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Lance Stroll expects difficult first Monaco GP

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Lance Stroll has entered Monaco expecting a tough weekend.

Already, the teenage rookie has struggled in 2017 and now insiders are predicting more trouble for Stroll on the famous but unforgiving streets.

Stroll, 18, told Canada’s La Presse: “I do not want to be negative, but I expect a difficult weekend.

“This is my first race here, and this circuit does not favour our car.”

Williams technical chief Paddy Lowe, the astute mastermind behind several world champions in the past, is cautious in his summing up of F1’s new boy.

“He is a driver carrying a lot of expectation,” he says, “not only from people close to him, like us in the team and his parents, but right across the paddock. There is a lot of the spotlight on him and how he got to this level in F1.

“And the question asked is: does he really deserve the drive he’s got? Well, there are no easy answers for him under the tremendous pressure he is facing. But we are all trying to help him through that pressure because we all appreciate the challenging position he faces. But we know he is capable and competent. A natural. And in time it will show.”

The feeling of confidence in Stroll is underpinned by team principal Claire Williams, daughter of the esteemed Sir Frank who selflessly helped countless ambitious and starter drivers along the road to world title glory.

“It is really tough for drivers like him to step up from the junior classes to Formula One — and people can underestimate what pressure these guys like Lance put themselves under,” she says. And she adds: “We should remember he is only 18. He needs a bit of space, a bit of headroom, just to be able to go out and do what I think we all know … that he is fully capable of doing okay once that pressure has eased. He will, we are all sure, go great guns.

“We at Williams have been in racing for 40 years and we know how to help and nurture young talent into championship material. And that is our intention with Lance. We are confident we will see a return for all our endeavours. Monaco will be a really difficult test for him. But he is keen to give it his all.”

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