The Williams F1 team have reportedly barred its own world champion, Jacques Villeneuve, after his outspoken criticism of Lance Stroll.
The Canadian who attends races as a consultant for Sky Italia and Canal+ France has been less than supportive of his young compatriot. Once calling him “The worst Rookie in the history of F1.”
Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams said:
“With regard to Jacques, he’s obviously been pretty vocal in the media,
“I don’t want to go into a huge amount of detail about it. The way that Lance describes it, he just wants to get on and let his track performance do the talking.
“I think that’s what we should do because that’s when the critics will stop — when Lance proves he deserves to be in Formula 1, which we all at Williams believe anyway,” she insisted.”
Stroll’s career began with a string of retirements, some his fault some not, and it took until his home race to score points. He then followed that up with a close fought podium in Baku.
“He has shown to have a strong character and personality, even under pressure,” Williams told Italy’s Corriere dello Sport.
“He has been interrogated more than most rookies are but always remained focused and has constantly improved.
“After the first six races he was criticised a lot, but I always responded by recalling the debuts of Vettel, Ricciardo and Raikkonen,
“Honestly I didn’t expect him to get on the podium this year, but now that it’s happened, we can say that we have a superstar of the future with us.”