Williams Formula 1 technical chief Paddy Lowe has spoken of his long-running admiration for Felipe Massa, identifying the Brazilian as a "fantastic" coach for Lance Stroll during his rookie campaign.

Lowe left a role at Mercedes to join Williams for 2017, joining its senior management team and taking a stake in the company.

Massa was joined in a race seat by Stroll, who became F1's second-youngest driver in history at the season-opener in Australia on March 26.

With just four seasons of car racing under his belt prior to his F1 debut, Stroll is still building his motorsport experience, but is working with Massa to learn quickly and tapping in to the veteran's 14 seasons' worth of experience. For Lowe, there is no better tutor on the grid.

"I've admired Felipe as a competitor for many years, particularly 2008 when I was with McLaren and Lewis [Hamilton] and it was a really tough battle between the two of them and the two teams," Lowe said.

"He did a fantastic job that year, and as you know, he was briefly world champion. So Felipe is a world champion-class driver, so it's great to work with him. He's always cheerful, wholly committed and enjoys the work.

"That is always a good starting point with drivers when they clearly so much enjoy what they do. It makes it a pleasure to work with them. His experience is just vast, and he's the kind of guy you watch in the car and you have no worries about what he'll do and whether he'll get it right because you can have complete confidence that he'll deliver what you need from the car.

"That's fantastic to have, especially at the moment with Lance being on his steep learning curve. At the same time, Felipe's been very, very helpful with coaching across the garage to help Lance get up to speed."

Stroll experienced a baptism of fire upon arrival in F1, failing to finish his first three races before eventually seeing the chequered flag for the first time in Russia last weekend.

"It's very, very tough to DNF on your first three events, particularly when for him there's been a lot of pressure, a lot of attention, a lot of expectation," Lowe said. "It's difficult. One of them was ours with the brake failure, completely ours, we hold our hands up to that.

"That's part of the learning curve of entering the sport. You enter as a rookie, you make your space. I think part of that there is asserting your presence on the track that people don't push you around. I think Lance is in that process at the moment."

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