Pressure mounting for Stroll to deliver


Williams rookie Lance Stroll doesn't have much to show for his first five races as a Formula 1 driver.

The 18-year-old Canadian's entered the pinnacle of motorsport as one of the best prepared young drivers of all time courtesy of his father, Lawrence Stroll, bankrolling a comprehensive year-long test program with Williams for an estimated $80M.

Stroll is still on a steep learning curve, but looking past the cold stats and his zero championship points to date, his performance level substantially trails that of team mate and mentor Felipe Massa.

A fact which in turn is not instilling the confidence required to deliver on the expectations placed on the young charger. Pressure from all sides is therefore mounting.

"One of the very difficult things for Lance is the enormous pressure placed upon him," says Williams tech boss Paddy Lowe.

"He's a driver with a lot of expectation around him from, not just people close to him, but across the board I think. There is a spotlight on him, on how he got here and does he really deserve the drive.

"Racing drivers are, by their nature, super competitive so they are the best and worst at beating themselves up if they are not performing as they should.

"So that cascades and creates its own pressure on him, even if it's not already got enough from outside. There are no easy answers to about how you undo that pressure."

Massa is supporting his team mate's efforts, as is Lowe. But there's no fast track to gaining experience unfortunately.

"There's a bit of coaching involved and I appreciate the challenging position he's in, so I'm trying to help him through that," adds Lowe.

"One thing that is important is to actually be able to enjoy it, to be honest.

"Why do people drive racing cars? It's because they love driving quick cars and if you are not here enjoying it then it's actually not helping.

"But it's easier said than done with all the pressure I mentioned."

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