Lance Stroll, Williams, 2016

Williams: Money not a factor in Stroll deal

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Williams deny Lance Stroll owes his place to the team next year to his father’s funding.

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Canada will have its first F1 driver for over a decade next year in Lance Stroll. Great news for them or not?

Speaking as a Canadian, I am not so sure that this signing is ‘great news’ for Canada. The 2015 Monza and Spa incidents are still very clear in my memory, and the legitimacy of his F3 championship has rightly been called into question.

I hope to be proved wrong about my opinion, but Williams decision to take on Stroll is only great news for future rich kids hoping to buy their way into the sport.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 63 comments on “Williams: Money not a factor in Stroll deal”

    1. We have signed a driver who has won a junior championship and has good backing, kinda reminds me of a their venezuelan crash tester from a few years ago??? They may as well be honest “he seems fast, if erratic and his dad is richer than scrooge mcduck!! Best of both worlds”.

      1. @rick1984 Maldonado had a lot more credentials, if we’re honest, having won Formula Renault 2.0, competed sucessfully in the World Series by Renault and his championship winning year in GP2.

        Maldonado was a good driver too, very skilled dude. I still remember his qualy laps in Abu Dhabi and Singapore 2012, besides his win at Spain. But he was just reckless and never learned from his mistakes. Otherwise, he could’ve shaped and matured well like Grosjean did.

        1. To that point, Stroll admitting blame in his accidents is a good sign. At least it seems like he’s looking to learn from his past in order to improve for the future. Only time will tell for sure.

        2. @fer-no65 ill give you that on maldonado. The save at the red bull ring was great last year as well!! Wonder if anyones registered

        3. @fer-no65 Grosjean hasn’t matured well… People don’t change that easily, Romain is still the same person.

          Pastor failed to evolve and cracked under pressure in the end I don’t think he was a bad person, although I agree with everybody that Pastor is not F1 material, but the punching bag is not the only one.

          Lance is riding the waves of Max and Ocon, and a lot of money, sure he’s only in f1 because of money that said though I believe he can be as good as anyone, f1 is very different from junior categories, actually f1 can shift on a yearly basis or a set of regulation changes. Not a shining talent and so not worthy of the exception taken for both Ocon and Verstappen, the latter which might not be loaded but has single handedly brought a massive sponsor and viewer ship to f1. I’ve read one interview of him, I was left with the impression Lance is a young yet rational and motivated kid, the rest we shall see come March 2017.

          1. @peartree Quite disagree with you on Grosjean. The guy changed a lot of things in his approach and the people around him. He has never repeated the errors that earned him the first-lap nutcase nickname. Don’t know what he can do more for you to consider he has changed. Acting different is being different, but maybe you consider people never change and if so we disagree on that.

            1. @spoutnik Did Romain had a chance to show he’s changed? That I would agree that he hasn’t had that chance because ever since 2012/2013 he’s been running at the back of the grid rather than on a tight bunched up midfield, so no more messy starts, which was above all his nemesis.

            2. @peartree I don’t think he’s on the back of the field. Lotus and then Haas are more mid-fielders, right in the pack. Haas is in front of Renault, Sauber and Manor, battling with STR. I can’t remember any reckless drive, any big error he made since that frightening Spa 2012. There was that Sotchi crash in 2015 and his pit stop miss the same year. Clean starts, good drives and having racked all of the 29 points Haas possess, that’s what is called changing in my book?

            3. @peartree Let’s agree to disagree. Lotus drifted towards the back of the field in 2014, the car only scored twice. 2015 was a more competitive year, running a midfield car (6th) meant Romain made some mistakes, as you’ve mentioned. Haas is 8th out of 11, Romain scored a total of 5 times, I reckon that’s not midfield. I’m not saying Romain isn’t talented, but to me he’s only that, talented, he won’t crash often but he does make mistakes, he isn’t that quick, look at where both Haas have qualified of late, he’s at times an overly aggressive racer and he’s got a bad temper.

    2. “”He has had very, very good team-mates in Maximilian Gunther and Nick Cassidy”.

      Who, as those of us who watched F3 this year observed, were under clear orders not to race him on even terms.

      It’s a shame, Stroll would have been much better served had his competitors not been under team orders to take it easy against him. His race craft would be better for it.

      It certainly is going to be different for him next year.

