Lance Stroll says his F1 'car is impossible to drive' at Singapore GP
Canadian driver and teammate Felipe Massa struggle in qualification run
Lance Stroll did not hesitate to blame a disappointing result on his vehicle after qualifying 18th for Sunday's Singapore Grand Prix, saying afterwards, "the car is impossible to drive."
The Montreal teen, who drives for Williams, took some of the responsibility, but also admitted that weaknesses in his car were on display.
"I didn't get everything out of myself," Stroll told reporters on Saturday. "The track was improving. It was just changing so much, very different than all the other sessions we've had this weekend. So [yes], we just really got it wrong, but for sure the car's not so good here."
Stroll and teammate Felipe Massa, who also struggled at Marina Bay Street Circuit and will start 17th, had higher expectations.
"We had some hopes of getting into [the second phase of qualification], but the pace is really just not there," Stroll said.
Stroll has struggled with consistency in his rookie season. The 18-year-old made history in June when he became the youngest F1 rookie to reach the podium with a third-place finish in Azerbaijan. Earlier this month at the Italian Grand Prix, Stroll also became the youngest driver to start in the front row, but ended up finishing seventh.
Ups and downs
On Saturday, Stroll indicated that equipment trouble has not been limited to this weekend.
"Not only here. Also other circuits we saw that," he said. "It's just frustrating. We're going from front row to back row."
Through it all, Stroll laments the unreliability of his car.
"It's so nervous and we don't have stability. It's easy to make mistakes, we're just missing a lot and that's going to cost us until we fix it."
Stroll is currently 12th in the standings with 24 points, seven back of Massa.
Lewis Hamilton leads all drivers with 238 points entering the race, while Sebastian Vettel, who will start first, is close behind at 235.
Vettel shows mastery
Vettel showed his mastery of the circuit to take pole position, while championship rival Hamilton struggled throughout and finished fifth.
Max Verstappen qualified in second place ahead of Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo, with Kimi Raikkonen steering his Ferrari to fourth place ahead of Hamilton and his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.
Vettel's 49th career pole came on the track where he holds the record with four wins and six podiums overall, and his superiority showed in a lap record of one minute, 39.491 seconds.
"I think I need to calm down. The car was amazing," Vettel said. "It's an amazing track if you feel the car is coming alive."
He would have gone even faster, had he not nudged the wall on his final attempt.
"It wasn't a brush, it was a hit," Vettel said. "I was lucky there was only one corner left."
With files from The Associated Press