Felipe Massa admitted he was “upset” earlier this year by former Williams team mate Lance Stroll’s claims that he had received no special help from the Brazilian during their 2017 season together.
Stroll’s spent his maiden year in Formula 1 alongside Massa, and the presence alongside him of a man with 250 Grands Prix under his belt was perceived as a helpful benefit for the Canadian.
Earlier this year however, when Williams was criticized for including two inexperienced drivers in its 2018 line-up, Stroll played down the situation, insisting his time alongside Massa had not particularly helped his cause as a rookie.
“I don’t think I had any guidance from him last year, whatsoever,” Stroll told Autosport “I don’t know why people seem to think there was a coach or a mentor thing going on”.
Massa preferred not to address the 19-year-old’s comments at the time, but speaking in Brazil this week, when the subject was once again put on the table, the former Ferrari and Williams driver opened up on the matter.
“I did a lot for him, with all humility,” Massa said on TV show Programa com Bial.
“When I first met him, he was 7 years old, so it was a pleasure for me to be with him, trying to help him.
“He came in with great difficulty to have the speed, to understand an F1 car, to understand how the tyres work, as he was 18 years old.
“I was very close to him, I talked a lot, I tried to help in things that I have never seen a driver [try to help].
“Not even Schumacher, who was a master for me, did for me what I tried to do for him.
“So, I was upset [when reading Stroll’s comments] because it was not what I imagined. But there’s no problem.”
Stroll has endured a difficult second campaign at the pinnacle of motorsport, a victim of Williams’ very weak FW41. The Canadian delivered the Grove-based outfit’s only points this season however when he finished eighth in Baku.