Lance Stroll insists he is not bothered by the pay driver questions, after all, his results “speak for themselves.”
After a tough debut, Stroll got it right in Canada where he scored his first F1 World Championship points.
At the next race, Azerbaijan, he was on the podium and in doing so become F1’s youngster rookie to step onto the podium.
More points followed in Austria to bring his tally up to 18, just five short of the vastly experienced Felipe Massa.
However, the pay driver status still lingers over Stroll.
Asked how he deals with the money question, he told ESPN: “You just turn it off, but at the same time you have to look at the facts.
“I’m not here to prove anyone wrong, I’m here to do it for myself and my team.
“I’m not here to ‘show the critics’, or whatever it is, I know why I’m here and that I deserve to be here.
“I won Formula 3 championship and was the youngest ever to win it, and by a massive margin, and a lot of work went into it.
“And now, youngest rookie to ever be on the podium, that’s an accomplishment and I think for people to take that away from me and say ‘it’s just money’, it’s not true.
“Showing those results, looking at the points, I’m still in the [midfield] mix.
“There will still be hard weekends, good weekends, that’s how it works, but I’ve proven I belong to be here in F1.
“The results speak for themselves.”