Date: 3rd November 2016 at 1:28pm
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There will be a new face on the Formula One grid in 2017.

His name is Lance Stroll and he will replace Felipe Massa at Williams following the Brazilian’s retirement.

The Canadian driver will partner Valterri Bottas who remains with the team.

Stroll makes the step-up following a period as Williams development driver.

Despite his young age [he’s younger than Max Verstappen] and his lack of a drivers licence, he does have some racing pedigree.

In 2014 he won 7 of 18 races in the Italian Formula 4 Championship, winning the title.

In 2015 he won 4 races to win the Toyota Racing Series, before also winning at the Hockenheimring in FIA European Formula 3 Championship.

In 2016 he went on to win 14 of 30 races in European Formula 3 to win the championship.

‘2017 is going to be a big learning curve for me, but I believe contesting the FIA European Formula 3 Championship for the past two years has prepared me well for the step up,’ Stroll told formula1.com.

‘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’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’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.’


Deputy team principal Claire Williams added: ‘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 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.

Whilst his CV is impressive, his quick elevation to the team is probably aided by the financial backing he can also bring to the team.

Stroll is the son of Canadian businessman Lawrence Stroll, who has a net worth of $2.4 billion following investments in Pierre Cardin, Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger.