Williams Martini Racing has confirmed that Valtteri Bottas will be joined next year by 18-year-old Canadian Lance Stroll.
“To be racing in Formula 1 in 2017 is incredible,” said Stroll, “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.”
The team was polite enough not to mention that the primary reason Stroll has been able to sail into F1 with ease is due to the fact that there is a substantial sum of money coming with him. However, there is no question that Stroll is talented given his results in Formula 3 and it will be interesting to see how he does against Bottas.