Canadian driver Lance Stroll will race for Formula One outfit Force India, the team rescued from administration by a consortium headed by his billionaire father Lawrence, it was announced on Friday.
The 20-year-old — who is the final one of the 20 drivers to be confirmed for next season — will team up with talented Mexican Sergio Perez in a team that is likely to have its name changed by his father.
Stroll replaces Frenchman Esteban Ocon, who has driven consistently well for them for the past two years. Ocon remains without a team for 2019.
“This is the beginning of an incredibly exciting journey in my Formula One career,” Stroll said on the Force India website.
“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!”
Stroll’s best finish in two years at Williams was third in the 2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix. The same year he also qualified fourth fastest in the Italian Grand Prix, ending the campaign 12th in the drivers championship with 40 points.
This past campaign — which ended last Sunday in Abu Dhabi — has been significantly less eye-catching for Stroll, accruing only six points to end up 18th in the drivers championship.
“I’m pleased that we can finally confirm Lance’s arrival to race alongside Sergio next year,” team principal Otmar Szafnauer said.
“It gives us an exciting line-up with the perfect blend of youth, talent, and experience. Lance is only 20 and already has two years of Formula 1 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.”
Stroll’s switch has been flagged up for a while with Force India confirming in early September the driver had had a seat fitting.