Williams: No plans to run Stroll in FP1 this year

Williams F1 Factory, Grove, Oxfordshire. Thursday 03 November 2016. David Croft, Valtteri Bottas, Lance Stroll and Claire Williams. Photo: Glenn Dunbar/Williams ref: Digital Image _31I0510

Newest kid on the F1 block, Lance Stroll will not be making any FP1 appearances for Williams this year as the team are embroiled in an intense championship battle with Force India.

Deputy team chief Claire Williams told ESPN, “There are no plans [to run Stroll] as we’re in a very critical time with the team trying to challenge Force India for that fourth place. Felipe is also retiring, so it wouldn’t be fair on either driver to do that.”

Williams does not believe the lack of FP1 experience will hinder the Canadian teenager, “The one thing I have learnt about Lance over the 12 months we’ve been working closely with him is his work ethic is second to none for a 18-year-old to achieve what he has in such a short space of time.”

“I have a huge amount of confidence that when he gets into the cockpit in Melbourne he can deliver. But he will need some time like any rookie does in this sport to bed in. There may be some mistakes but that is going to be an inevitability, but we already know from Lance that he learns from his mistakes quickly.”

Stroll is following Max Verstappen’s footsteps by jumping straight into Formula 1 from Formula 3 and bypassing GP2 Series.

“The reason for not doing GP2 is that F3 is a very high level,” explained Stroll. “f the opportunity for Formula One arises nothing prepares you for Formula One like actually competing in Formula One.”

“GP2 is a step up and it’s that middle step, one that is sometimes good to make, but I don’t think anything actually compares to actually competing in Formula One,” added the Williams driver.