Lance Stroll feels Williams has been "surviving every weekend rather than competing” through a difficult 2018 Formula 1 campaign, with the Canadian believing the team has failed to see it make any true improvements with its FW41 car since the first race of the year in Australia.

Williams currently sits at the bottom of the F1 constructors’ championship table with seven points, having only finished inside the top 10 in two races. Stroll has scored six of Williams’ points, with teammate Sergey Sirotkin only scoring at Monza in September.

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The team has spoken openly about its struggles in 2018 and its plans to make changes for the future, with Stroll offering a damning assessment of this year when speaking ahead of this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix.

“It has been very challenging, the car just hasn’t been there. We’ve just been surviving every weekend rather than competing,” Stroll said.

“[We’ve] been getting knocked out in Q1 a lot, we also had races where I’ve made a good start and been in a points-scoring position, and we’ve just fell back down the order. It’s kind of always been the case, we’ve always been on the back foot throughout the whole year.

“We haven’t really developed the car since Australia. I don’t think we’ve really improved the car at all. It’s been tough to see some of our competitors like Sauber for example who were neck and neck with us in the beginning make big steps in the right direction compared to us.

“It’s been a survival year, that’s all I can say.”

Despite Williams’ on-track struggles this year, Stroll – who looks set to move up to Force India for 2019 following his father’s takeover of the team – feels he has still made strides forward in his own skills through his second F1 season.

“I’ve still developed as a driver, matured as a driver. [My] second year in Formula 1, more seat time, more experience, I’ve absorbed lots of information, even though it has been a very challenging year compared to last year,” Stroll said.

“That’s the nature of the sport. As a driver, you have to accept that some years are more challenging than others, that’s part of the game."

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