Word on the grid is that current Formula 3 championship leader, Lance Stroll, is the next teenager to join the ranks of Formula 1. If you’re like me you’ve been researching this kid, yes he’s only 17. I’ll save you some time and summarize below what you should know.
Stroll currently leads the Formula 3 series by 61 points with 9 races still left in the season. A series in which he placed 5th the previous year. Formula 3 is a logical stepping stone for F1 drivers. A quick look back at some of the champs of F3 will bring up some notable names made famous by F1: Aryton Senna, Jackie Stewart, and Jim Clark among others.
By the time most his age were just earning their learner’s permit, Stroll had already won two championships in the Italian Formula 4 series and the 2015 Toyota Racing Series. I don’t think there is an online course on how to drive F4.
He was a standout in the 2010 Ferrari Driver Academy. Quick math puts him at about 11 years old in that period. Again, most that age are still wetting the bed.
His success places him in an outlier position, similar to good ol’ Max Verstappen. If you are worried that he might bring the same level of, umm, let’s say bravado, you’re wrong. This kid has a level head on his shoulders and is mature for his age.
A maturity possibly gained after instances like this:
Near death experiences have a way of changing a man. That crash is nightmare fuel. Pun shamelessly intended.
Look at the level-head on this guy when discussing his Formula 3 resume,
This year I’ve been a much more consistent driver, Last year I was waiting for my turn to win, and I was anxious to get it. This season it’s come to me; I have a bit more experience…
Now I’m not the only one to praise this lil rascal. Take this quote from Mr. Toto Wolfe. Additional points for shots fired.
He’s also working extremely hard. The intelligence and his maturity are really outstanding. I never saw that with a 17-year-old. For example, Max Verstappen acts more like a teenager. In the car, he’s extremely good, but when you interact with him, he’s a kid. But with Lance, his maturity is very surprising.
How likely is his movement into Formula 1 next year? Good question. He is currently part of the Williams driver development program, and with a vacancy to fill and young guns being all the rage in the current landscape of the sport, it wouldn’t be beyond the realm of possibilities to assume he’ll usurp the open spot next to Bottas.