F1 Winter Break
A new teenager in F1: Lance Stroll Williams announcement due in early November
Lance Stroll
Posted By: James Allen  |  17 Oct 2016   |  5:35 pm GMT  |  62 comments

Lance Stroll will turn 18 at the end of this month and a few days later he will be announced as a Williams F1 race driver, replacing Felipe Massa, according to French Canadian media reports today.

The teenager has already clinched the FIA European F3 championship and has been running a parallel test programme with Williams in a 2014 specification Williams-Mercedes hybrid turbo. The rules allow teams to run two year-old cars as much as they want and Stroll has more test days planned between now and the end of 2016.

“Lance will be racing in F1 next year, you can write that in black and white,” Stroll’s father Lawrence told the Journal de Montreal at the weekend during the F3 round at Hockenheim. The paper added that the proposed announcement date is November 3 in London.

Lance Stroll. Lawrence Stroll

“Lance is realising his dream,” his father added. “His success in F3 is a great effort. But what I am most proud of is the way he has reached such a level.

“You’ve no idea how hard he has worked since he started racing. His rigour and determination are what’s made him an F3 champion. That’s no small achievement. The road has been long and tough at times, but this is a heart payback. Now he’s waiting for his ultimate objective which is F1. I’m sure he will be successful there.

“It’s a huge challenge which he’s been preparing for a long time.”

It is certainly going to be the most physical level of F1 for an 18 year old to enter for some time. Next season is the first time in over 50 years that F1 has set out in the rules to make the cars go faster than their predecessors; normally the rule changes are to slow them down. The cars will have significantly more downforce and wider tyres with more mechanical grip. They will be high drag, so the straight line speeds will be down on current levels, but the cornering forces will be significantly increased.

According to experts in physical preparation, contacted by this site, increased loadings are expected to affect most areas of driver input. Neck strength in high speed corners is the obvious concern, but increased upper body and pedal forces are also likely to need attention.

F1 2006

Physical preparation and training for the drivers always has to compete with many other demands on their time, but all experts are agreed that the 2017 pre-season will be perhaps the most important block of training time since the mid 2000’s (above), when the F1 cars had refuelling and the races were a series of short, flat-out sprints with high g loadings in corners.

This may turn out to be a particular challenge for teenagers like Stroll and even Max Verstappen, although the Dutch 19 year old is more conditioned to current F1 loadings. At this age, late adolescent musculature is still maturing and the physical toll will need to be carefully monitored.

Stroll’s debut season in F1 is set to be a blessing for the beleaguered organisers of the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal, which has provisional status on the F1 calendar at present. The plans for upgrading the circuit have been slow to be realised and F1 commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone has expressed frustration.

The arrival of Liberty Media may change the complexion of the situation as they have made it clear that they want more races in the US time zones. Meanwhile Stroll will no doubt use his considerable influence behind the scenes to ensure that there is a sustainable pathway for the Canadian Grand Prix.

Canadian GP 2016

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What’s the point of GP2, GP3 and FV8 3.5, if the F3 champions gets straight into an F1 seat?

I think that F1 drivers should be at least 22 years old. GP2 drivers should have at least one full season above F3, and GP3 drivers should have at least one season of experience in F3.


I cant wait for the rules to change.Welcome to F1 Lance,may you be blessed


The “rich kid” and “pay driver” slurs return in their droves. I must admit, though, I am apprehensive about Stroll’s entry into F1. With the cars being made 5 seconds faster next year, if he is under-prepared, the wolves (tabloids) will slaughter him. Especially if Wehrlein was to take Bottas’ seat (if the Finn left), then he may find himself using his dad to buy him seats at other teams like Manor, Sauber & Haas. Of course, this tends to be the graveyard downward spiral of most careers (Kovalainen, Trulli, Glock, Kobayashi to name but four). Having said that, Pedro Diniz managed six years of F1 using his Family’s Parmalat profit to fund his career despite no success in any junior category, but on the flipside Nelson Piquet Jr did well in F3 & GP2… but was sacked within 18 months by Renault, leading to his infamous Singapore-gate suit that killed Flavio Briatore’s F1 career.

