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Stroll: Track record proves I earned F1 seat with Williams

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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.”

Indy Lights: Askew clinches 2019 title while VeeKay wins Laguna Seca race 1

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MONTEREY, Calif – Rinus VeeKay may have won the first race of the weekend’s Indy Lights doubleheader at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca Saturday afternoon, but all all eyes post-race were all on the driver who finished the race in the fourth position.

That driver was Oliver Askew, who by simply starting the 30-lap event at the famed road course won the 2019 series title, along with the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series scholarship that guarantees a minimum of three races next season.

“It’s all sinking in,” Askew told NBC Sports following the race. “I’m really happy to be part of this team. They’re back to back champions now in Indy Lights, and I feel very fortunate to be driving in this car this year.

“This is what we worked for all year. I’m very happy to be in this position and I can’t wait to celebrate with my team.”

With the championship in Askew’s possession from the get-go, the best VeeKay could do for in race 1 was to win in dominant fashion. He went on to do just so.

After starting the race from the pole position, VeeKay led every lap from start to finish en route to his fifth victory of the season.

“We managed the car well and kept the car consistent throughout the whole race,” VeeKay said. “I got a great car from the team so I want to give a big shout out to them for giving me a winning car.”

Behind VeeKay, Portland race 2 winner Toby Sowery finished the race in the second position, while Robert Megennis finished third.

Live streaming coverage of race two of the Indy Lights doubleheader at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca begins tomorrow afternoon at 12:10 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold.

Click here for full race results

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