Ex-Ferrari Academy member Stroll gets Williams F1 development deal

Lance Stroll has been confirmed as a development driver for the Williams Formula 1 team, as predicted by Autosport earlier this month

Ex-Ferrari Academy member Stroll gets Williams F1 development deal

The 17-year-old moves across to Williams's young driver development programme for 2016 from Ferrari's academy.

Stroll follows in the footsteps of previous academy drivers Valtteri Bottas, who swiftly progressed to a full-time race seat after joining the team in 2011, and most recently GP2 driver Alex Lynn.

The Canadian will now undertake an extensive programme that will see gain time in the simulator, as well as work placements in several departments throughout the factory, along with specific training in race engineering and marketing.

Stroll will continue to race with Prema Powerteam in the Formula 3 European Championship next year, a series he finished strongly this season with six podiums in the final 11 races after a number of controversial mid-season accidents.

"I'm really honoured to be part of such a great team, and one with so much history and success," the 2014 Italian Formula 4 champion said.

"I cannot wait to start working with Williams 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.

"Williams has a long history of nurturing young drivers at the start of their F1 careers - David Coulthard, Jenson Button, Nico Rosberg, Nico Hulkenberg and most recently Valtteri.

"This element was something that was important to me in making the decision to join Williams."

Deputy team principal Claire Williams feel Stroll has the talent to succeed as she said: "At Williams we are committed to using our resource and expertise to help talented young drivers to reach their potential.

"We have a track record of success in this area, having supported Valtteri in his growth from a development driver role to a race driver and one of the most respected talents in Formula 1.

"We have identified Lance as a promising talent for the future and we are happy to provide our support to his development as a driver.

"We look forward to working with Lance in 2016 and to the success he can achieve in the future."

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