Williams Formula 1 drive still hasn't sunk in, rookie Stroll admits

Lance Stroll says the fact he will make his Formula 1 debut this year with Williams is still yet to sink in

Williams Formula 1 drive still hasn't sunk in, rookie Stroll admits

The 18-year-old enters F1 in 2017, stepping up after winning last year's Formula 3 European Championship.

While Stroll closed on the seat during the second half of 2016, with an announcement made in early November, he says his head is still not quite around the fact he will be on the Australian Grand Prix grid in March.

"I love Formula 1, I've been watching it ever since I've been a little boy," he said at Autosport International on Saturday.

"It's incredible for me to think I'm here [as an F1 driver].

"It hasn't really completely sunk in yet, I think I'm only going to feel it when I'm on the grid in Melbourne.

"Then you're obviously there and the lights are going to go off and you're going to have to forget everything and concentrate.

"It's a hell of a challenge - there's going to be a lot to learn during the year, there are going to be hard times, there's going to be good times.

"It's going to be an incredible journey."

Stroll completed a testing programme devised by Williams that resembled fellow Canadian Jacques Villeneuve's preparation two decades earlier, in the team's 2014 car.

Next year's F1 cars will be significantly faster with revamped aerodynamics and wider tyres, which Stroll has factored into his preparation ahead of testing at Barcelona at the end of February.

"I've been reading manuals and learning switches to know," he said.

"And also a lot of preparation in the gym to get fit for this year's car, which is supposed to be a lot harder to drive.

"I've driven a Formula 1 car, that's good. It's better than not driving one at all and going straight from F3 to this year's car.

"I need to stay focused and be ready for this year's car, and this year's car's challenges are going to be different to what I learned in the 2014 car.

"It's another machine and it's another race car and I've been driving race cars my whole life."

Autosport International continues in Birmingham on Sunday, with 1997 world champion Villeneuve, Claire Williams and Rob Smedley from Williams, and Red Bull's Adrian Newey among the guests.

shares
comments
Vasseur's Renault F1 team exit 'hard' for Hulkenberg to accept
Previous article

Vasseur's Renault F1 team exit 'hard' for Hulkenberg to accept

Next article

Renault introducing new Formula 1 ERS for 2017 season

Renault introducing new Formula 1 ERS for 2017 season
How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge Plus

How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge

While creating a car that is woefully off the pace is a nightmare scenario for any team, it inadvertently generates the test any engineering department would relish: to turn it into a winner. As Mercedes takes on that challenge in Formula 1 this season, McLaren’s former head of vehicle engineering reveals how the team pulled of the feat in 2009 with Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1
Aug 15, 2022
The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future Plus

The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future

Personable, articulate 
and devoid of the usual
 racing driver airs and graces,
 Nicholas Latifi is the last Formula 1 driver you’d expect to receive death threats, but such was the toxic legacy of his part in last year’s explosive season finale. And now, as ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains, he faces a battle to keep his place on the F1 grid…

Formula 1
Aug 13, 2022
The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes Plus

The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes

Modern grand prix drivers like to think the tyres they work with are unusually difficult and temperamental. But, says  MAURICE HAMILTON, their predecessors faced many of the same challenges – and some even stranger…

Formula 1
Aug 12, 2022
The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1 Plus

The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1

Gordon Murray's Brabham BT46B 'fan car' was Formula 1 engineering at perhaps its most outlandish. Now fan technology has been successfully utilised on the McMurtry Speirling at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, could it be adopted by grand prix racing once again?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold Plus

Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold

The seven-time Formula 1 world champion has been lumbered with a duff car before the 2022 Mercedes. Back in 2009, McLaren’s alchemists transformed the disastrous MP4-24 into a winning car with Lewis Hamilton at the wheel. And now it’s happening again at his current team, but can the rate of progress be matched this year?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell Plus

Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell

OPINION: Ferrari's numerous strategy blunders, as well as some of his own mistakes, have cost Charles Leclerc dearly in the 2022 Formula 1 title battle in the first half of the season. Though he is locked into a deal with Ferrari, few could blame Leclerc if he ultimately wanted to look elsewhere - just as Lewis Hamilton did with McLaren 10 years prior

Formula 1
Aug 9, 2022
The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat Plus

The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat

After being ditched by McLaren earlier in his F1 career Sergio Perez fought his way back into a seat with a leading team. BEN EDWARDS thinks the same could be happening to another member of the current grid

Formula 1
Aug 8, 2022
How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay Plus

How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay

Winner of 13 grands prix including Monaco and survivor of a life-changing plane crash, David Coulthard could be forgiven for having eased into a quiet retirement – but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, in fact he’s busier than ever, running an award-winning media company and championing diversity in motor racing. Not bad for someone who, by his own admission, wasn’t quite the fastest driver of his generation…

Formula 1
Aug 7, 2022