F3 - FIA Formula 3 European Champion Lance Stroll advances to Formula One | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile
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F3 - FIA Formula 3 European Champion Lance Stroll advances to Formula One

03.11.16

Winner of 14 races in the 2016 FIA F3 season, Stroll becomes the latest in a long line of F3 drivers to make the step up to the pinnacle of single-seater racing

FIA, Motorsport, Mobility, Road Safety, F1, WRC, WEC, WTCC, World RX

Having won the FIA Formula 3 European Championship title this year, Lance Stroll has now secured a Formula One driver seat for the upcoming 2017 season. The Canadian, who turned 18 just a few days ago, will contest the 2017 Formula One season for the tradition-rich Williams Martini Racing F1 Team.

By advancing to Formula One, Lance Stroll already is the fifth young driver in the past four years to make it from the FIA Formula 3 European Championship straight to the pinnacle of motor racing and follows the footsteps of Max Verstappen, Daniil Kvyat, Pascal Wehrlein and Esteban Ocon. They all gathered important experiences and learned their trade in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship before being offered the chance to demonstrate their skills in F1.

 “To be racing in Formula One in 2017 is incredible. I can’t thank Williams enough for showing faith in my ability,” Stroll beamed after having signed his driver contract. “And I also am very thankful to everyone who has helped me to reach this level. 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.”

Stroll dominated the 2016 FIA Formula 3 European Championship by winning 14 races and securing the same number of poles. But the young driver residing in Geneva, Switzerland, knows that life will become more difficult for him in his new motor racing environment. “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.”

Nonetheless, Stroll feels ready for the new challenge. “I believe contesting the FIA Formula 3 European Championship for the past two years has prepared me well for the step up. Furthermore, 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."

In late 2015 Lance Stroll became part of the Williams Young Driver Programme but quickly convinced the team of his skills. “Lance joined the Williams Young Driver Programme at the end of 2015 and has impressed our engineers with his maturity, talent and enthusiasm,” said Deputy Team Principal Claire Williams. “We are pleased to be able to offer him the opportunity to step up and show what he can do in Formula One, after proving a dominant force in all the categories he has raced in so far. He is still young, and we are 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, and we hope this will be the start of a long successful career for Lance as well.”