Formula 1 is a highly costly sport, and teams need enormous amounts of money to sustain themselves on the track. Sometimes, drivers are introduced to the grid because of their financial backing like Lance Stroll, Nicholas Latifi, and Nikita Mazepin.
All three racers come with healthy commercial backing. The problem that such drivers face is that people often tend to ignore their skills. There is a stigma created which dictates that the driver has the seat just because of the financial backing.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff was recently seen defending these racers. Talking about Lance Stroll, he said, “I think he’s actually suffering from the stigma that is just not right.”
Wolf believes that such drivers are shamed even with good results that prove their might.
Toto Wolff talked about Stroll and clarified that he agrees that meritocracy should be held in the highest regard. He laid out Stroll’s merit by pointing out, “He won the Italian F4 championship, won the European F3 championship, has been on the podium twice, and has qualified for the first row in Monza in the rain.”
Wolff explains how one simply cannot say that Lance is here only because his father is a billionaire. He added that Lance shouldn’t be punished for his father’s financial success.
Wolff points out, “I think it’s even more impressive that a kid with that environment chooses one of the most competitive sports in the world.”
The reports stated that Nicholas Latifi was promoted to F1 after 4 seasons in F2. In those, he won 5 races and peaked at the second position in the championship last year.
Wolff defended Latifi and said, “With Nicholas, he has won races in F2”. “And we haven’t seen what he’s capable of [in F1], it’s his first season,” he further added.
On Nikita Mazepin, Wolf recalled, “I think Nikita has been a regular frontrunner now in the F2 season. He won some races, he was competing for some of the race wins.”
Wolff believed that drivers are more meritorious now because 5 or 6 years ago drivers were just paying their way into F1. “Maybe I have a wrong recollection. I don’t want to name anybody but you know who I mean,” Wolff further added.
Lance Stroll is going to join Sebastian Vettel in 2021 to complete Aston Martin’s drivers’ line up. Nicholas Latifi will continue to drive for Williams and Nikita Mazepin will allegedly be driving for Haas F1 alongside Mick Schumacher next year.