Lance Stroll will make his F1 debut with Williams next year – and in doing so become the second-youngest ever driver in the sport.
Replacing Felipe Massa, the 18-year-old will partner Valtteri Bottas and be the youngest driver on the starting grid next season.
The son of billionaire Lawrence Stroll, one of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs in the fashion industry, he began his karting career when he was eight years old, and has gone on to win the 2014 Italian Formula 4 Championship, 2015 Toyota Racing Series and 2016 European Formula 3 titles.
Becoming the first Canadian F1 driver since the 1997 World Champions Jacques Villeneuvre, he said: “I come from money and I’m not going to deny that, but I believe I earned my shot in F1 because I have won every championship that I have competed in.
Lance Stroll added; “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.
“2017 is going to be a big learning curve for me, but I’m eager to absorb everything Williams can share with me so that I improve. I’ll be taking things on a race-by-race, lap-by-lap basis and hopefully progress with experience like I did when I entered Formula 4 and then Formula 3.
“I believe contesting the FIA European Formula 3 Championship for the past two years has prepared me well for the step up. There are many elements for me to learn and I’m still young. I’ve been experiencing a 2014-spec Williams FW36 since August, which has gone very well. The power is incredible. I’m learning about the car, the incredible downforce, DRS and tyre management, finding a rhythm and finding the limit. I’m becoming more comfortable and confident with each run.
“I’ve enjoyed success in karting, F4, Toyota Racing Series and most recently F3 – winning every category I’ve competed in – so I believe I have earned a shot in F1. I’m very thankful to everyone who has helped me to reach this level.”