Teenager Lance Stroll was voted by our readers as the 2017 Rookie of the Year, the Williams teenager clearly doing enough to warrant the accolade despite a dubious start to his career at the pinnacle of the sport.
Much was written about Stroll’s billionaire father spending tens of millions to get his son on to the F1 grid, indeed many questioned young Stroll’s state of readiness to be plying his trade at this level.
Despite the criticism, Stroll remained steadfast and in fact, improved dramatically as the year progressed. In races of great attrition, which claimed many more experienced drivers he would shine. Baku, Montreal and Monza spring to mind.
His performances in the wet were of the highest order despite his lack of experience. And it would be faor to say that his maturity inside and out of the car belied his age.
It can also be said that Stroll was not overshadowed by his vastly more experienced teammate Felipe Massa and by the time the season ended the Canadian youngster was a mere three points adrift of the Brazilian in the standings.
At the Azerbaijan Grand Prix he enjoyed his best finish in third place (nearly second) and thus becoming the youngest driver to finish on a Formula 1 podium, at the age of 18 years and 239 days.
The fact that he was preferred to highly rated fellow rookie Stoffel Vandoorne is a testament to the positive impression Stroll made on our readers.