Jacques Villeneuve has some positive advice for fellow Canadian Lance Stroll, suggesting that the youngster ditches Williams for Force India with immediate effect and not wait until next season to suit up in pink.
Speaking in the aftermath of the Force India rescue deal led by billionaire Lawrence Stroll, Villeneuve told Le Journal de Montreal, “Lance should finish the season at Force India. He should not wait. He should drive in Belgium at the end of the month.”
Such a scenario seems highly unlikely as there are sure to be contracts in place to prevent Stroll from defecting from Williams, while Perez and Ocon have deals with the Silverstone based team until the end of this season.
But Villeneuve believes this could be circumvented, “Anything can be done in F1. We’ve seen it in the past. Driver changes during the season are doable.”
Villeneuve was the last Williams driver to win an F1 world championship, but the relationship between the driver and his former team is at an all-time low. The Canadian is banned from the team’s paddock compound for his criticism of the Grove outfit.
Now the 47-year-old believes Williams are on their final legs, “The loss not only of Lawrence, but also the title sponsor [Martini] is probably the final nail in the coffin.”
“They’ll also lose a lot of income because they’ll be at the bottom of the championship. Even pay drivers won’t want to spend money there,” he added.
Villeneuve explained why he believes that Force India is a better option for Stroll senior to invest in, “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 remains a racing team, unlike Williams,” insisted Villeneuve.
Big Question: Should Lance move to Force India with immediate effect?