Motorsport: Canadian teenager gets 2017 Williams seat

FIA Formula 3 European Championship Winner Lance Stroll. Photo / Getty Images
FIA Formula 3 European Championship Winner Lance Stroll. Photo / Getty Images

Canadian teenager Lance Stroll will make his Formula One race debut with former champions Williams next season, the team announced on Friday.

Montreal-born Stroll, after celebrating his 18th birthday on October 29, will be the first Canadian to race in the sport since 1997.

World champion Jacques Villeneuve won his title at Williams and retired in 2006.

Stroll is the son of fashion billionaire Lawrence, who had made a fortune from the Tommy Hilfiger and Michael Kors fashion brands.

The 18-year-old will partner experienced Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas at the Mercedes-powered team.

He replaces Brazilian Felipe Massa, who had already announced his retirement from Formula One.

Stroll will be the youngest driver on the starting grid next season, but not the youngest to start a race - that accolade belongs to Red Bull's Max Verstappen, aged 17 years and 166 days in his debut for Toro Rosso at the 2015 Australian Grand Prix.

The rules have been changed since then, with 18 set as the minimum age and a points-based super licence system introduced. Stroll secured his after winning this year's European F3 championship.

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