Stroll: Track record proves I earned F1 seat with Williams

© Williams Martini Racing
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Lance Stroll is confident that his record through junior motorsport categories proves that he has earned his place in Formula 1 with Williams for 2017.

Williams announced on Thursday that Stroll, 18, would be joining its F1 line-up for 2017, partnering Valtteri Bottas.

The Canadian driver has spent two years racing in single-seaters, winning the Italian F4 title in 2015 before becoming the youngest FIA F3 champion in history this season.

Stroll’s career has been bankrolled by his billionaire father, Lawrence, who made his fortune as an investor in Tommy Hilfiger.

Stroll Jr. has enjoyed a substantial testing program funded by his father in anticipation of his F1 debut, getting to grips with a 2014-spec Williams at a number of tracks across the globe over the past few months.

However, Stroll insists that his background is not of importance, instead wanting to do his talking on-track as he did through his junior racing career.

“I come from money, I’m not going to deny that,” Stroll said.

“I believe I won my shot in F1 because I won every championship I’ve competed in in single-seaters.

“Now the FIA have put in Super Licence for that reason, so people can’t buy their way into F1. You have to prove yourself and win in junior categories.

“I don’t want to say when I’ll be able to show I’m not just here for money. That just depends on so many things.

“I’m just going to worry about my business. I’m very happy to be here and I’m just looking forward to next season.”

“Money doesn’t drive performance. You either have the talent or you don’t,” Williams deputy team boss Claire Williams added.

“Lance has proved he has talent and has done what he has done. He has to do the job next year and he will do that.”

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
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ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.