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.”
Gabby Chaves is set to return to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Watkins Glen International later this month.
The Columbian-American driver, who last competed in IMSA in 2016 – with the DeltaWing outfit – will sub for the injured Joao Barbosa – he hurt his wrist in a cycling accident earlier in June – in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.
Chaves will partner Filipe Albuquerque and Christian Fittipaldi in the No. 5 Cadillac.
Chaves expressed gratitude for being asked to fill in, but kept his enthusiasm muted, noting that he is getting the opportunity ultimately because another driver got hurt.
“The first thing is of course that you never want to have an opportunity because someone got hurt, so this is an unfortunate circumstance with Joao having his injury,”said Chaves. “But I appreciate the opportunity to join the championship-leading team. Mustang Sampling Racing has had a strong start this year and hopefully I can help the team continue to have those kinds of results.”
Chaves added, “I love Watkins Glen, it is a great track and I am looking forward to racing the Cadillac Prototype there. I’m excited to be going back to endurance racing. With different classes all racing at the same time, there is a lot for the driver to deal with as you work through traffic. So I am looking forward to racing at the Glen again, and I really appreciate this opportunity with Mustang Sampling Racing.”
Chaves’ most recent IMSA event was the 2016 Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, when he finished seventh in the Prototype class.
The No. 5 Action Express Cadillac currently sits tied with the sister No. 31 Whelen Engineer Racing Cadillac of Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr atop the IMSA standings, though Barbosa’s hopes of a driver’s championship are set to take an enormous hit with him missing Watkins Glen.