Critics should be patient before judging Stroll, insists Bottas

by Paul Hensby

Valtteri Bottas feels Lance Stroll’s critics should lay off the young Canadian, with the Finn feeling the eighteen-year-old just needs time to come to terms with the tricky 2017 Formula 1 machinery.

Williams Martini Racing gave Stroll the ride for 2017 on the back of a dominant championship-winning FIA European Formula 3 season last year, but so far he has yet to trouble the scorers and has retired from four of the six races.

Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team racer Bottas believes Stroll is in the right team to allow him to develop, having made his race debut himself with Williams back in 2013 after stepping from from being their test driver, but those who have been quick to criticise him should allow him more time before doing so.

“It’s never easy for a driver to come into F1, and in his case, it’s even worse,” Bottas told Le Journal de Montreal. “He is only 18 years old and the cars are much more efficient. Let’s say he did not choose the right year to make his debut.”

“It’s never easy for a rookie to compete with the world’s top drivers who have a lot of experience. So you have to give him time and have patience before making a judgement about him.

“I know the environment well at Williams. He is well supervised and the managers there are used to facilitating the work of young drivers. I’ve been there.”

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