F1 aspirant Stroll has 'done a great job', says Claire Williams
Claire Williams, Williams deputy team principal, says that development driver Lance Stroll has "done a great job" in European F3 in 2016, but she stopped short of confirming that the Canadian is set to race for the Grove team next season.
Sources have suggested that the deal has already been agreed, with an announcement likely to follow once he has secured the F3 title and guaranteed that he will be eligible for a superlicence after he turns 18 in October. Stroll leads the series by 61 points with three weekends, and nine races, still to run.
Stroll is just starting a test programme with a 2014 Williams FW36, which will see him get valuable F1 mileage at various circuits, outside of any FIA restrictions.
"It's too early in the day to be talking about next year for us," Williams said, when asked about Stroll's 2017 status. "We're going to make our announcement soon, but I'm not really prepared to say a whole lot more about that.
"But Lance has done a great job this year. He's pretty much annihilated that F3 championship, and everyone knows F3 is a great feeder into F1. He's also doing this development programme with us, which sees him driving an old F1 car, and we've got to see where he goes with that. He's just done a shakedown so far."
Williams confirmed that the test programme with the FW36 will get properly into gear once Stroll's F3 season is over.
"Exactly. Hopefully he'll tie up the F3 championship pretty soon. Not a bad thing to have on your CV, is it?"