By the looks of the opposition Stroll has faced in his F3 winning campaign, I would doubt even closest (albeit very distant) rival Maximilian Gunther has the slightest glimpse of entering F1 unless he does an Antonio Giovinazzi and steps up to GP2 as a championship contender. But most importantly of all, is Stroll a similar freak of nature like Max Verstappen? Max was physically fit enough and naturally gifted to drive 800+bhp F1 beasts at just 17, albeit under these downforce-restricted regulations. With the new inflated downforce regs, Stroll will have no settling-down period that Max has done for two years already. Stroll will be 18 next year, but may indeed find himself secretly pleading for a rest at some point for the sake of respite.


The pay driver prevalence is a direct consequence of the enormous cost of doing formula one. In the good(?) old days one could buy or build a chasis, buy an engine and go racing in a competitive fashion at a managable cost eg Hesketh Racing. Unless F1 returns to that scenario – and the money men dictate that it will not – pay drivers will rule the Earth. Amen.


Funny people compare Stroll with Verstappen. It’s like apples and oranges. De first one has to search for a team with 30 million dollars in his pocket while the latter was hunted bij Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull. Stroll did very well in last years F3 Euroseries but he had the best team and car by far. Verstappen is up to 165 points in F1 and I would like to see if Lance Stroll can make it up to that amount next year. I would be surprised.


Hollywood name, Hollywood money.

The rude awakening will be riding around in a mid-field car, signing autographs but mostly just signing cheques.

Wikipedia shows a small one page Curriculum Vitae.

It’s like watching a pay astronaut blast off without a space suit.

If I was Lance’s Daddy I’d pay teenage Lance the 35 million a year to stay at home where it’s safe instead of giving it to Williams and throwing him in the deep end at 200 miles an hour.


If employing this young rich kid means that we will continue to have two Williams cars on the grid, than I am all up for it. Let’s just hope they put in a proven race winner in the second car


F1 needs to be careful with fast tracking teenagers into F1 with money as it can discredit the whole series. I hope he performs well enough otherwise his young career will be finished fast.


Money always talks in F1!!. I think there is a real dilemma here for Liberty. A Canadian is great for the N/Amercan market but then having a “kid” driver in what is supposedly a monsterous car that “heroes” drive is really going to confuse alot of fans.

I think drivers / teams must prepare themselves to gain a few kilos in muscle development – Neck, legs in particular but also a little in upper body. Im just blown away that already they push 80-150kg through the brake pedal alone and now they will be required to do more. Dont get me wrong Im all for more G- forces and higher cornering speeds that only the best can withstand and make right calls in milliseconds!. But the real question is do we want cars with 1960’s brake tech in the pinnacle of motorsport? We have the most advanced PU and aero systems in the cars that still have no brake booster! Let alone abs.Crazy contrast.

i think we will see drivers struggle alot on the limits which is what the plan was but I sure would hate to be an F1 rookie in 2017-its going to be a real “pain in the neck”.Goodluck Lance. Where cornering forces are really high, Great grip, high downforce, one driver always stood out…& I can tell you now hes not young.


I think I know who you’re talking about, Elie.


I wish him well, but it seems a bit of a pity for Williams. A couple of years ago they were back to being the second-best team, winning poles on merit and finishing on the podium in most races. At the time it looked like they might have turned a corner and be on the way back to the top. Now they’re gradually dropping down the order again, winning only the odd lucky point here and there, and now replacing their retiring almost-former world champion with a rich rookie instead of a top-liner, to make ends meet. Not unlike the 2009-14 period, with Pastor Maldonado. I hope that Lance turns out to be the next world champion waiting to be discovered, and that Williams’ lack of pace this years has been because they’ve been devoting all their energy the 2017 car – but my hunch is that that this is the start of another long, slow decline, unfortunately.



do you think we could see daddy stroll buying a team in the future (e.g. Force India?).


Indian Gov will own as an asset fir debts owed. Most likely VM will be doing Porridge in the near future.
Besides VM wants Mega Millions for it, he’d be lucky to get a million for it . At least Arthur Daley had a heart and was a fictional character. But VM is as dodgy as a shrinking new £5 note.
If Stroll snr bought it, would he change the name to , Here you go Son “Daddy bought you a Racing Team” or
“DBYRT !” as Ernie from Sesame Street would say 😉


Another rich kid to F1 instead of ordinary people.
ON the demographic sociology side we have the rich kids, the oligarchs [Prostinho, Laudinha, Piquetinho] and the ordinary ones [Kubica, Lewis, Kimi].

