Stroll Rejects Massa’s ‘Mentor’ Role: “He was a team-mate like any other”


Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Lance Stroll has revealed that Felipe Massa did not give him the guidance that many people assumed he would during their time together at the Williams Martini Racing team in 2017.

The Canadian made his Grand Prix debut in 2017 alongside veteran Massa, and secured an excellent third place finish in just his eighth start at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, ultimately ending up twelfth in the championship standings, just three points behind his more experienced team-mate.

Massa has now retired, and Stroll will be partnered by Russian Sergey Sirotkin in 2018, but the teenager does not think having a rookie alongside him this year will be any different to having the eleven-time race winner as his team-mate, as the Brazilian did not give him any kind of assistance last season.

“I don’t think I had any guidance from him last year, whatsoever,” said Stroll to Motorsport.com. “He was a team-mate like any other.  He was busy trying to drive as fast as he could, and I was trying to drive as fast as I could.

“That was it. There was nothing more to it than that.  I don’t know why people seem to think there was a coach or a mentor thing going on. There wasn’t; it was just him doing his job and me doing mine, and whoever did it better finished ahead.

“Whether my team-mate is someone with 15 years’ experience or someone of one year’s experience, my approach doesn’t change.”