Villeneuve says Stroll should move to Force India ASAP!
Jacques Villeneuve believes Force India should immediately recruit Lance Stroll and put the 19-year-old in its VJM11 as soon as Spa!
Force India’s salvation by a consortium of investors led by the Canadian driver’s father, Lawrence Stroll, practically leaves no doubt as to where he’ll be racing in 2019.
However, Villeneuve, a man who once labeled Stroll as ‘the worst rookie in the history of Formula 1’, insists the sooner his countryman leaves the failing Williams team, the better.
‘Lance should finish the season at Force India. He should not wait. He should drive in Belgium at the end of the month,’ the 1997 world champion told Le Journal de Montreal.
‘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.
The firm contracts governing the presence at the Silverstone-based outfit of Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez appear to be just a minor consideration for Mr. Villeneuve.
‘Anything can be done in F1,’ he insisted. ‘We’ve seen it in the past. Contracts can be bought. Driver changes during the season are doable.’
Needless to say, chances of Lance Stroll racing in pink this season are remote. Regardless of it happening or not, Villeneuve isn’t confident in the future of Williams – the team that brought him his world title – which he says is dying a slow death.
‘The loss not only of Lawrence, but also the sponsor (Martini) is probably the final nail in the coffin,’ he added.
‘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.’
Villeneuve argues that Force India on the other hand is a good acquisition for Lawrence Stroll.
‘The organisation is better 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,’ he added.