Formula One’s worst kept secret has finally surfaced as the team confirmed 20-year old Lance Stroll to partner Sergio Perez for next year’s world championship.
The rumours of Stroll joining the team suggested the Canadian could have been in his new seat as early as the Singapore Grand Prix back in September given that a consortium led by Lance’s father Lawrence bought the financially troubled team’s assets in August.
Stroll has already appeared for the team on track during post-season testing after last weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
He is the last driver to be confirmed for next season as Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer revealed his excitement for next year “with the perfect blend of youth, talent and experience”.
“I’m pleased that we can finally confirm Lance’s arrival to race alongside Sergio next year”, he said.
“It gives us an exciting line-up with the perfect blend of youth, talent, and experience. Lance is only twenty and already has two years of Formula One experience under his belt, as well as a podium finish and a front row start.
“We see huge potential in Lance and believe we can create an environment in which he can flourish. Our team has enjoyed great success nurturing and developing young and talented drivers, and we are very excited to begin our journey with Lance.
“I would also like to take the opportunity to thank Esteban Ocon for his contribution to the team over the last two seasons and wish him well for the future.”
Departing driver Esteban Ocon will take up a role as Mercedes’ reserve and test driver for next season as he failed to find a seat in 2019. Ocon is one of many Mercedes-backed drivers as the powerhouse team selected Formula 2 champion George Russell to race alongside Robert Kubica at Williams next year.
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