Lance Stroll says he won’t miss having a driver of Felipe Massa's experience as a Formula 1 teammate, as he received “no guidance whatsoever” from the Brazilian during their time together at Williams.
After being drafted in at late notice to replace Mercedes-bound Valtteri Bottas alongside Stroll last year, Massa retired from grand prix racing for a second time at the end of the 2018 season.
The Brazilian’s place has been taken by rookie Sergey Sirotkin for 2018, giving Williams one of the least experienced driver line-ups on the F1 grid.
But, when asked whether he would miss having a veteran driver such as Massa as a teammate this season, Stroll claimed it made little difference as he never got any help from his colleague anyway.
“I don’t think I had any guidance from him last year, whatsoever,” Stroll told Motorsport.com. “He was a teammate like any other.
“He was busy trying to drive as fast as he could, and I was trying to drive as fast as I could. That was it. There was nothing more to it than that."
Massa had said early in his season alongside Stroll that working with the Canadian rookie reminded him of the mentoring he received from Michael Schumacher at Ferrari at the start of his own F1 career.
Stroll continued: “I don’t know why people seem to think there was a coach or a mentor thing going on. There wasn’t; it was just him doing his job and me doing mine, and whoever did it better finished ahead.
“Whether my teammate is someone with 15 years’ experience or someone of one year's experience, my approach doesn’t change.”
Missing out to Sirotkin on the vacant Williams race seat was Robert Kubica, who has signed as a reserve and development driver with the Grove outfit.
According to Stroll, the Polish driver – a veteran of 76 grand prix starts – can be an asset to the team, especially with his experience of driving the Renault last year.
“Robert can be a big help for sure,” said Stroll. “Felipe was a good help in that way of helping the team develop with the new regulations, and Robert can definitely help us.
“He seemed to have a good understanding of what the problems were with the car [in Abu Dhabi testing], we got some feedback from the Renault he drove in Hungary.
“So that was good, I can think we can use him and integrate in the team to help us get further up the grid.”