Lance started his racing career in karting at the age of ten, and has been a winner from the word go. In his first year in karting in 2008 he was the Federation de Sport Automobile du Quebec rookie of the year followed by driver of the year in 2009. Four titles followed in the Florida Winter Tour before he moved to the CIK-FIA World Championship in 2012. The move to the Italian Formula 4 Championship in 2014 saw another title added to his cv. This was followed by the Toyota Racing Series in New Zealand and then the 2016 FIA European Formula 3 Championship. He joined the Williams Young Driver Development Programme in 2015 and then a year later was announced as the team’s driver for 2017.
Bahrain was the first track I had been to where I had already driven, so it was nice to be somewhere familiar.
On Friday I was happy in FP1 but then struggled in FP2. On Saturday the times were close and I was happier, but it had been a challenge getting the tyres in the window for a qualifying lap with low grip. It was great to make it to Q2, but unfortunately I only had one set of tyres for this session and so missed out on Q3 by just a couple of tenths. However, I felt that I could race well from 12th.
Sunday was highs and lows. I didn’t make the best start and lost a couple of laps, but I had pitted on lap eight and the soft tyres were good at the beginning of the stint. Unfortunately on lap 12 I was hit by Carlos Sainz as he came out of the pits. I was 50 or 60 metres in front of him and he just ran into the side of my car. I was upset and disappointed and now just hope my luck can turn around. He was given a three place grid penalty for Russia by the Stewards, but that didn’t help me. However, now I have to look at the bright side as I have many races to go.
On the 3rd November 2016 Williams Martini Racing confirmed Lance Stroll was making his Formula One debut in the 2017 FIA Formula One World Championship.
Claire Williams, Deputy Team Principal, said; “Lance joined the Williams Young Driver Programme at the end of 2015 and has impressed our engineers with his maturity, talent and enthusiasm. 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.
As a team, we continue to push forward in our goal to win races and championships, and believe this exciting fresh combination will put us in a strong position to deliver on our future targets.”