MAY 26, 2017

Massa defends Stroll after Monaco crash

Felipe Massa has defended his under-fire rookie teammate Lance Stroll.

Felipe Massa has defended his under-fire rookie teammate Lance Stroll.

On Thursday, teenage Stroll continued his 2017 struggle with a crash in Monaco practice.

Afterwards, the Telegraph newspaper referred to the 18-year-old as a "rich kid".

"He seems to regard the privilege (of racing in F1) as akin to playing a computer game," said correspondent Oliver Brown.

The young Canadian defended himself.

"I think a lot of drivers touched the barriers today," said Stroll. "On the positive side, it was my first time on this track and I had good pace.

"I touched the barriers but at least I know I attacked and have something to work on for Saturday."

His veteran teammate Felipe Massa also defended Stroll.

"It's his first weekend in Monaco and many drivers have accidents," the Brazilian said. "Perhaps we should just say 'Welcome to Monaco!'

"Today Lance did a good laptime, he was more competitive than in Barcelona, so that's a positive. But of course Monaco is Monaco and Lance must understand that a mistake here can cost him his session," Massa added.

Also under pressure so far in 2017 is Renault's Jolyon Palmer, amid speculation the French team might actually be on the verge of ousting him.

Speed Week quotes the Briton as saying: "A year ago I was in the guard rail and I thought 'Something has to change'. I still think so today.

"I just need to have a weekend where everything goes normally. I've had more technical problems this season than last season, when more of the problems I was having were about me.

"I'm disappointed with how it's going, but I don't give up," Palmer added.