Thursday, November 3, 2016

Canadian Stroll Joining 2017 Formula 1 Campaign With Williams

Photo Credit: Williams Martini Racing

Among some of the great young Canadian drivers emerging in recent years, many Canadian eyes were focus roughly halfway across the world at a young Montreal-born talent. Having just turned 18 years old on October 29th, Lance Stroll rose to become a globally-recognized prospect in the motorsport world after he was recruited by the Ferrari Driver Academy in 2013. Just a mere 3 years later, Stroll has risen to the big time with an announcement by the Williams Martini Racing team that he will become a Formula 1 competitor for the 2017 season.

Joining established Williams competitor Valtteri Bottas, Lance Stroll will join the premier series of open wheel auto racing as a 2017 rookie following a year spend as a test driver for the team. Recently earning the 2016 Formula 3 championship with Prema Powerteam, Lance Stroll demonstrated a remarkable ability to mount front-running performances. Winning 14 of the 30 races in the 2016 campaign, his successes have also included the 2014 Italian Formula 4 title and a championship in the New Zealand-based 2015 Toyota Racing Series. Lance Stroll's elevation to Formula 1 was widely expected when veteran Williams driver Felipe Massa expressed he would retire at this season's end.

“To be racing in Formula One in 2017 is incredible, I can’t thank Williams enough for showing faith in my ability. Racing in F1 was something I dreamt about as a young kid. When I began karting seriously, F1 was then the ultimate goal and especially when I started racing cars in 2014." said Lance Stroll after being named to the Williams Martini Racing team.

Lance Stroll's rise to Formula 1 was almost predicted immediately after his addition to the Ferrari Driver Academy. At one time, it was widely rumoured that Lance Stroll's billionaire businessman father Lawrence Stroll was looking to buy the Sauber F1 Team in order to secure an eventual ride for his son. Despite a father's affiliation to Ferrari, the now 18-year-old driver joined Williams Martini Racing's Young Driver Development Program late last year seeing a more direct path to a top Formula 1 outfit with the Mercedes-Benz powered team.

Next year will mark the 40th year for the current incarnation of the Williams Martini Racing organization. Having earned 9 constructors' championships and 7 drivers' championships with 114 race wins, Bottas and Stroll will be fighting to add to those tallies in 2017 after what may be four winless seasons if the 2016 season ends without a victory.

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