The conspicuous drought of Canadian drivers in the F1 circuit is all set to be over. The Britain-based Williams Racing Team has identified the teenage prodigy from Montreal to fill into the cockpit of outgoing Brazilian F1 driver, Felipe Massa. The newbie is 18-year-old Lance Stroll, the current leader in the FIA European Formula 3 Championship, leading with 507 points.
The Canadian racing fans have their hopes pinned on their fastest man on track for 2017 GP season, as it comes as no surprise to the F1 followers over this rather ambitious move to include the teen into the hot-wheel racing arena.
In September 2016, the Prema Powertrain driver joined the Williams Martini Racing team as its Development Driver. In less than a month, the lad has impressed top bosses at Williams in a way that is relatively unseen in the most glamorous motorsport. For now, Stroll is testing his “killer instincts” on the Williams F1 simulation program, very similar to the one that Bottas completed before his debut in 2013, as per Autosport.
The Williams seat does not come so easily. According to the Daily Mail report, many drivers from the present grid were shortlisted, including Jenson Button. The 36-year old Brit, who began his F1 career in Williams in 2000, took too long to decide for his future, even as his current employer McLaren is yet to hand him an extension for 2017. Which means, Lance Stroll, exactly half Button’s age, will form the pair with Finland’s Valtteri Bottas, who has driven for Williams since 2013.
The dramatic rise of Stroll in motorsport coincides with the prolonged absence of Canadian drivers since 2006, when Jacques Villeneuve left the sport. If Stroll manages to make it to the Australian GP 2017, he will be the second youngest driver in F1 history after Max Verstappen.
Partly helped by the fact that Stroll’s father is a big-shot Canadian businessman who owns the Mont-Tremblant racing circuit, the latest “youth movement in F1” remains the most scintillating gun-blazing moment for the sport since Schumi left.
Image Source: Lance Stroll/Instagram