Lance Stroll has dismissed being labelled as the lead driver at the Williams Martini Racing team ahead of the 2018 Formula 1 season, insisting that the team’s lack of experience will not be a hindrance.
Stroll and rookie team-mate, Sergey Sirotkin, will form the second-least experienced driver line-up in F1 next season, with only 20 starts between them, courtesy of Stroll’s own rookie season in ’17.
Red Bull Toro Rosso-Honda will have the least experienced driver pairing on the grid in ’18, with Brendon Hartley and Pierre Gasly only having a combined total of nine Grands Prix worth of experience.
The retirement of Felipe Massa was seen as a step backwards for Williams, in its quest to improve on a fifth place finish in the ’17 constructors’ championship, but Stroll is confident that the team will be not severely affected.
“My job remains the same, regardless of who is on the other side of the garage,” explained Stroll.
“I have a year under my belt compared to Sergey, but at the same time, we’re all in it together. There is not a lead driver and a second driver, it is one team and we want to get the most out of the package available.
“That’s the objective for this year, just like it was for last year.”
Kubica on hand to provide guidance
Robert Kubica has joined the Williams team as the official reserve driver, and part of his role is to help guide both race drivers and the team with car development during the season.
Emphasising the togetherness at Grove, Stroll said: “Our meetings are the same, everything’s the same.
“Of course, we don’t have the most experienced line-up, but there are some good people around us.
“There is a lot of experience around the engineering table in order to help us, so I believe we have a good team in place going into the season.”