Father: Lance Stroll not crumbling under "pressure"

Lance Stroll's father denies that his son is crumbling under the "pressure" of expectations in F1.

Lance Stroll's father has denied that his son is crumbling under the "pressure" of expectations in Formula 1.

Still just 18, Canadian Stroll has struggled at Williams so far in 2017, with many questioning his ability amid the image of being the 'pay driver' son of a billionaire.

That billionaire is the fashion mogul Lawrence Stroll, who told Le Journal de Montreal: "I do not put pressure on Lance.

"The pressure he has is that which he puts on himself.

"I am only his father. There are professionals everywhere who are paid to handle it, and a team that is very satisfied with his behaviour and his progress."

Lawrence also said that his son's situation is not helped by the "jealousy" of others.

"For sure there is jealousy," Stroll senior said. "But I want to stress that Lance earned his place in Formula 1.

"He won everywhere he went and the [licence] points that he needed, he went and got them.

"This is probably the toughest year for a youngster to start in F1, with even the teams not always understanding exactly what is going on.

"So you cannot ask an 18-year-old to do it alone."

As for the 'pay driver' label, Lawrence said: "There is not a driver here who has not been supported by millions.

"Take Sergio Perez. How do you think it happened for him?"

Another rookie in F1 is Stoffel Vandoorne, but Stroll said that any comparison between the Belgian and the Williams driver is not fair.

"There are two points," he said. "The first is that Vandoorne is 24 or 25, not 18 like Lance.

"And the second is that the gap between Vandoorne and Fernando Alonso is larger than the gap between Lance and Felipe Massa."

Stroll's best finish was 11th at the Russian Grand Prix in April.

Felipe Massa of Williams poses for a portrait during day one of F1 winter testing at Circuit de Catalunya on March 1, 2016
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