ADVERTISEMENT

Dumontier: Stroll sparked fresh interest in F1 in Canada

Lance Stroll may be struggling this year with a woeful Williams, but this has not detracted Canadian race fans from wanting to see the teenager in action on home soil this weekend, in fact his presence is creating the kind of stir that once the Villeneuves, first Gilles and then his son Jacques, did in their heyday

Canadian Grand Prix President and CEO Francois Dumontier confirmed that the grandstands are sold out for the weekend and he expects a full-house at the Ile Notre Dame on race day.

ADVERTISEMENT

He told reporters in Montreal, “Sure, the fans are not as crazy as they were back in the Gilles and Jacques Villeneuve era, but there is pride in the fact that Canada has another Formula 1 driver in Lance Stroll.”

The 19-year-old hails from Montreal.

Dumontier is careful to avoid comparisons with the Villeneuves because Stroll is still at a very early stage of his Formula 1 career, “A Canadian in Formula 1 has sparked a fresh interest among local fans.”

“I know people who lost some contact with the sport in recent years but have returned in 2017. In addition, Stroll attracts a whole new fanbase and clientele because he is still so young.”

Stroll finished ninth in his home debut last year which were also his first points in Formula 1, and was treated to crowd-surfing and a display of respect and adulation for the youngster by the crowd there on the day.

“It is fundamental that the fans can identify with a driver. For Canadians, it’s terrific that an aspiring driver from their country is battling with the stars of Formula 1,” added Dumontier.