Lance Stroll has been selected by Williams Martini Racing to join its Young Driver Development Programme. The Montréal-born teenager, who turned 17-years-old last month (29 Oct), will be fully-immersed into the Williams team next year in a similar capacity to that of Valtteri Bottas when he first joined the team in a development role in 2011.
The programme includes extensive simulator time, work placements in several departments throughout the factory, as well as specific training in the fields of race engineering and marketing. Stroll will contest the FIA European Formula 3 Championship for a second consecutive year for Prema Powerteam in 2016.
Lance Stroll: "I'm really honoured to be part of such a great team [Williams] and one with so much history and success. I cannot wait to start working with them and very much hope we can achieve great things together in the coming years. It’s a very exciting and crucial time in my short motor racing career. Reaching F1 was always the ultimate goal, I suppose ever since driving a go-kart my father had bought me for my fifth birthday. We set up some cones in a parking lot and I just drove around. Three years later I had my first kart race and won by which time I was waking up on Sundays and watching my idol Michael Schumacher on television racing in Grands Prix around the world and dreaming that could be me one day."
"Williams has a long history of nurturing young drivers at the start of their F1 careers. Damon Hill, David Coulthard, Jenson Button, Nico Rosberg, Nico Hülkenberg and most recently Valtteri [Bottas]. This element was something that was important to me in making the decision to join Williams. I'm very thankful to the Ferrari Driver Academy and proud to have represented the legendary Italian brand since 2010. Their guidance and experience has been massively beneficial for my career coming through from karting in to single-seaters and laying the foundations for what I hope will ultimately be a successful F1 career. But my future is now with Williams which I’m very excited about."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing