Lance Stroll is yet to launch his F1 career, but he has already hit the headlines a few times since his appointment as the Williams Team's racing driver for the 2017 F1 season. On November 3, Williams named Stroll as its racing driver.
Many questioned the Grove-based team's decision and explained Lance's lightning promotion into the pinnacle of motorsport with his background.
The 18-year-old is the son of billionaire Canadian businessman Lawrence Stroll. He is a mogul in the world of fashion. Stroll invested in various fashion brands like Ralph Lauren, Pierre Cardin, Tommy Hilfiger and Asprey & Garrard. His love to motorsport is manifest in the fact that he is a collector of vintage Ferraris and a race track owner.
Lawrence was ranked 722th on the Forbes 2016 list of world's billionaires with a wealth of 2.4 billion US dollar.
Lance's background, the wealth of his father is a two-edged virtue. It was a proper accelerator in his career, undoubtedly. It is useless to argue that that financial security propelled his way towards the sharp end of motorsport.
However, Lance has never ceased to impress during his career so far. He began his career at the age of ten with karting in his native Canada. After being crowned Canadian champion, he ran in the Italian Kart Championship in 2011. With his backing, he had the chance to compete in various cups and categories.
2014 brought the breakthrough as he stepped up from karting to single-seater racing. In that year, he started in two series: Florida Winter Series and the Italian Formula 4 Championship. He mastered the latter. With seven wins, five poles and eleven fastest laps, he went on to conquer the title.
In 2015, Lance continued his route of development with the step into the Formula 3 Championship. He started in 32 races, scored five podiums and a win which earned him the overall fifth place in the standing. He was part of Ferrari's development driver programme that year.
On 11 November 2015 it was announced that Stroll would leave the Italian team to join Williams.
2016 saw Stroll win the Formula 3 title with fourteen wins, fourteen poles and thirteen fastest laps out of thirty races. His backing helped his Prema Powerteam to prepare the car in the best way for the races and it also enabled him to complete a thorough testing programme with Williams.
Despite all the success of his years in motorsport, Stroll did not make the brigthest of starts to his real F1 endeavour as his first days of testing in Barcelona did not proved to be faultless. He had a minor incident and two major ones. One of the latter was fatal to Williams' test programme of the first test week as his car sustained serious damage. The team had to abandon the running.
Stroll has a big opportunity at Williams with Felipe Massa as his highly experienced, skilled and helpful team-mate. However, the Montreal-born will not have a relaxed debut year. Every single step of him will be monitored with the severest criticism and the critics will not hesitate to bear down on the current youngest driver of F1.