      1. His lion den will have a g

        1. *sigh*

          Gilded cage

      2. “He has had very, very good team-mates in Maximilian Gunther and Nick Cassidy. George Russell, a McLaren Autosport Young Driver of the Year, is a very talented individual and on his day will be unbeatable. Lance has made them look silly.”

        …and that’s how Tom Gaymor got a new car.

    3. In motorsports, specially F1, a simple different car setup can make 2 identical cars run with a gap of 0.5s, for example. I wonder in a team, if you give to a driver the better engineer, better strategies, more team time to make fine adjustiments. This will translate in a very significately gain, even if that Driver 1 is worse than the Driver 2.

      We’re seeing this today pretty clear, Raikonen, the Driver 2, is going faster than Vettel most because of team changes. In Sauber case it’s even more evident, they keep changing and testing setups on Nasr car and he always got the worse car of both, a driver that some time ago was clearly better than his team mate.

      All said, Stroll can be a poor driver and still managed to win just because of the car and the team.

      1. How is it “clear” that “Raikonen is going faster than Vettel most because of team changes”?

        Both of them are very capable drivers and have been quite evenly matched throughout the year.

        1. Yea, Miane had a good comment until that line…

      2. how long have you been watching Motorsports, thats usually how it works :) Seriously, why do you think Dani Pedrosa started sucking so horribly after Bark Markez showed up in 2013. Why you think Mark Webber’s performance and reliability went to crap after he threw a fit in the post season.

        Teams have an agenda, why do you think Lewis Hamilton’s car has broken down so frequently this year? Seriously. This is how the game is played.

    4. Makes one wonder how many naturally talented Senna’s Schueys ect, there are out there in the racing world who we will never see because of a lack of funding.

      1. More than anyone would ever believe I reckon. Fortunately we get to see some of them through sim racing (aliens), but even then there’d be those who have talent who can’t even afford a half decent setup.

        I’m sure all over the world there’d be people who do nothing other than to pull together whatever vehicles they can afford and race them around whatever local track they can find or make just for the pure fun of it.

        1. Be nice if these Million/billionaires got behind some underfunded “talent” instead of their Son’s aka Max Chilton for example.

          1. Carlos Slim is a good example (Perez and Gutierrez – not that I rate Gutierrez personally)

            Although he only looks at Mexican drivers.

      2. @nosehair Would Frijns count as an example?

        1. David, loads of fine talent in junior series over the world who l would of thought would done well in F1 over the years…l hope we dont have another Chilton in F1, Stroll will be watched with interest against Bot who is a fine driver.

      3. I’ve long believed that there’ll be enough kids (male and female) born every year with Senna-equalling levels of ‘natural talent’ to fill a dozen F1 grids. Maybe more. But most of them never even get round to sitting in a kart, some lack the interest, others the money. One might get through into F4 level competition every few years or so, but if that single ‘success’ lacks the mentality that Senna and other top drivers had, even they won’t make it.

        Quite depressing, really. Were F1 as accessible as football, we’d have a grid full of superstars and I believe there’d be women on it too.

        1. @neilosjames – Thats the thing – no-one starts racing karts because they are good at it. They start because they have the money and because they want to. The percentage of humans who get to begin a racing career is tiny.

          There are lots of people out there who have the inherent ability to be better than Senna, Schumacher and Alonso – they just never get the chance to race anything!

          People who only just miss out on F1 have already been luckier than 99.99999% of other humans on the planet!

        2. What about as well the young drivers programs that a few of teams already have, the FIA create a young driver fund by way of helping junior talent on to grid and paying underfunded teams to give them a few drives each, selection to made by a panel…or just fund a FiA team

      4. @nosehair
        I once went to a media event to see Eric Cantona where someone asked him if he thought he was the best player in the world, his answer was that the best player in the world is probably doing some menial job in a third world country because they’d never had the opportunity to play because of their circumstances.
        It was an interesting point that probably applies to all sports, and other professions too.

        1. Thanks for that one @beneboy, I think Eric Cantona might well be right on that account!

          1. @beneboy Not really a comment for an f1 site but cantona was the best footballer i have ever seen play in person, and he lnew a bit about seagulls as well

            1. @rick1984
              I think I’d have Roberto Carlos and the original Ronaldo as the best I’ve seen live, it’s too difficult to choose between them, but Eric was phenomenal too, and could do things I’d never even imagined. Certainly a genius, in footballing terms, and not far off intellectually either.

