Teenager Lance Stroll to make Formula 1 debut next season

Lance Stroll
Lance Stroll is European Formula 3 champion

Teenager Lance Stroll will make his Formula 1 debut with Williams in 2017, replacing Felipe Massa, who is retiring at the end of the season.

Stroll, 18, will be the first Canadian to race in the sport since 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve.

He will partner experienced Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas at the Mercedes-powered team.

European Formula 3 champion Stroll is set to be the youngest driver on the starting grid next season.

However, he will not be the youngest ever to start a race.

That accolade belongs to Red Bull's Max Verstappen, who was 17 years and 166 days old when he made his debut for Toro Rosso in Australia in 2015.

Stroll has prepared for his graduation with a series of tests in old Williams cars.

The son of Canadian billionaire businessman Lawrence Stroll, he says he deserves his spot in F1 with his achievements in other competitions.

"I come from money and I am not going to deny that," said Stroll. "But I believe I earned my shot in F1 because I have won every championship that I have competed in.

"Now, the FIA has put in the super licence for just that reason so people can't just buy their way into F1. You have to prove yourself and win in junior categories."

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