Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll has been criticised for buying an F1 team to ensure his son, Lance Stroll, has a reasonably competitive seat on the grid.
Lance Stroll entered Formula One in 2017 with Williams Racing as part of an agreement which saw his father provide the ailing F1 team will tens of millions of dollars via a sponsorship deal.
He later moved to Racing Point after his father purchased the team following a couple of disappointing seasons at Williams, and has since found himself regularly fighting for points and even podiums on a handful of occasions.
Ex-F1 driver Jaime Alguersuari, who last raced in the sport almost a decade ago, has questioned the need for “good drivers” to provide funding, either directly or via sponsorship deals, for them to race in Formula One.
“It has changed so much even since then [2011, when he last raced in F1],” Alguersuari said.
“It is not for me. I do not understand good drivers having to pay to race, or the very high cost for the teams.”
Continuing, he said he “cannot contemplate that there are parents of drivers who own teams” and added that “the values of the sport are not what I understood.”
While he didn’t mention the Strolls by name, he is undoubtedly referring to them as Lance Stroll is the only F1 driver competing with a team owned by his father.
Meanwhile, Jean Alesi hit out at the high cost of making it to the pinnacle of motorsport after his son was forced to race in Japan in 2021 instead of spending another season in F2.
“He will race almost every weekend [in Japan], which is not possible in Europe anymore unless you pay a lot of money,” Jean Alesi said in an interview with Italy’s Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper.
“Nowadays you have to be a billionaire and buy a team, otherwise you will not end up in the Formula 1 world,” he added.