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Lance Stroll denies being out of depth in new F1

Williams has defended its rookie Lance Stroll, after the teenage Canadian made three fundamental mistakes in two days of 2017 testing.

The most serious was a hit into the barriers on Wednesday which means the team could have to sit out the final day of the first Barcelona test.

“I would not call it Lance’s mistake, because Felipe (Massa) almost did the same thing twice, and this is a guy with 15 years of experience,” said race team boss Rob Smedley.

Even Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton defended Stroll, whose father is the billionaire fashion mogul Lawrence Stroll.

“It is to be expected,” Hamilton said of Stroll’s mistakes. “He did get some more testing than the others but last year’s cars were easy compared to these.”

Nico Hulkenberg agrees: “It is much more difficult for rookies to come into formula one with these cars.”

18-year-old Stroll, however, denied he is out of his depth.

“This has nothing to do with the fact that I am here with the big boys. It’s the same in every championship. If you push, it can happen.”

He is quoted by the Journal de Montreal: “I’m not intimidated.

“I prepared myself and knew what to expect. These tyres provide exceptional grip and now I have to adapt.

“I did 100 laps without problem and it shows that I am physically ready,” Stroll insisted. “I just have to adapt my driving to the potential of the car, and I have a few more days to do that.”

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