Villeneuve: Stroll needs slower F1 team-mate

Villeneuve: Stroll needs slower F1 team-mate
By AutoSport

16/11/2017 at 13:19

Lance Stroll needs a slower team-mate to help improve his performance in Formula 1, according to 1997 Formula 1 champion Jacques Villeneuve.

The Williams driver was running 14th but finished 16th in the Brazilian Grand Prix after picking up a flat spot that caused his left-front tyre to delaminate and forced an extra pitstop.

Team-mate Felipe Massa, who is retiring at the end of the season, finished seventh on home soil to move him back ahead of Stroll and into 10th in the drivers' championship with one race to go.

"It wasn't impressive," Villeneuve told Autosport. "He was about to get lapped by his team-mate.

"Then he blew a tyre so at least he has an excuse. It's not a weekend to remember."

When asked what his compatriot needs to do to improve, Villeneuve said: "Have a slower team-mate. He needs to find a way to go faster."

Stroll had a tough start to the season, failing to see the chequered flag in the first there races, but scored his first points in Canada and a maiden podium at the following race in Baku.

Villeneuve said: "You can't just look at the points, you have to look at the pace. We haven't really seen an improvement.

"Something has to happen during the winter because he's been better than that in the other categories.

"He needs to figure something out. Maybe a new team-mate will be helpful."

Stroll is set to stay at Williams for the next two seasons under his current deal, with the team yet to appoint his team-mate for 2018.

Robert Kubica, whose F1 career was interrupted by life-threatening injuries from a rally crash in 2011, is the frontrunner to get the seat.

The 32-year-old Pole is poised to drive for Williams in the post-Abu Dhabi Pirelli Formula 1 tyre test so the team can continue to evaluate the potential of his return.

The alternatives are reserve driver Paul di Resta, former Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat and Sauber's Pascal Wehrlein.