Williams has confirmed that Lance Stroll has left Ferrari to join its Young Driver Development Programme, as had been rumoured for some time.
The team says that the 17-year-old Canadian will be “fully immersed” into Williams, likening it to their early work with Valtteri Bottas when he had first joined in 2011.
Stroll's programme will include “extensive simulator time, work placements in several departments throughout the factory, as well as specific training in the fields of race engineering and marketing.”
Despite reports to the contrary that tied him to a GP2 switch, Williams confirms Stroll will continue as planned in European F3, embarking on a sophomore season with Prema.
The Canadian had secured titles in Italian F4 and the Toyota Racing Series before finishing fifth in his debut season in F3.
Deputy team principal Claire Williams said: “At Williams, we are committed to using our resource and expertise to help talented young drivers to reach their potential.
"We have a track record of success in this area, having supported Valtteri Bottas in his growth from a development driver role to a race driver and one of the most respected talents in Formula 1.
“We have identified Lance as a promising talent for the future and we are happy to provide our support to his development as a driver. We look forward to working with Lance in 2016 and to the success he can achieve in the future.”
Stroll added: “I cannot wait to start working with Williams and very much hope we can achieve great things together in the coming years. It’s a very exciting and crucial time in my short motor racing career.
"Reaching F1 was always the ultimate goal - I suppose ever since driving a go-kart my father had bought me for my fifth birthday.
“Williams has a long history of nurturing young drivers at the start of their F1 careers. David Coulthard, Jenson Button, Nico Rosberg, Nico Hulkenberg and most recently Valtteri. This element was something that was important to me in making the decision to join Williams.”