      5. The old saying was

        The best f1 driver ever is a wood cutter in Syberia but he doesn’t know it.

        Motorsprt started as a past time for the rich. It is not football where nearly everyone has a go. Motorsport only shows the best of the small amount who get to try it. Money has and always will be a factor. Natural tallents like Hamilton were bankrolled by McLaren so whats the difference?

        1. MARKP ..Well maybe the entire grid are really just slugs and a billionaires cartel need to fund 22 woodcutters to show some us fans how fast f1 cars can really be driven!!! OK l really need to stop posting now.. l am just getting 2 ridiculous…

      6. The field is not competitive enough to offer higher performing drivers the opportunity to succeed. In fact in F1 this has probably never been the case. You need money, and sponsors to win in F1, and wih out that ‘sponsor interest’ you are nothing, even if you are twice as fast as the next guy. This is about selling products, its not about racing, this is where the real interests LIE.

    5. Funniest headline I think I’ve ever read.
      C’mon Williams, we’re not all stupid!

      1. I won’t profess to know what Stroll money might be being injected into Williams beyond that which comes from sponsors that he brings as partners, like all drivers have by the time they get to F1, but I do not doubt Williams’ integrity and I believe them when they say the talent has to be there first and foremost. I’m not sure that Williams have ever hired a driver strictly for the money, have they?

        1. Williams will be struggling to stay in the midfield in a year or 2 they will need more money or Newey.

          1. exactly, they have had and continue to have a mediocre car, once carried by Toto Wolff (who had to sell his shares last year) now the teams is utter dogs droppings and since t hey have a mediocre car with no real avenue for success, they are going to play the lets appeal to younger generation (the ones who don’t really know whats going on) and try to turn a penny on their version of Max Verstappen. Listen to the queues the commentators give and the gusto in their language. Real treat that can be some times. These guys are ‘groomed’ like politicians. They are not the everyman or the product of meritocracy.

    6. Good lord, the irony in that ‘he made them look silly’ remark. Stroll made them look silly by having them except team orders. They look Barrichello silly.

    7. It’s also really painful to see the English press clamouring to believe in Stroll, at ‘their team’. If he was at Force India or Sauber it would be so different.

    8. How would you change F1? – Brawn: Make a Plan.

      Apart from the solid interview with a few nice tidbits etc, that ending is the most important statement in it. I fully endorse that one. Thanks for including the interview in the Roundup Keith.

    9. Thanks, Keith, for sharing my forum post :)

    10. When has team announced they took the driver for money? Usually in their press releases driver selection was all about talent, regardless what was the money behind the driver.

      1. But as I ask in a comment above, when has Williams taken a driver strictly for the money?

    11. “I want to make it clear Williams has been a team that has made a statement of intent we would not allow financial considerations to influence our driver choice.”

      Funnily enough, nothing in the wording of this statement prevents you from auto-completing the sentence to “… but you know what, screw that statement of intent, time to make some serious money!”

      1. Im sure Toto’s driver Bottas and his former shares + wife on the team had no influence in their decision making. Lolz.

    12. I think the $30+ million Stroll is reported to be bringing is rather to convenient considering that Williams are locked in their battle with Force India, which is also said to be worth $30+ million. Considering that is about 1/4 of Williams revenue, I think they have made a good decision.

      Also worth noting, is the fact that Stroll Sr clearly has no issue with cutting a blank cheque to get his son as far up the grid as possible. Considering as the top teams have no seats available in the near future, putting tens of millions into Williams could be the only way to get him to the pointy end.

    13. I don’t really care how anyone gets to F1, because once they get there, no amount of parental wealth or sponsorship backing is going to make them a better driver, and their talent alone will be what they’re judged on.
      The richest man in the world could buy the best team and hire the best designers and engineers, but if his child isn’t good enough, they’re still not going to win anything.
      It would be nice to see the sport doing more to help those from poorer backgrounds to get into motorsport, but I’m not going to think less of someone because they were lucky enough to be born into a family that could afford to support their dream of becoming an F1 driver, and if I had the money, I wouldn’t hesitate to spend a load of it helping my son to achieve his dream.

