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Carlin set to withdraw from GP2 Series for 2017 season

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Carlin is poised to end its program in the GP2 Series ahead of the 2017 season in order to focus on other racing commitments.

Carlin has raced in GP2 since 2011 as part of its extensive junior racing interests that also sees it field teams in FIA Formula 3 and Indy Lights, with a future move up to IndyCar also being mooted.

Team boss Trevor Carlin has helped to further the career of many young drivers, including IndyCar’s Max Chilton and Mikhail Aleshin, recent F1 racers Rio Haryanto and Felipe Nasr, plus up-and-comers Lando Norris and Devlin DeFrancesco.

However, Carlin’s GP2 operation will no longer continue into the 2017 season, with the team not appearing on the series’ website under the list of entered teams for the new campaign.

Autosport reported earlier this week that a source from within Carlin had said: “We’ve come to a point where we have fulfilled our contract with GP2 Series, a championship in which we have enjoyed great success including numerous podiums, race wins, and been championship contenders.

“The time has now come to move on to focus on other areas of our race programs.”

Carlin has already firmed up one of its seats in Indy Lights for 2017, with Garth Rickards joining the 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.