Force India makes Lance Stroll's signing for 2019 F1 season official
Racing Point Force India has officially confirmed Lance Stroll in their line-up for the 2019 F1 season alongside Sergio Perez.
The worst kept secret of 2018 has been made official with Stroll named as Perez's partner at Force India for the 2019 season which sealed the line-up for the F1 grid as a whole after Toro Rosso's confirmation of Alexander Albon earlier in the week.
Stroll already made his Force India debut in the post-2018 Pirelli tyre test in Abu Dhabi where he finished third on Day 2 - when he ran for the full day. "This is the beginning of an incredibly exciting journey in my Formula One career," said the Canadian.
"I look forward to working alongside a successful team with a great culture. It’s a new challenge and I am excited to embrace this new opportunity." Ever since Lawrence Stroll and his team bought the outfit, it was certain for Lance to move in.
There were speculations that Stroll will drive in 2018 itself but Esteban Ocon's tight contract bounded him with the team until the end of the season as the decision was then taken to see-through the year the same way they started.
The announcement was delayed majorly for Ocon to be confirmed as Mercedes reserve which was done during the Abu Dhabi GP. And so, Force India eventually announced Stroll as well, a week later.
The release talks about a 'long-term' association with the team which comes natural considering the squad is owned by his dad. A name change is expected as well with doubts over the deal with BWT also remains.
Should it not go through, the livery may change along with the team name which now runs under the British license despite the Canadian influence. "I’m pleased that we can finally confirm Lance’s arrival to race alongside Sergio next year.
"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," said team principal Otmar Szafnauer.
[Note: This story was also written by me on Formula Rapida]