After tolerating 1997 champion Jacques Villeneuve’s criticisms, Lance Stroll has had enough. The young Canadian hit back at the former Williams driver and said that he is “always negative”. Villeneuve, who drove for Williams and led them to the title 20 years ago, was a staunch critic of his compatriot Stroll. Jacques’ latest grouse is against Williams for reportedly selecting the heavily backed Russian Sergey Sirotkin. Sirotkin and Polish driver Robert Kubica were both in the running to be Stroll’s 2018 teammate.
The 46-year old said, “They already sold their soul to the billions of Lawrence Stroll, who only cares about his son,”.
The 19-year old spoke to French publication Auto Hebdo: “I don’t pay too much attention to what he’s saying. It’s always going to be negative anyway. He never supported me, in every sense of the word. He only sees the negative. Even the Baku podium was not a positive in his eyes.”
The Williams’ 2018 lineup has been a subject of much discussion by fans from around the world. An announcement is expected to confirm the lineup next week or so. But if rumours are to be believed, the pendulum is swinging firmly towards Sirotkin. This rumour is being met with raised eyebrows throughout the motor racing world.
1998 and 1999 champion Mika Hakkinen says sponsorship is just part of the puzzle as a driver moves towards F1. He said, “You definitely need all the elements to get into formula one — (including) good contacts and a lot of money. It’s difficult to name an exact number, but when you reach formula one, you’ve already burned millions”.
Regardless of what Williams’ decision is, Lance Stroll knows that he will have to work a lot harder to silence his critics. Villeneuve won’t be an easy person to impress as he has already has his prejudices when it comes to Stroll.