I’m a big fan of what Nissan Academy did for Jean Mardenborough.

About Stroll [Mod], I guess he was the perfect choice for Ferrari on the commercial/marketing side as his father is a Master in Brands management.
Could have had a lot of synergy with clothes sales, since Ferrari is having problems with licensing revenue.
Another blunder of FCA.


For your information, Prost wasn’t a rich kid, he was from a working family.

He got to the top with his hard work.


Don’t forget to include Alonso and Weber amongst those from humble origins. Even Weber had some financial help from the great David Campese if memory doesn’t fail…


“My daddy bought me a race car!” Great job to the latest Veruca Salt clone. God, I remember a time when Williams had serious cred for who they let sit in their car…


Yeah, remember those days? When Williams could drop a world champion at will, and even had Senna willing to drive for free.


Do I blame Williams for signing this ‘ Crashtanaldo’ ? Certainly not !
With the open cheque-book he brings they’d have been mad not too.
I do blame though Bernie and the FIA for implementing the the changes we have seen over the past decade that have enabled these cars to be driven by any teenager with a fat wallet !
A season or two of single seater action, alongside forty hours of F1 on the Ps4 and your all set to go.
I’m open to all takers on who will seriously hurt someone first next year, Verstappen or this kid…


Looks more and more like a rich father looking for a team that needs the money most to land his son a driving seat in F1. Also looks like the days of racing for the love of racing is diminishing fast…

Hope we do not see another “Max” style of driving with Stroll moving to the big league.


Canadian Grand Prix is currently a “cash cow” for the management and the city and Provence of Quebec, period. They won’t invest in the future of the venue unless their arms are twisted, it’s that simple. 130K fans at the circuit on race day ,year in and out says it all.


Not that simple. The GP supposedly recieves funding from municiple, provincial, and federal governments. Anything that involves that much government, especially in Canada, is going to move at a snail’s pace.

Also, both the Quebec and Montreal governments are [Mod]….mostly through construction. Getting things done in Montreal is easy.

Montreal still has pot holes left over from Expo ’86….not sure if they have the money for a new pit complex on the Isle.


I meant to say “getting things done in MTL is NOT easy.” Stupid auto correct.

Also, not sure why the info about the Quebec and Mtl governments was modded out. That’s not my own speculation….its a monthly column on the CBC. This is common knowledge in Canada lol.

It’s like me saying that the New Jersey Mayoral office had connections to the Italian mob, or that Vegas was built by the mob….these are facts, not rumors.


So an F3 title gains enough points to race in F1? Sounds like that point system is useless.


Its not enough if I recall James correctly it gets you something like 80%. Hes doing testing in the 2014 F1 car -that gives the balance – I think


Yeah, but then again any international F3 title, including British F3, always did directly qualify a driver for F1.

…or they did until the FIA downgraded all F3 to needing only a Int Grade C licence for 2013, from which time they needed moderate success in a higher powered car with an Int Grade B licence to gain the Int Grade A required to graduate to F1 or Indycars or even GP2.

Then the points system announced in 2014 for 2016 moulded the legitimate access routes into a different shape — narrower in parts, broader in others — until another rule change this June blew it wide open again specifically for FIA F3 drivers, the first *5* of which in the championship now get a Grade A licence without having to race at Grade B inbetween, assuming they also have the 40 points already.

Kinda brings it all back to where it was before with F3, but funnelled into making only the FIA’s F3 championship worth anything. And who needs an FIA F2 now?


When asked to comment, Lance Stroll said, “I’d like to thank my daddy for an advance on my allowance to fund my junior career, F1 test programme, and Williams seat”.


So F1 has become so easy it is being taken over by children. Literally children. Bring in 1500hp, no power steering & manual transmission.



Fancy F1, thinking it can be like other sports where young people compete…


If F1 is so easy, why aren’t you in it? There’s a huge difference between “difficult” and “physically demanding”


Isn’t it obvious? His daddy can’t afford to buy him a seat !


With at least 30 million dollar in the pocket for the accepting team stroll is a attractive candidate. Williams is in need for money.
In 2016 he is doing remarkably well. Compared with his 2015 season were a lot of errors and reprimands showed lack of experience.
With a rich father who bought a lot of training hours in an older Williams and use of several simulators, Lance is well prepared. If he is really ready for F1 only the future will show i guess.


