Lance Stroll, a Williams development driver, has caught the eye of Mercedes’ team boss Toto Wolff.
Canadian teen Stroll is currently leading the highly-competitive European F3 season, combining that race seat with a role at Williams.
The 17-year-old said this week that he is eyeing the reportedly expiring contracts of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas, but he may not have known that Wolff also has an eye on him.
“He works extremely hard,” Wolff said of Stroll, “but his intelligence and maturity is something else as well.”
Wolff said that when it comes to Stroll, he is even more impressed with his maturity level than he is with F1 sensation Max Verstappen’s — who is a year older.
“Max behaves more like a youngster,” Wolff told La Presse newspaper.
“Max is a teenager. In the car he is extremely good, but when you are with him, he’s a boy. But Lance’s maturity is surprising at just 17 years old.”
Wolff, referring to Lance’s billionaire father Lawrence, also told the Canadian newspaper The Star: “I think for this is the next Canadian kid in formula one and it has nothing to do with his father’s wealth.
“It is because the boy can drive.”