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Felipe Massa: Race finish key for Lance Stroll's confidence

SOCHI, Russia -- Felipe Massa says rookie Williams teammate Lance Stroll just needs to finish a race to get his confidence back after an unlucky start to 2017.

After retiring from the opener in Australia with a brake issue, Stroll was punted out of the next two races -- by Sergio Perez in China and Carlos Sainz in Bahrain. It means he is yet to complete a full grand prix in his debut campaign and has just 52 race laps to his name so far.

Stroll has the benefit of one of F1's most experienced drivers alongside him in Massa and the Brazilian, who debuted for Sauber in 2002, thinks the 18-year-old will feel much better once he has a clean weekend to his name.

When asked what he would tell a young driver when things are not going their way, he replied: "To keep his mind up and don't look at the media and really believe that things we'll go right. After he finishes his first race he will start to feel confident. He's just starting.

"Definitely he didn't have the start that he expected. In the first race he had a problem with the brakes but what happened in China and what happened in the last race [in Bahrain] was not his fault.

"In China, Checo [Perez] was behind him and he couldn't see him, so who could have avoided Checo? Nothing. And in the last race for sure it was not his fault what happened. So we need to give him time."

Stroll agrees with Massa's assessment but is confident a good result will come with patience.

When asked if he was "eager" for a clean weekend to put his shaky start to one side, he said: "Eager is the wrong word, obviously hoping for a good weekend as always but I don't think it is time to start focusing in a different way. We just need to do our thing, the same way of working and approaching weekends as we always do. I strongly believe the tables will turn by themselves."

The Canadian says the benchmark set by Massa alongside him has been invaluable for his first season in Formula One.

"I think it has been great having Felipe. He seems to be very happy with these new regulations and is very comfortable and confident in the car, it's great he is pushing the team forward, he is pushing me forward. I am learning a lot of things, he brings a lot of knowledge to the team and experience and has been through a lot of regulations over his career which is a big help for this season for sure."