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Lance Stroll wants a 'team-player' as 2018 Williams teammate

Lance Stroll says he does not have a preference as to who his Williams teammate is for 2018, as long as they are a team-player.

The Canadian rookie will line-up alongside a different driver next season, following Felipe Massa's retirement from Formula One, after the Brazilian spent four years at the Grove-based outfit. Williams holds the last major vacancy on the grid for 2018, and is currently evaluating whether Robert Kubica is fit enough to complete a sensational return to F1 with the team next year.

Lance Stroll is not fazed by the prospect of having a new teammate at Williams next year, providing they are a team player. Mark Thompson/Getty Images
The Polish driver has undergone a series of tests this year to determine his abilities behind the wheel of modern F1 machinery, having sustained severe arm and hand injuries in a horrific rally crash back in 2011, which cut-short his promising single-seater career. Kubica, who recently tested a 2014-spec Williams car at Silverstone and Hungary, will split driving duties in the team's 2017 challenger with Stroll and Renault reserve driver Sergey Sirotkin at this week's post-Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Pirelli tyre test.

When asked what he wants from his next teammate during last weekend's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Stroll replied: "I just want a team-player. At the end of the day you drive your car and that is what you focus on with yourself and your side of the garage but of course it is always good to have a good relationship.

"You never want to have a negative battle or the team splitting up in any way. You always want someone pushing you all the time who is competitive and at the top of their game so you can become a better driver. It comes down to what Williams decides to do and I will live with that.

"In F1 nobody is here to help you and you have to make your place and that is done by everyone individually. I hope to have a good relationship with my team-mate but I'll be doing me and he'll be doing him."

The 19-year-old ended his rookie campaign 12th in the drivers' championship with a total of 40 points, just one position and three points shy of his more experienced teammate Massa. Season highlights included becoming the youngest-ever F1 podium finisher in Baku, and a strong drive to sixth place in Mexico.

Speaking about the prospect of Kubica returning to F1, Stroll added: "I have never met him. Obviously he was a big talent back in the day before his accident. Everyone knows that he was one of the best around but I don't know anything else or where he stands in terms of fitness and health -- I don't know any details -- but we'll see what Williams decides to do."

Williams reserve driver Paul di Resta, who acted as a last-minute substitute for Massa in Hungary earlier this campaign, Red Bull outcast Daniil Kvyat, and Sauber's Pascal Wehrlein are also understood to be in contention, but Williams' post-season test line-up suggests the British squad is leaning towards either Kubica or Sirotkin -- though it insists the test will not act as a direct shoot-out for the drive.

Author: Lewis Larkam, ESPN UK
Source: http://www.espn.co.uk/f1/story/_/id/21586590/lance-stroll-wants-team-player-2018-williams-teammate

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