Felipe Massa defends 'rich kid' Lance Stroll after Monaco crash

Felipe Massa of Williams poses for a portrait during day one of F1 winter testing at Circuit de Catalunya on March 1, 2016
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Felipe Massa defends his under-fire rookie Williams teammate Lance Stroll.

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

On Thursday, teenage Stroll continued his 2017 struggle with a crash in Monaco practice, after which The Telegraph referred to the 18-year-old as a "rich kid" who "seems to regard the privilege [of racing in F1] as akin to playing a computer game".

The young Canadian defended himself, saying: "I think a lot of drivers touched the barriers today. 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 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."

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

Speed Week quotes Palmer 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."

Williams and Renault are sixth and seventh respectively in the team rankings ahead of Sunday's race.

Nico Rosberg of Germany and Mercedes GP leads Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Ferrari and Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP into the first corner during the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Catalunya on May 10, 2015
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