Lance Stroll finally secured some Formula 1 Championship points at the Canadian Grand Prix, but it wasn’t enough to convince his onlooking compatriot that he is any good in an F1 car.
F1’s go-to-guy for an injection of pure, uncut controversy is ex-racer and professional rent-a-gob Jacques Villeneuve, who has waited until this moment of achievement for Stroll to fire some venom in his direction. After securing 9th and vital points for Williams, who are under serious threat from Renault in the constructors, Stroll relieved some of the tension that has surely been building up on his side of the garage. Jacques Villeneuve hasn’t minced his words here:
“He is more than a second slower than Felipe. Results speak for themselves. It is one of the worst rookie performances in the history of Formula 1.”
– Jacques Villeneuve
A brutal assessment from Villeneuve, whose own Formula 1 career only arrived after eight years of racing in lower categories despite his surname. His own F1 title winning campaign in 1997 with Williams didn’t look like happening after 7 races, with three victories and four retirements putting him in an inconsistent frame.
Stroll’s points will be of momentary relief, but the overall picture, especially compared with Felipe Massa, is a sobering one. The Brazilian was 8-tenths quicker in Q1 on Saturday and has been consistently quicker so far this season.
Stroll responded to Villeneuve’s comment:
“I don’t care what people think. I’m happy for me and the team. The rest is noise. People who do not like me will always find excuses.
I always had confidence. I also know there will be nothing easy about the next races. There’s a lot of room for improvement and we’re working hard for more good results.”
– Lance Stroll
The name Villeneuve and Canadian Formula 1 points scorers has been synonymous up until this point. A national, hereditary record that has finally been broken by Stroll’s finish. Does this go some of the way to explaining Villeneuve’s shade casting? Can it be explained? Or is it just one of those unwritten F1 laws that Villeneuve will agitate somebody from afar at some point in every Formula 1 season?