time that the pair have worked alongside one another; Stroll was part of Scuderia Ferrari’s Driver Academy when the Brazilian drove for the team.
“I know him from our days in Ferrari and he’s an open guy, he’s a team player,” he added. “He’s an honest guy and that’s kind of all you really ask for when you have a team-mate. It’s a positive spirit and a positive attitude in the team and everyone is really looking forward to the season and the rest of the tests, to get some more running.”