The tale of a 10-year old called Lewis Hamilton going up to Ron Dennis and telling the boss that he will race for McLaren one day is now a household story. Young Lewis was signed less than three years later, and he’s now the youngest ever F1 world champion. This young man you see here could well be the next Hamilton.
Only 11 years old, Montreal born Lance Stroll is the latest and youngest driver to be part of the Ferrari Driving Academy, which was created late last year to find and support talented young racing drivers with the eventual aim of getting them into F1.
At his age, Lance already has two wins at the Canadian national championship in Rotax Mini Max category, Coupe de Montreal and Coupe du Quebec Micro Max Championship in 2008 and both Mini Max Championships in 2009. He finished sixth in the World Finals at Lonato in the Mini Roc category and second in the Rotax Micro Max Florida Winter Tour. He also won the series this year in the Mini Max category along with championships for the Tag/Cadet Florida winter tour. Unsurprisingly, he has been nominated for the Rookie of the Year in 2008 by the Fedération Sport Automobile du Quebec and Driver of the Year in 2009.
“We are pleased to welcome Lance to our group,” said Luca Baldisserri, the Scuderia’s chief track engineer who runs the academy. “He is very young, but he has already shown in karting that he is exceptionally talented. We will follow him step by step in his forthcoming events in North America and he will soon also take part in our courses at Maranello.”
At the academy, Lance will join Jules Bianchi, a French driver who won the French Formula Renault 2.0 in 2007 and the F3 Euroseries in 2009 along with podium finishes in the GP2 Asia series. The fact that such an important man in the Ferrari F1 hierarchy heads this program shows how serious Ferrari is in wanting to find new talent.