Stroll says post-Bahrain was rock bottom
17 December 2017 – Williams youngster Lance Stroll says he was lifted by the way he and the team were able to respond to a difficult start to 2017, which he labelled as the low point of his rookie campaign.
Stroll graduated to Formula 1 with Williams at the reigning European Formula 3 champion, and at the age of 18 became the second-youngest driver to compete in the sport.
However, a mixed pre-season phase was followed by three straight retirements, suffering a brake issue in Australia, and collisions with rivals in China and Bahrain.
Stroll ultimately scored his first points in Canada and stunned by capturing a podium in the dramatic Azerbaijan Grand Prix, before going on to claim a front-row slot in Italy, ultimately finishing 12th in the standings.
"I would say probably after Bahrain," Stroll said when asked for his lowest moment of the year.
"It was pretty tough… not finishing the first three races regardless of whether it was my fault or mechanical failure or whatever.
"Just the fact I didn't get to finish a Grand Prix.
"I had a tough time in winter testing, but that was kind of all expected as well, I knew I was going to face adversity at some stage in my first year and it hit me quite early in the year."
Stroll says maintaining his focus and not allowing himself to get agitated by the initial setbacks aided his progress across the following events.
"I tried to stay level-headed and not let it get to me," said Stroll.
"I think that's what we did best as a group of people, my entourage of engineers and people who work with me always believed in me and I listened to them and we bounced back from that.
"That's what matters; we did bounce back from that and we made it become a great season.
"I look back with the season overall and I'm extremely happy with how it went."
Stroll finished the year with 40 points, three fewer than outgoing team-mate Felipe Massa.