Lance Stoll says winning every junior single seater racing category and gaining an FIA Super Licence is proof he deserves his F1 chance at Williams rather than buying his way into the sport.
The Canadian teenager is set to become the second-youngest driver to make their debut in the history of F1 after being revealed as Valtteri Bottas's new team-mate at Williams having replaced the retiring Felipe Massa.
Stroll is backed by billionaire businessman father Lawrence Stroll and at the official presentation of the 2017 Williams driver line-up the 18-year-old objected to the talk of money being an influence to break into F1 by stating his impressive racing CV.
In 2014, the new Williams driver won the Italian Formula 4 championship in his rookie year before moving on to win the Toyota Racing Series and finishing fifth in his maiden European Formula 3 campaign in 2015. Stroll then backed that up by romping to this year's Euro F3 title with 14 wins in 30 races.
“Everyone has their own opinion, I can't change that. I come from money, I'm not going to deny that,” Stroll said. “I believe I won my shot in F1 because I won every championship I've competed in in single seaters.
“Now the FIA have put in Super Licence for that reason, that people can't buy their way into F1, you have to prove yourself and win in junior categories.
“I don't want to say when I'll be able to show I'm not just here for money. That just depends on so many things. I'm just going to worry about my business. I'm very happy to be here join looking forward to next season.”
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Williams deputy team principal Claire Williams also made the team's position clear that selecting the 18-year-old as Massa's replacement was not motivated by any financial factors and believe they've picked the best young driver available on merit of talent.
“I know there have been a lot of comments about Lance's background, and I want to make it clear Williams would not allow financial considerations to influence our driver choice,” Williams said. “Money doesn't drive performance. You either have the talent or you don't.
“Lance has proved he has talent and has what done what he has done. He has to do the job next year and he will do that.”
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