Jacques Villeneuve believes Lawrence Stroll has put the “final nail in Williams’ coffin” after launching a takeover of Force India.
Lawrence Stroll, father of Williams driver, Lance, is at the forefront of a consortium who are in the process of taking over at Force India, who were placed into administration ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Lance will no doubt follow his father to Force India and take their considerable wealth with them.
And that factor, plus the imminent departure of main sponsor Martini, is going to leave Williams in a whole lot of trouble according to the former World Champion.
“The loss not only of Lawrence, but also the sponsor (Martini) is probably the final nail in the coffin,” Villeneuve told Le Journal de Montreal.
“They’ll then lose a lot of TV rights because they’ll be at the bottom of the championship. Even pay drivers won’t want to spend money there.
“Force India is a better organisation than Williams. They only stopped developing this year because they can’t afford it.
“Lawrence has always made brands grow. It’s one of his strengths. He couldn’t do it at Williams because he was not the owner, but his influence will be greater at Force India.
“He will help them. Force India remained a racing team, unlike Williams.”
Villeneuve has also called for Lance Stroll to move to Force India as soon as the takeover is officially complete and get a head start with his new team.
“Lance should finish the season at Force India. He should not wait. He should drive in Belgium at the end of the month,” Villeneuve added.
“The car is better and he would be able to get a head start on next year, and improve his driving style with Force India’s engineers.”