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Sunday 26 March at 05:35
Lowe defends Stroll amid bad debut F1 weekend
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Sunday 26 March at 05:35 : Mar.26 (GMM) Paddy Lowe has leapt to Lance Stroll's defence, as the teen rookie struggles through his first race in formula one.

After making notable mistakes in winter testing, 18-year-old Stroll - whose father Lawrence is a billionaire - crashed again in Melbourne practice and lines up dead last on Sunday's grid.

But Williams technical boss Lowe backed the team's important new recruit.

"Can you imagine the pressure he was experiencing?" said the Briton.

"For more than a year, Lance was preparing for this moment and then everything happens in just a few moments with almost no practice.

"But in the race he will gather some more experience, probably now with slightly less pressure because he's on the back row. So he will have the opportunity to practice and understand what the race is like and take more confidence to China.

"At this stage of his career, Lance really needs support first and foremost," Lowe added.

However, Stroll's chance to make a great first impression is now behind him, but Lowe thinks the Canadian will take it in his stride.

"He is only 18 but he already has a high level of maturity and a balanced approach," said Lowe.

"The main thing - and we've told him this already - is to keep his expectations in check. We just want him to go through the weekend normally, getting an idea of what it means to be in formula one."

Indeed, Stroll himself sounded sanguine amid his tough first F1 weekend.

"It's a tough start to my formula one career but there's no reason to put my head in the sand," he said.

"I'm still learning. I'm not expecting to compete with my teammate or fight for the podium. I just want to know where I stand and where I need to improve."
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NEXT RACE 26 March 2017
Grand Prix of Australia (5,303 m)
Melbourne, Albert Park Circuit
Last Winner: Nico Rosberg
TV schedule
Friday - practice 1
12:30 - 14:00

Friday - practice 2
16:30 - 18:00

Saturday - practice 3
14:00 - 15:00

Saturday - qualification
17:00 - 18:00

Sunday - race
16:00

Friday - practice 1

Friday - practice 2

Saturday - practice 3

Saturday - qualification

Sunday - race

STANDINGS 2016
Driver championship
1.Vettel202
2.Hamilton188
3.Bottas169
Constructors championship
1.Mercedes357
2.Ferrari320
3.Red Bull184
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