Stroll says he 'needs time' to learn in F1
17 May 2017 – Williams rookie Lance Stroll has hit back at critics of his early performances in Formula 1, insisting that he simply needs "experience and a bit of time" to learn the ropes.
Stroll failed to finish his first three races, due to a brake failure in Australia, and clashes in China and Bahrain, and has not troubled team-mate Felipe Massa in qualifying.
He reached the chequered flag for the first time in Russia, taking 11th after an early spin, and was the final finisher in Spain, being overhauled by Massa, who suffered an early puncture.
Stroll, speaking ahead of last weekend's Spanish Grand Prix, expressed his view that many people have unrealistic expectations for his first season.
"The media have to accept the condition I'm in, as I'm 18, it's my first year, I've never been to all of the tracks, and these new cars are very demanding to drive," he said.
"If you expect me to come in here and just show the world what I'm made of in my first couple of races, then that's the wrong way to look at this whole thing.
"I need experience and I need a bit of time, then I can become the best I can be.
"I can't rock up to the first Grands Prix and get into a car that's new for me, at a track that's new, my first time in the championship at 18 years old, and just blow everyone's mind, that's not the way it works.
"I'm not frustrated by that, I accept the condition I'm in, I know there's time ahead of me and I know that when I learn the tracks and come back I'll already be a lot better.
"I know that based off experience in the past, my first year in F3, my second year in F3, I was a hell of a lot better in the second year, and that's how it goes."
Stroll added that he always expected a difficult start to his Formula 1 career, despite significant running in older machinery through 2016.
"It's just all new, the experience of being here in Formula 1 is all new," he said.
"I think it's all things I expected, and I expected it to be challenging, as it is... challenging for the reasons I explained, the situation I'm at.
"If people can't accept that, well, I'm sorry, miracles don't happen, so it's about taking the realistic steps and approaches to each race."