Williams driver Lance Stroll has said that when Felipe Massa was his teammate last year, he received “no guidance whatsoever” from the Brazilian. Massa was drafted in at short notice to replace Mercedes-bound Valtteri Bottas after Nico Rosberg announced his retirement. The following year Massa would retire from grand prix racing for a second time.
The Brazilian’s successor at Williams is Russian rookie Sergey Sirotkin. As a result, Williams is fielding one of the least experienced driver line-ups on the F1 grid. Recently, Canadian driver Stroll was asked if he missed having a veteran driver of Massa’s calibre as a teammate. Surprisingly, Stroll claimed that he never got any help from his colleague anyway.
Stroll said, “I don’t think I had any guidance from him last year, whatsoever. He was a teammate 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.”
Early in 2017, Massa said that working with Lance was akin to the mentoring he received from Michael Schumacher at Ferrari when they were partners. But Stroll had a different opinion on the situation. The 19-year old said,“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 teammate is someone with 15 years’ experience or someone of one year’s experience, my approach doesn’t change.”
Stroll even spoke about Polish veteran Robert Kubica. He believed that the Pole’s inputs can be an asset to the team, especially considering his experience of driving the 2017 Renault. Stroll continued, “Robert can be a big help for sure. Felipe was a good help in that way of helping the team develop with the new regulations, and Robert can definitely help us. He seemed to have a good understanding of what the problems were with the car [in Abu Dhabi testing], we got some feedback from the Renault he drove in Hungary. So that was good, I can think we can use him and integrate in the team to help us get further up the grid.”
Now, Massa has responded to Stroll’s comments.
— Felipe Massa (@MassaFelipe19) February 3, 2018