      1. @beneboy Very valid points. I think a lot of the jealousy seeps through.

      2. But do you as a fan think it’s interesting to watch ? Wouldn’t you prefer to watch the best drivers in the world – and don’t you think its a shame that every year more talented drivers never get the chance to shine? I could put names on a handfull of drivers from all over the world who earned this seat more than Stroll…really sad for the sport. On the other hand the money from Stroll will secure Williams the development of their car in 2017. This is 9/10 of the lap speed…

        1. @crash So what’s the alternate reality. Williams hire the best they can find then fold through lack of funding. Removing 2 spots for talent of any level and wealth to race in?

    14. 1- What do we expect from Williams to say? We needed cash and this guy has tons of cash? That won’t happen I’am afraid.
      2- Money can solve all the problems in the world except death. But the good thing is, we only have just one thing in common and that is we want our favorite driver / team to win. If LS manages to win or comes genuinely so close to winning, then it does not matter if he’s rich or not. If he does not win, we can bash him the way we did it to Maldonado, Yamamoto, Diniz, Sirotkin and many others. By the way, we have always witnessed it that the kids of ultra rich families have so many cars and they can satisfy their need for speed.
      3- Meanwhile, I am so skeptical about his talent and abilities and highly doubt it if he succeeds. Finally, we will see rather sooner than later the sons of Abu-Dhabi’s, Dubai’s, Doha’s or Kuwait’s Sheikhs to step in F1, ’cause they are the biggest cash cows in the world.

      1. 1. Or they might be speaking the truth.
        2. Money certainly cannot solve all the problems in the world. In F1 what did it guarantee Toyota, who spent massively, as one example.
        3. Williams is not skeptical or they wouldn’t have hired him. As to an Arabian driver, it’s surely possible, and why not? Are there any up and coming Arabian drivers in the feeder series’ right now?

        1. they don’t need to solve all the problems in the world with his blank check, they only need to keep the employees happy and enough revenue coming in to the team. It’s a business you know.

    15. With respect to CoTD I responded yesterday in part by saying that a Canadian driver causes more notice of F1 in the general media here. There was a noticeable drop off of coverage once JV left F1. Sure enough, last night both the CBC (the BBC equivalent in Canada) and CTV (largest audience for National news) did features on Stroll on their National news broadcasts. So he’s already caused a bit more attention to F1 amongst the general masses here in Canada.

    16. There is only one way Stroll can silence his doubters, the same way Max Verstappen did. The bottom line is that if he stuffs the car into the wall at every race Williams will soon drop him, money or not, as they did Pastor Maldonado. If his fathers billions, Stroll that is, enable Williams to emerge as a title challenger again then that can only be a good thing.

      1. Pastor actually won their only race in quite some time. So I would give him some extra space. Especially considering that win came in an iffy car.

    17. Williams proclaiming money not being “a factor” in signing Lance Stroll is imho the pinnacle of cynism.

    18. People writing Stroll off already and claiming he’s only a pay driver is stupid. He’s 18, has tons of potential, and has dominated F3 to shreds. Lets just see how he does next season up against a solid driver in Bottas.

    19. The issue could be solved by having a ceiling for how much money a driver could bring.. if there is no money the teams would go for pure talent – problem solved and the F1 fans would return…this wouldn’t work over a night so put the ceiling high this year and lower it 10% every year until you reach a fair fee…

      1. Crash, under your proposal, you would have also disqualified quite a few highly rated championship winning drivers over the past few decades.

        According to Ron Dennis, Senna brokered his way into F1 thanks to his family’s wealth and business connections, whilst Prost’s early career was brokered by Elf: Schumacher’s entry into F1 was arranged through promises of payment by Mercedes, Häkkinen’s junior career was bankrolled by Marlboro, a connection that helped him move to McLaren (still sponsored by them at the time), whilst Alonso brought sponsorship with him as well in his early career at Minardi (and those are just a handful of examples).

    20. how about the Martini logo on his shirt? is it legal to have alcohol sponsors shown by an 17y old kid?

    21. If 80 millions (yes 80 …not 8, just to say…) are not a factor in that deal, give them to poor child…

    22. What a Lie. Money not the reason for signing Stroll. Sure kid has talent, but if Wehrlein or Ocon had that kind of money, they would be in s higher tier team.

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