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Michael Buffer named as pre-race announcer for United States GP

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Formula 1 has announced that iconic ring announcer Michael Buffer will host the official pre-race driver introductions for the United States Grand Prix in two weeks’ time.

As part of the festivities for this year’s race at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, Buffer will feature in an extended pre-race build up that has been tweaked in the F1 sporting regulations after the FIA granted officials special dispensation to do so.

Known for his famous catchphrase “let’s get ready to rumble!”, Buffer will “be on hand to present at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin all of the Formula 1 world championship title contenders,” as per a release from F1.

“The partnership unites Formula 1 with an iconic voice that sports fans across the globe will recognize. He will build-up the excitement and anticipation by introducing the stars of the show minutes before the start of the race.”

“I’ve been involved in some of the biggest sporting events around the world and have introduced most of the greatest boxers of the modern era, and now is my time to introduce the world’s finest racing drivers,” Buffer said.

“They are the stars of the show and I want to introduce them with the energy and adrenalin they deserve before they fire up their engines and get ready to race.”

As per the release: “To accommodate this new initiative, the usual race start procedure has to begin 15 minutes earlier than usual. With the unanimous support of the teams, the FIA will apply for an exemption to the sporting regulations for this event only.”

“Having received a request from Formula 1, we have made some changes to the current Sporting Regulations for this race only, which will allow more time on the grid with the cars and drivers,” FIA race director Charlie Whiting said.

“The period leading up to the start of a Formula 1 Grand Prix is always very spectacular and we are pleased to be able to make it even more exciting for the general public watching both at and away from the track.”

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.