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Williams reveals Stroll and Bottas as 2017 F1 drivers

Williams Martini Racing has revealed Valtteri Bottas and newcomer Lance Stroll will form its revised driver line-up for 2017.
Williams Martini Racing has revealed Valtteri Bottas and newcomer Lance Stroll will form its revised driver line-up for the 2017 Formula 1 World Championship.

Eighteen year-old Stroll will become the second youngest driver after Max Verstappen to make his F1 race debut next year, the Canadian replacing Felipe Massa who will retire from F1 at the end of the season.

After making his F1 debut with Williams in 2013, Bottas will enter into a fifth race season with the nine-time title winning team after agreeing an extension his current deal.

Coming two years after Verstappen made the headline-grabbing transition from F3 to F1 aged just 17, Claire Williams is confident it has found a talent in Stroll to complement the experience of Bottas.

Stroll's F1 promotion comes after dominating this year's European Formula 3 Championship, a deal that will in turn make him the first Canadian to compete at the highest level of the sport since Jacques Villeneuve's exit 10 years ago.

The Canadian has hailed stepping up at Williams as a 'dream come true' as he aims to fill the role vacated by Massa in 2017.

"I don't think it has quite sunk in yet," Stroll said. "I have been focused on F3 in 2016 and they wanted me to focus on F3 and finish the job properly. It's a dream come true. I am looking forward to getting started."

Bottas has welcomed his new team-mate with open arms after remarking at his continued partnership with Williams having joined the Grove-based squad in 2008 as a development driver.

"I am happy, very happy, very thankful for the team for showing trust in me and my ability," Bottas said. "I feel like I am getting better all the time.

"I feel like we still have a lot to achieve together and we haven't yet achieved what we should. I started here as a test driver eight years ago and it has gone quickly. I want to say welcome to Lance, I am sure we can do great things together."

Williams Racing is set to celebrate its 40th year in F1 next season and is preparing special events throughout 2017 to mark the anniversary.

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SBPilot

November 03, 2016 6:35 PM

RDix: Actually, he has a billionaire father ! And it's reported he paid 80 Mil for this seat. As a Canadian, it's nice to see one on the grid, but honestly he's no different than any other pay driver including ones like Maldonado. Now lets see if he can deliver.

RDix

November 03, 2016 1:42 PM

Must be nice to have a millionaire father. The world is not fair. He seems a good kid and a good driver but there's thousands of other good kids and good drivers also so don't kid yourselves about why he's in F1. Nothing against him I'm just pointing out the facts. All he had to do to make his dreams come true was tell his dad he wanted to be a racecar driver, must be nice. That's how I know god doesn't exist.



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