MRTI: Anderson up to Indy Lights with returning Fan Force United

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After sitting out, Fan Force United has announced its upcoming return to the Indy Lights grid next season with 24-year-old Scott Anderson as their driver.

Anderson enters Indy Lights after finishing fifth in this year’s Pro Mazda Championship with Juncos Racing, while FFU re-enters Indy Lights after running for eight races in 2012 with an assortment of drivers.

That year, the team also fielded a Lotus-powered Indy 500 entry for ex-Formula One driver Jean Alesi that was black-flagged in the opening laps due to the motor’s dreadful pace.

“We’ve never stopped working on getting back on track, and we’re excited to be getting out there with Scott,” said FFU team co-owner and former IndyCar Series driver Tyce Carlson. “He has a solid record as he has progressed up the ladder and has proven himself at every level.

“With the team that we have assembled and will be putting around him, we’re pretty confident that we’ll be able to pick right up where we left off at the end of 2012 and be competitive very quickly.”

Anderson has been a quick climber up the Mazda Road to Indy ladder. Following a national championship in the Skip Barber series in 2011, he finished third in the 2012 USF2000 championship with two wins and six podiums before going to Pro Mazda.

After netting one podium and seven Top-5 finishes with Juncos in 2013, he now looks forward to the next level.

“It’s a new series and car for me so the focus early on will definitely be to learn the car and adjust as quickly as I can,” said Anderson, a native of Fort Collins, Colorado. “There’s a lot of experience between everyone on the team and so I look forward to absorbing as much knowledge as possible and getting some good results.”

F1 2017 driver review: Lance Stroll

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Team: Williams

Car No.: 18
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1
Best Finish: P3 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 40
Championship Position: 13th

Lance Stroll’s arrival in Formula 1 at the start of the 2017 was a far from smooth one despite a significant private testing program being undertaken in the months leading up to his grand prix debut.

Even with older hand Felipe Massa at Williams, Stroll looked uneasy behind the wheel of the FW40 car through the opening run of races as he failed to reach the checkered flag in any of his first three starts.

The Canadian was left deflated after his first decent effort in Bahrain was cut short after a clash with Carlos Sainz Jr., calling it his “rock bottom” moment – but things would turn around on home soil.

Stroll produced a stunning fight through the field to take an excellent P9 in Canada, proving his talent seen in Formula 3 the previous year and shushing many of his critics.

Better would follow two weeks later in Baku when Stroll became the youngest rookie in F1 history to score a podium, dodging a crazy race to finish third. It would have been second had he not lost a drag race against Valtteri Bottas to the line.

Stroll’s form then fluctuated greatly. He was sublime on occasion, the best examples being Monza, when he started a remarkable P2 on the grid and ended as the top midfielder in P7, or Mexico where he took a brilliant sixth.

But there were too many weekends he was a little anonymous. Sure, Williams didn’t have the best car this year, but perhaps a little better was expected from Stroll.

2018 will be an even bigger challenge as he looks to the lead the team when a new teammate arrives – and at only 19, it is a lot to handle. Nevertheless, there are positive signs to be found; you just need to look for them a little.

Season High: Taking a shock podium in Baku after dodging chaos in front.

Season Low: A poor opening two races in Australia and China.