Excellent , good luck Lance!


I think Lance’s record of on track driving behavior and incidents should be looked at very carefully. Perhaps a little too fearless.


You think he will be an young Maldonado pay-driver?


A bit like Max and his defensive micro zig zag zig swerves !!

Tornillo Amarillo

I can assure you Montreal will have his GP in 2017 for 5 reasons:
* they always organize the GP (except in 2009)
*B.E. is not there anymore for asking money…
*It’s not the race, it is a whole week of popular events on the streets
*Lance, born in Montreal, will be in the grid for the first time
*2017 is the 375* anniversary of the city, so they are building and doing a lot to have everything ready to celebrate and relaunch the city, so to cancel the GP would be crazy, an anticlimax!


“It’s not just the race, it’s a whole week of popular events.”

That describes the entire summer in Montreal though. June, July, and August, nearly every weekend, there is something going on. There’s Just for Laughs, the Jazz Festival, Symphony of Fire (not sure if that’s still on tbh), and lots more.

I wouldn’t welcome the loss of the the Canadian GP, but I don’t think its loss would have as big an impact on Mtl summer life as you imply.

Also, in regards to Mtl ramping up for their 375….that city, that province, is broke as a joke. Montreal streets are littered with pot holes because the city is still trying to recover from hosting the Olympics and Expo back in the ’80s. If you drive from Ontario to Quebec and fall asleep (as a passenger), gaurenteed you will be violently woken by the road the second you hit the Quebec boarder.

Quebec City has been trying to get government subsidy from any level to help build a new hockey arena, and they have found support rather difficult to come by. I’d bet that there are more hockey fans in Quebec than there are F1 fans…and if hockey is struggling to gain public support for government subsidy, how do you think F1 will fair?

Plain and simple, most Canadians are fed up with government subsidy for sporting events.

If Mtl is spending loads of money on their anniversary, and trying to upgrade Gille Villeneuve, and struggling to gain public support for government subsidy of sporting events, maybe the continuation of the Canadian GP is not as much of a slam dunk as you might think.

Tornillo Amarillo

Sainz is 22 years-old now, at that age, Lance will have 4 years of practice in Formula 1, paid by his dad, what’s the problem since FIA gives him the licence?
We have already arguing about Max and the fact he was too young and he was promoted to RB and doing podiums… Who knows what Lance is capable of doing at 20?
You have a lot of money because you earn it in the market… Sport is a nice place to spend it!
Canadians should feel themself lucky with this family who shares this activity for cars and support them.
This is a win-win-win-win-win thing, Lance is good enough to try F1, Williams will get the money, Canada will get something to cheer about in a already packed circuit in race day, this is good for a North America TV show, etc.

And I won’t miss Massa for sure.


Im sorry, but we should feel “lucky” to the Stroll family “shares” thier motorsport interest with us?

This is the most rediculous thing I have ever read. Period!

Tornillo Amarillo

@Twitch6 : So you can surely read more.
Daddy’s money is not “public” money, exemple from the sponsorship of an oil estate-owned company, it’s not money coming from Taxes paid by canadian residents. That’s luck.


Oh come off it Tornillo lol. Show me solid evedence of how much actual money Stroll has invested in the Mtl GP. I mean, he’s worth a couple billion, so what’s a few million to throw at the circuit for upgrades? He might donate a little as a tax write off, but there isn’t still dispute over where the money for upgrades is coming from for no reason. If we are to be as grateful to Stroll as you emply, then why is the Canadian GP still only provisionally scheduled?

You comment basically boils down to “middle class and poor people should be thankful that the rich allow us to watch them do extravagant things.”

Tornillo Amarillo

Max will eat his own zig-zag moves!


Seems like young racer from a ‘billionaire father’ with actual talent, and not just his rich dad’s bank balance. The F3 race weekend just gone from Hockenheim (before the DTM races) just showed how competitive and talented this young racer is. Deserving new F1 recruit that might just give Max a run for his money (not that he needs a bob or two) plus in 2017 Stoffel is also on the grid. Might just get a young gun mini battle going next season.
Good luck to Lance and Williams will be happy with the big bucks 💸👍


Don’t know about “talent” but he has certainly had all the money to take lessons and practice that he needed.


I have no idea how to rate Stroll, this was the worst F3 euro series season so far, over half the teams left, the line-up was average at best and Prema dominated as usual and I think it is fair to say that of the 4 Prema guys Stroll was ‘destined’ to win before the season started.

