MONZA, Italy -- Lance Stroll was forced into a defensive drive in the closing stages of the Italian Grand Prix after a mistake the teenager called "devastating".
Stroll started a career-best second on the grid -- becoming the youngest front-row starter in F1's history in the process -- but lost the place to Force India's Esteban Ocon at Turn 1. The pair were soon passed by Valtteri Bottas and the Ferraris but continued fighting for position amongst themselves.
Stroll was left ruing a mistake made shortly after his first pit stop that made catching Ocon impossible and meant he finished the race fending off teammate Felipe Massa and the other Force India of Sergio Perez.
"I felt very good on the second stint, on the soft tyre, catching Esteban again," Stroll said. "But then I made a mistake and I locked up into Turn 1, which was devastating, because I went from attacking him to backing off and defending from Felipe all race.
"That was pretty nerve-racking, it came close at the end, good wheel-to-wheel racing, but great fun."
Stroll had seen another opportunity to overtake Ocon pass him by a few laps earlier, when an uncharacteristically sluggish pit-stop from Williams -- a team which prides itself on usually having the fastest turnaround in the box -- saw him emerge behind the Force India.
"It was a bit of a shame with the pitstop, we had a very bad pitstop -- and I think we were maybe able to jump him there, it was an opportunity but unfortunately we just missed out with the rear left. Not ideal."
Ocon had made a good getaway from second position, forcing Hamilton to move across and cover the position as they neared the opening corner. That ultimately helped Ocon get past but Stroll said he enjoyed the fight he had with the Frenchman.
"I'd had a great start but then Lewis defended me, and it cost me time because I had to back off and let Esteban go, which was a bit of a shame.
"We had good pace, attacking Esteban in the first stage, got close a few times but never to get by him -- it's tough with the Parabolica here, you lack a lot of downforce, so you're never quite close enough for Turn 1. It was a good fight."