I know. I am as taken aback as you are at former Williams driver Lance Stroll being officially unveiled as Racing Point Force India driver for the 2019 Formula 1 season.
Perhaps I should have seen the signs:
First there was Lance Stroll’s Dad, billionaire fashion tycoon Lawrence Stroll buying Force India. That should have given me an inkling of what was about to develop.
Then Esteban Ocon publicly acknowledged that he was leaving the Silverstone-based Force India Team, before being officially announced as AMG Mercedes F1 reserve driver for the 2019 season, leaving an empty seat alongside the newly re-signed Sergio Perez for 2019 that was never filled.
Williams then officially announced that George Russell and Robert Kubica would be driving for Williams in F1 in 2019.
‘Strange’ I thought. ‘But what about Lance??’
Most recently Force India announce that the Canadian will be joining them for the two-day tyre test pegged onto the back of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina circuit.
A lovely gesture by Daddy Stroll’s team, to give his seemingly without-a-drive son one last bash in a Formula 1 car with an uncertain future ahead of him.
And then BOOM. Out of the blue. Salvation for young Lance.
A Racing Point Force India contract from out of nowhere rescues him from potential career oblivion, and the 2019 Formula 1 grid is complete.
Just how he was able to concentrate on his driving towards the end of 2018 with the threat of unemployment dangling over him is quite beyond me.
Good on you Lance. You’re a trooper.
Of course I jest.
Force India might as well have officially announced Stroll as their #1 driver for the 2019 season on Thursday 16th of August – the day Lawrence Stroll acquired the team.
Because it was inevitable. They knew it, he knew it and we knew it.
So good luck in your move away from Williams, Lance.
But with a bit of good fortune, and a lot of careful planning, strategy, hard work and investment you’ll be looking at George Russell‘s rear wing all season long.
And good luck to Sergio Perez too. You might need it!