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Ferrucci set to continue as Haas development driver in 2017

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American youngster Santino Ferrucci is set to continue as Haas’ Formula 1 development driver through the 2017 season, according to team chief Guenther Steiner.

Ferrucci, 18, joined up with Haas for the 2016 season, as well as racing in the GP3 Series where he finished the season 12th in the standings with one podium to his name.

The native of Woodbury, CT, is poised to continue with Haas for next season, as confirmed by team principal Steiner when speaking to Autosport.

“He will stay as the development driver,” Steiner said.

“It’s a long-term project, we don’t exactly what we’re going to do next year with him because as you know testing is still up in the air.

“We know the tests we are doing but we still need to decide when we use the rookie days and who we put in it.

“We also need to decide if we are going to do some FP1s with him or not. Over the winter, we’re going to sit down with him and see what we’re doing.”

Haas also worked with Ferrari junior Charles Leclerc through its debut F1 season, with the Monegasque driver taking part in a number of practice sessions for the team.

Leclerc will move up to GP2 with Prema Racing next year, having won the GP3 title in 2016, and could be set to continue with Haas given Ferrari’s technical partnership with the American team.

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.