Tornillo Amarillo

James could you explain a little what happens here in F3?


May I remind everyone that Stroll was removed the FDA because he wasn’t considered a good enough prospect to be in F1 .

Either Ferrari will be left with egg on their face because Stroll has a blinder of a season or Stroll will have a shocker and Williams and Lance himself will be left embarrassed.

I think the latter may prove true but I hope I’m wrong as I want all new drivers to do well .

James I also think the biggest physical tests for drivers will come in qualifying trim as in the races their will be much fuel saving , meaning race speeds will be similar to now.

In Max’s case he comes across as a great professional in terms of his physical and mental prep for a season – so I think Max will be prepared to put himself through the pain barrier. Lance needs to have a good professional approach like that or he will fail. .
Stroll needs to set out his stall early next year and prove to sceptic fans like me that he is there to compete at a high level and not just there because of this rich father. Good luck Lance and make sure you do a lot of stuff the gym.


Stroll was not “removed” from the Ferrari program, he left on his own accord….and he took one of Ferrari’s driver coaches with him as his own personal coach when he left.

His reasons for leaving boil down to Ferrari’s young driver program being nothing more than a fitness and health regiment. None of the Ferrari development drivers get seat time in simulators, never mind anything with wheels.

Lance left Ferrari for Williams where he gained full access to a top level simulator, and gained access to driving Williams F1 cars in private test sessions.


Bianchi got an F1 race seat.


True, and now that I think about it, LeClerc and Faruchi also got seat time in Friday sessions.

That’s not my own evaluation of the FDA, I’m just repeating the reasons that were listed when it was announced that Stroll was leaving for Williams.


As a Canadian, I want to be excited by this, but I just can’t. After having followed Lance’s carrier for the last year and a half, I really don’t think he’s ready for F1.

The announcement is being delayed until Nov because he is still 17, and Martini don’t want to sponsor a minor. He turns 18 at the end of Oct. He also brings a rumored 35 million dollars with him (compared to the 20 million Maldonado was bringing). The most interesting theory I’ve read is that Williams need that money more than they are letting on, and are keen to get him in F1 to teach him “on the fly”, as they know he would not shine brightly in GP2, and thus it would make it more difficult to justify moving him up to F1.

As things stand, on paper, it looks like a legit move to sign the “Euro F3 Champion”….but if anyone actually watched the full F3 season like I did, there wasn’t too much to be impressed by. He had the strongest car on the grid by a country mile, and his teamates were very inconsistent. He was the highest ranked returning driver, so technically, everyone he raced against, he’d already beaten or they were a rookie. He demonstrated a knack for qualifying well, and also showed the ability to run away at the front in clean air. However, when he was not in 1st or 2nd, he made very little if any forward progress. Even the races where he started at the back of the grid, he made little to no forward progress (even against F3 tail enders). He was also one of the only drivers on the grid with an F1 driver coach, and access to an F1 simulator.

In 2015 he was responsible for 2 massive crashes, one at Monza, the other at Spa – earning him the nick-name Lance St. Roll. If people think Max is/was dangerous in wheel to wheel combat, wait until Lance gets in the mix.

I wish him well, really I do, but in my eyes, this is all about the money. Another couple years of development and maybe Lance would be ready for F1, but as is, he’s going to be in over his head next year, especially with the new regulations.


I once spent some time on the Isle of Mann. They have the TT bike races. Amazing racing and atmosphere. Its a long, long street circuit and if you have your own motorbike you can try the course. Should the chance ever arrise to visit I can’t recommend it enough


Oh I know about the TT :), one of the last pure races left. It’s definitely on my bucket list!


I was looking for some background on Lance. So thanks for the bio.
Im also in Canada. Which chanel shows GP2 and F3.
TSN a lot better this year for F1


I use to watch many of the junior formulas on illegal streams and blogs, as its the only place I could find them.

However earlier this year, I discovered an app called Motortrend On Demand, and that’s what I use to follow F3 now.

The app also carries BTCC, V8SC, DTM, PWC, TCR, BlancPain, and lots more. Also feature F1 season reviews from 1988-2012, and has every DTM season going back to 1991.

My favorite discovery on the app however, was the Irish Real Road Racing. Those guys are absolutely insane!!

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