Lance Stroll says he is prepared to 'start from zero' and 'learn a lot' ahead of his transition to Formula 1 following the confirmation he will make his debut with the Williams Martini Racing team in 2017.
The new European F3 champion will replace the retiring Felipe Massa and be paired up with the experienced Valtteri Bottas as part of a revised driver line-up for the British team next year.
Though Stroll has garnered some F1 experience and secured a Superlicence through six days of private test sessions using a 2014-specification Williams car, he comes to Williams ahead of sweeping technical regulation changes for the 2017 season.
With this in mind, Stroll – the only full rookie too be confirmed to the 2017 F1 grid so far - is hoping the leveller playing field to strengthen his chances of getting on terms with both his team-mate and his experienced counterparts.
“I think the new regulations do [give me a chance],” he said. “If anything there is a lot of opportunity to the team to get further up the grid and that is great. And for myself it may help because everyone starts not from zero, but more from the beginning. For sure experience helps, and no matter what I am going to be a rookie and may not do well compared to say Valtteri as he has a few seasons in F1.
“I have to learn a lot of new things ahead of next season and I'm a rookie so I may make some mistakes while learning new areas but I am looking forward to that and I have Williams behind me helping with that. I also have Valtteri who is a benchmark for me and who I will be able to learn a lot from.
“This year was a great year and hopefully I can learn from it and use it but for sure there will be a lot of new things so I will start from zero.”
Winning 14 of the 30 races en route to dominating the European F3 title, Stroll accepts there will be comparisons and expectations influenced by the success of Max Verstappen, but he feels his fellow teenager's performances in F1 are a good sign.
“With Max, it gives me confidence but everyone has their own situation and everyone comes from different places and different categories. I am just going to do my thing and not going to try to compare myself or look at what anyone else has done.”
The first Canadian to race in F1 since Jacques Villeneuve exited the sport in 2006 and 20 years after the same driver finished runner-up in his rookie campaign with Williams, Stroll will also become the second youngest driver after Verstappen to make his debut aged just 18.
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