2017 review: Williams underwhelms amid 40th anniversary celebrations

Lance Stroll, Williams F1, podium, Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Lance Stroll

Lance Stroll's firesuit should have come with a bullseye painted on the back, because the rookie was the target of some vicious 'pay driver' gibes during his first outings with Williams. Even his compatriot Jacques Villeneuve joined in the remorseless attacks.

It's true that Stroll's maiden season didn't start well, with three retirements followed by three more finishes out of the points. But then he claimed his first championship points in his home race in Canada, and then achieved a remarkable third place in Azerbaijan. He was the only driver from outside the top three teams to appear on the podium all season. He followed that up with five more top ten finishes for a total of 40 points - only three behind his vastly more experienced team mate.

True, Felipe Massa out-qualified him on all but two occasions, but Stroll made up for that by gaining more positions on the first lap (38) than anyone else on the grid. While it's true that he needs to improve in 2018, Stroll has more than justified his place in F1 despite the barrage from the naysayers.

Read on: Felipe Massa

Gallery: The beautiful wives and girlfriends of F1 drivers

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter