Paying for a drive does not mean a lack of talent and success in lower formula doesn’t always translate in F1; that’s according to Jacques Villeneuve.
The Canadian has been weighing in on Formula 1’s newest signing, Lance Stroll.
Earlier this week Williams confirmed that the 18-year-old would race for them next season, partnering Valtteri Bottas.
Stroll’s signing has divided opinion as some focus on the reported $80m that his father, fashion billionaire Lawrence Stroll, spent to get him to this point in his career while others look to his F3 title.
“I did say that money does not buy talent and I stand by that statement,” Villeneuve told Le Journal de Montreal
“However, paying does not mean that you have no talent.
“In his case, this financial support comes from his father.
“Money allowed him to get through the front door.
“He’s lucky to have an unlimited budget. Very few drivers have such an opportunity. ”
But, as the 1997 World Champion was quick to point out, Stroll has accomplished “great things” this year.
He won 14 races on his way to the European Formula 3 Championship title, which he claimed by 187 points ahead of second placed Maximilian Gunther.
However, Villeneuve acknowledges that success in lower levels does not always translate into success in Formula 1.
“Winning the F3 championship like he did may not translate at the next level,” he said. “There are so many drivers who had won in F3 but have done nothing in F1 afterwards.
“Conversely, others never shone in the feeder series before becoming great in F1. Each case is unique.”