Felipe Massa: 'Monaco to be Lance Stroll's toughest test'

Felipe Massa of Williams poses for a portrait during day one of F1 winter testing at Circuit de Catalunya on March 1, 2016
© Getty Images
Felipe Massa warns teammate Lance Stroll that the rookie's toughest F1 challenge is now looming.

Felipe Massa has warned teammate Lance Stroll that the rookie's toughest Formula 1 challenge is now looming.

Eighteen-year-old Stroll has struggled in the sister Williams so far this year, but veteran Massa said that Monaco in a fortnight will be his biggest eye-opener to date.

"Monaco is probably the most demanding track of all," Massa, who admits that he is mentoring Stroll, told Le Journal de Montreal. "Even experienced drivers have problems there.

"The walls arrive very quickly. And the cars are wider this year but the streets are just as narrow as before.

"So it's going to be hard for Lance in Monaco. Nothing compares to it.

"But of course I'll be there to help him. The setup is crucial in Monaco and I will share it with him. Where and how to brake is also an art that must be mastered."

Recalling his own Monaco debut as a youngster in 2002, the 36-year-old admitted: "Like many others in their first time, it was catastrophic for me even if I did the 13th time.

"I was constantly avoiding contacts with the wall or other cars and my race ended abruptly."

Indeed, even F1 teen sensation Max Verstappen has had a tough time at Monaco in the last two years.

"That's one example among so many others," said Massa. "Many drivers hit the wall trying to do too much, not only Max. Even the veterans are not immune."

Massa also admitted that Monaco has not been a happy hunting ground for Williams.

"Honestly, it's always been terrible for our team," he said. "Don't ask me why, I don't know. It's a mystery to me."

Williams are sixth in the constructors' standings ahead of the race in the principality.

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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TeamPoints
1Mercedes330
2Ferrari275
3Red Bull174
4Force India95
5Williams-Mercedes41
6Toro Rosso33
7Haas29
8Renault26
9Sauber5
10McLaren2
DriversTeamPoints
1Sebastian VettelFerrari177
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes176
3Valtteri BottasMercedes154
4Daniel RicciardoRed Bull117
5Kimi RaikkonenFerrari98
6Max VerstappenRed Bull57
7Sergio PerezForce India52
8Esteban OconForce India43
9Carlos SainzToro Rosso29
10Nico HulkenbergRenault26
11Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes23
12Lance StrollWilliams-Mercedes18
13Romain GrosjeanHaas18
14Kevin MagnussenHaas11
15Pascal WehrleinSauber5
16Daniil KvyatToro Rosso4
17Fernando AlonsoMcLaren2
18Jolyon PalmerRenault0
19Marcus EricssonSauber0
20Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren0
21Antonio GiovinazziSauber0
22Jenson ButtonMcLaren0