The 2016 Formula 3 Champion Lance Stroll was announced as a Williams driver for 2017 and is set to replace the proficient Felipe Massa, who will surely be emotional for his last home Grand Prix next time out.
Mobil 1 caught up with the Canadian hopeful and he framed his own prospects for the future and described the arduous journey to get to F1 in his own right.
The confirmation of Stroll’s presence on the grid see’s the field get younger. At the tender age of eighteen, the Grove-based outfit have been impressed by his level of maturity and application and are of the belief that he is an F1 star of tomorrow and without question a lower Formula star of the present.
Stroll won the 2016 Formula 3 campaign with a domineering 14-wins, 14 poles, 20 podiums and 13 fastest laps over a 30-race season. Not too shabby considering the F3 field is 31-hungry driver’s in size. Stroll is clearly not a one-Championship-wonder (If that even exists) either, with the 2014 Italian Formula 4 title and 2015 Toyota Racing series title already collected.
— WILLIAMS RACING (@WilliamsRacing) November 3, 2016
Not too dissimilar from a few other drivers on the grid, he is yet to be mentioned singularly, away from the name and accolades of his father. This happened with Max Verstappen when he first got going with Toro Rosso but quickly diminished once the young driver was able to establish himself. Given the track record of Lance Stroll, it seems likely that this will happen to him eventually too.
Deputy Team Principal Claire Williams states that Stroll’s natural talent was apparent from the off, she said,
“Lance joined the Williams Young Driver Programme at the end of 2015 and has impressed our engineers with his maturity, talent and enthusiasm.
He is still young, and we looking forward to seeing him develop as a driver. Williams has a great record of introducing young drivers to Formula One, who have achieved great results.
We hope this will be the start of a long successful career for Lance as well.”
– Claire Williams
— James Allen (@Jamesallenonf1) November 3, 2016
Step up he must with a teammate as adept as Valterri Bottas on the other side of the garage. In the Finn he faces a tough benchmark but at the same time, a no-fuss experienced driver who could make up an environment in which Stroll can develop and thrive.