Canada’s Lance Stroll is relishing his first home grand prix appearance this weekend as he looks to pick up his maiden top-10 finish in Formula 1.
Stroll, 18, made his F1 debut at the start of the year with Williams after stepping up from F3 at the end of last season.
The native of Montreal is yet to score any points through the opening six races of the year, recording a best finish of 11th at the Russian Grand Prix.
Stroll will become the first Canadian F1 driver to race on home soil since Jacques Villeneuve appeared at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in 2006, and is relishing the chance to delight a home crowd.
“Montreal is going to be amazing for me, as this is not only my home race but it is also held in my home city, which is buzzing while the race is on,” Stroll said.
“I grew up about 20 minutes away from the race track, so this will be something special and not many people will get to experience that feeling.
“As a kid I attended the race pretty much every year, then missed a few years while living in Europe, but was back there last year.
“For me it is a pure racing event. It is not the flashiest grand prix, as the paddock is small, but it is cool, unique and old school. The fans are really close to the track, the grandstands are huge and the run off areas are not massive, but I love that and hope it doesn’t change.”
Chip Ganassi Racing announced a new primary sponsorship deal with The American Legion this week, shoring up the funding on its No. 10 Dallara-Honda of Alex Palou.
The 2021 NTT IndyCar Series champion primarily had driven with NTT Data sponsorship the past two seasons. But NTT Data will move next season to McLaren Racing as a primary sponsor for Felix Rosenqvist in 10 races and on the Indy 500 car of Tony Kanaan (who drove an American Legion car for Ganassi at the Brickyard last year).
It was the latest twist in a McLaren-Ganassi saga that included a contract dispute for the services of Palou (who is expected to move to McLaren in 2024 after reaching an agreement to race with Ganassi next year).
Ganassi stayed within its own walls to help plug the sponsorship gap left by NTT Data, re-signing The American Legion to a multiyear extension. The Indianapolis-based non-profit organization, which has been sponsoring Ganassi cars for the past few seasons, also will be associated with other Ganassi drivers, including Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson and development driver Kyffin Simpson in Indy NXT.
The Ganassi organization will continue promoting The American Legion’s “Be The One” campaign aimed at reducing veteran suicides. The team launched an online auction for the initiative this week.
“Supporting our nation’s veterans is of immense importance to our organization and we are humbled to continue supporting The American Legion’s mission in ending veteran suicide,” team owner Chip Ganassi said in a release. “We will do absolutely everything we can to help veterans get the support they need while raising public awareness of the ‘Be The One’ platform.”
“We have received an overwhelming amount of support from fans, active-duty military members and veterans as a result of this partnership and we’re pleased to see it grow,” said Dean Kessel, chief marketing officer at The American Legion. “Thanks to the continuous collaboration with the team’s other partners, and the promotion of the ‘Be The One’ initiative, we are discovering more ways to engage with the military community than ever before. We want all veterans to know that it’s okay to ask for help.”