© GP3 Series

Arden confirms GP3 line-up ahead of 2017 season

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Arden has confirmed that Leonardo Pulcini and Steijn Schothorst will join Red Bull junior Niko Kari in its GP3 line-up for the 2017 season.

GP3 acts as the third rung on the single-seater ladder below GP2 and Formula 1, and has produced a number of top-name grand prix racers including Valtteri Bottas and Carlos Sainz Jr.

Arden confirmed earlier this week that Pulcini and Schothorst would complete its line-up for the 2017 season.

Schothorst raced in GP3 last year with Campos, claiming two top-five finishes en route to 13th place in the standings, as well as appearing in the Renault Sport Trophy.

“I’m very happy to be able to join Arden for the 2017 GP3 campaign. They have shown that they are one the strongest teams out there,” Schothorst said.

“I believe that together with the experience that I have gained last year, we have a lot of potential for a very strong season, so I can’t wait to get the season started.”

Pulcini moves into GP3 off the back of winning the Euroformula Open championship and Spanish F3 title in 2016.

“I’m very delighted to race with Arden in GP3 this year, last year’s Abu Dhabi test was very good with them, so I know that I have all the potential to fight for the win,” Pulcini said.

“I will give everything for this opportunity. Season is about to start, can’t wait for it!”

The new GP3 Series season kicks off in Barcelona, Spain on May 13.

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.