Williams Deputy Team principal, Claire Williams recently spoke about Canadian driver Lance Stroll. The 19-year old is currently in his second season in Grand Prix racing.
The Mercedes-powered FW41 seams to be a handful to drive for Stroll, Sirotkin and Kubica too. The results have not been really satisfying either. Both cars have qualified at the tail end of the pack at most races. Stroll has picked up only four points so far, compared to his rookie teammate, Sergey Sirotkin, who has not scored none.
However, Claire Williams has not been too harsh on the Canadian driver.
“He’s done a great job actually and Lance has had a lot of criticism levelled to him and I think unfairly so,” she said.
“I think a lot of the conversation that you hear in the media clouds his talent and I think that that’s a real shame. But he has coped with that admirably. I think to be a 18, 19-year-old and to have to confront that level of analysis and critique I think can be incredibly disheartening and self-destroying. And I think it’s incredibly unfair actually, but despite that he has managed to keep his head held high and get on with what he needs to get on with. Unfortunately, for both our drivers it’s difficult when their car isn’t as competitive as it needs to be.”
Both drivers have been branded as pay drivers by some because they bring big sponsors to the team. Williams also responded to the comments. “The pay driver title really irritates me. I think it’s a gross misnomer,” she replied.
“I think that drivers may bring money, they may not. A lot of drivers bring money into this sport through one means or another. Drivers have partners that follow them from team to team and yet because those drivers may be successful, they are not categorized as pay drivers. I just think it’s a very negative way of just trying to criticize a driver when really there is no criticism that should be levelled.