Wolff and Ganassi tip Stroll for F1 future

Mercedes F1 chief Toto Wolff and American racing entrepreneur Chip Ganassi have both tipped FIA European Formula 3 Championship leader Lance Stroll to make it to Formula 1.

Wolff and Ganassi tip Stroll for F1 future
Lance Stroll, Prema Powerteam, Dallara F312 - Mercedes-Benz
Toto Wolff, Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director
Lance Stroll announced as Williams development driver
Toto Wolff, Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director, on the grid
Lance Stroll, Chip Ganassi Racing
#01 Chip Ganassi Racing Riley DP Ford: Lance Stroll, Alexander Wurz, Brendon Hartley, Andy Priaulx
#01 Chip Ganassi Racing Riley DP Ford: Lance Stroll, Alexander Wurz, Brendon Hartley, Andy Priaulx
#01 Chip Ganassi Racing Riley DP Ford: Lance Stroll, Alexander Wurz, Brendon Hartley, Andy Priaulx takes the checkered flag

Wolff has long had his eye on up-and-coming driving talent, and previously helped manage Valtteri Bottas before his Mercedes role. He thinks Stroll’s super-rich father – Canadian fashion magnate Lawrence Stroll – has sometimes worked against Lance, reputation-wise.

“Lance has the benefit of having gone to classes with the help of his father,” says Wolff. “The downside is people don’t recognize how good he really is.

"When you speak to the boy who’s only 17-years old, you tend to believe you’re talking to a 35-year old. His maturity and his intelligence are going to take him far.

“I’m sure this kid will be the next Canadian in Formula 1, and it has nothing to do with his father’s wealth, because the boy can drive.

“He’s also working extremely hard. The intelligence and his maturity are really outstanding. I never saw that with a 17-year-old.

“For example, Max Verstappen acts more like a teenager. In the car, he’s extremely good, but when you interact with him, he’s a kid. But with Lance, his maturity is very surprising."

Ganassi: “I was skeptical, but he’s the real deal”

Stroll drove for Chip Ganassi’s team in the Rolex 24 at Daytona at the start of the season, making his sportscar debut in the headline Daytona Prototype class.

“He made quite an impression on us,” Ganassi told Motorsport.com last weekend. “He did a great job at the Daytona 24 Hours.

“Drivers like Lance and Felix [Rosenqvist] are two guys who have to be on the radar screen of any ambitious team – whether it’s Formula 1 or here in IndyCar – looking for the next young up-and-coming kid with great potential. You know that wherever they go, they’re going to be good and they’re going to be fast.”

But can he make it all the way to F1?

“Yeah, I would say so,” Ganassi replies. “Let’s face it, you and I, we’ve all seen rich kids come along and spend their family’s money to try and make it. And they screw up, sometimes because it’s come too easy, sometimes because they don’t have the right attitude.

“I’ve known his father for 25 years, but not knowing Lance I admit, I was a little skeptical, you know? What impressed me about Lance is he did have the right attitude, he learned well, listened well. And I’ll tell you this, that kid is the real deal.

“He’s proving it this year, isn’t he? How many wins has he had in Formula 3 this year now – seven? Really kicking ass in what I’m told is a super-competitive series.

“So yeah, he’s proven himself so far.”

Additional reporting by Jonathan Noble

shares
comments
F1 mourns the death of Chris Amon: "the greatest driver never to win a Grand Prix"
Previous article

F1 mourns the death of Chris Amon: "the greatest driver never to win a Grand Prix"

Next article

Analysis: How the FIA makes sure Pirelli testers get no advantage

 Analysis: How the FIA makes sure Pirelli testers get no advantage
Load comments
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay Prime

Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax Prime

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings

Qatar was a virtual unknown for most as Formula 1 made its inaugural visit to the Gulf state, and tyre management quickly emerged as an even more critical factor than normal. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that two of the championship's elder statesmen produced standout drives

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021