#18 LANCE STROLL
He may have paid his way into the sport, but Lance Stroll’s racing CV is as respectable as those without the money. After a steady first season, can the Canadian step up as Williams’ team leader in 2018?
|Full Name||Lance Stroll|
|Date of Birth||29th October 1998|
|First Race||2017 Australian Grand Prix|
Montreal-born Lance Stroll first had his eyes opened to the racing world when he was given a kart at the age of five by his business man father and keen motorsport enthusiast Lawrence Stroll. He began his karting career in 2008, winning a number of races and championships in Canada. He was crowned the Federation de Sport Automobile du Quebec rookie of the year, aged ten. In 2010, he was signed up to Ferrari’s Young Driver Academy.
Stepping up to single-seaters in 2014, Stroll competed with the Prema team in the Italian F4 Championship, where he dominantly won the title with seven race wins. He won the New Zealand Toyota Racing Series in early 2015, before contesting in European F3. He won a race at the final meeting of the year, but also caused some controversy along the way. He was disqualified in Monza after he caused a huge crash with Antonio Giovinazzi and then at the next meeting in Spa, he was penalised for contact in the first race, caused a crash eliminating the leading three drivers in the second race and was banned from the third race as a result. Nevertheless, he came back stronger in 2016 and convincingly won the title with fourteen wins.
Having quit the Ferrari Young Drivers Academy at the end of 2015, the Williams F1 team signed Stroll up as a development driver in 2016 and announced him as race driver for 2017 a month after his F3 title success.
Having crashed his car multiple times in winter testing in 2017, the rookie went into the season already being billed as the ‘next Maldonado’. Flash forward four races, and Stroll was yet to finish a Grand Prix, partly due to poor reliability. Things began to change as he scored his first points on home soil in Montreal, then scored one of the shock results of the season – a podium finish on a memorable afternoon in Azerbaijan. He scored points at seven races and started on the front row in Monza, becoming the youngest ever driver to do so. His qualifying was somewhat hit and miss in his début season, but his pre-season reputation as the new crash king didn’t prevail as only one of his retirements in 2017 was due to his own fault.
After silencing some of his doubters in 2017, 2018 is all about unlocking the potential which Lance Stroll showed in his maiden season. As the team’s de facto number one driver, he needs to up his game in Qualifying and will need to be competitive against his rookie team-mate.
LANCE STROLL’S F1 RECORD
|2017||Williams||12th (40 points)||0||0||1|