Jacques Villeneuve has slammed rookie and countryman Lance Stroll who has so far failed in impress in his first year in Formula 1.
Never one to shy away from voicing an opinion, the 1997 World Champion criticised the young Canadian when speaking with Austrian broadcaster ORF after qualifying for last weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix where the 18-year-old failed to make it beyond Q1 for the fourth time this season. By contrast, his veteran teammate Felipe Massa has made it to Q3 at all but one of the seven Grands Prix held so far.
“Results speak for themselves,” Villeneuve said bluntly. “It is one of the worst rookie performances in the history of Formula 1.”
The teenager has consistently under-performed against teammate Felipe Massa and was out-qualified by the Brazilian yet again in Canada, this time by more than a second.
Stroll lined up 17th on the grid for Sunday’s race and fought his way to ninth, aided by five retirements and a one-stop tyre strategy that paid dividends and delivered his first points in F1.
He has been heavily criticised since it was announced late last year that this billionaire father, Lawrence Stroll, who has bankrolled his career up the ranks, had bought him a race seat with Williams.
But the 18-year-old shrugs off the attacks and was pleased with his efforts on home turf.
“I don’t care what people think,” he retorted.
“I’m happy for me and for the team. The rest is noise. People who do not like me will always find excuses.”
Stroll how now finished three of seven races this season.
Image via LAT and Sutton Images