Canadian Lance Stroll begins his chase for the 2016 FIA Formula 3 European Championship title when he contests the opening races next weekend (2-3 Apr).
The 17-year-old Canadian contests three races in a Prema Powerteam Dallara F312-Mercedes.
Lance Stroll, who finished fifth in his first Euro F3 season after scoring 17 top-six finishes including one win from 33 races last year, competes for the highly-respected Italian Prema team for a third successive year having won the 2014 Italian Formula 4 Championship.
The Montrealer is a member of the Williams Young Driver Development Programme and will be making his race debut on the fast, sweeping 3.841-km track located near Toulon and Marseille in Southern France having tested an F3 car at the venue last year.
An official test day is scheduled for Thursday (31 Mar) while the three-day event proper gets underway the following day with two practice sessions prior to two qualifying time trials that set the grid positions for the three races that each last 33 minutes plus one lap.
A field of 24-cars is expected to contest the Paul Ricard event – the first of 10 that run through until mid-October and feature a total of 30 races – while Stroll is the only Canadian in the entry.
Make a flying start
“My aim is to come out of the box flat out for the opening races at Paul Ricard. It’s important that I make a good start in my bid to win the championship title in my second year of F3,” Stroll declared.
“To score solid points in all three races is my objective. I’ve never raced at Ricard and have only tested there once, last year in a F3 car, but I don’t see that as a big handicap as we’ll have a test day there next Thursday before the three-day Ricard event begins. There will be drivers on the grid come Saturday that have more experience of the track but I’m certain I’ll be in good shape. We’re not racing on the full Ricard configuration so it’s not quite so fast, physical or technical. Nevertheless it’s still a challenging track and it’s going to be an interesting weekend. I can’t wait to get racing in F3 again!”