Lance Stroll believes that jealousy lies at the heart of his critics’ comments against his promotion to F1 driver at Williams Martini Racing.
Stroll was last year’s FIA Formula 3 European Champion but questions have surfaced over the influence that his family’s wealth has played in his appointment.
The Canadian believes that most of the comments are aired by drivers who have failed to reach the same heights.
“Obviously people who are not in Formula 1 are trying to find excuses why they are not in Formula 1,” he told Autosport. “I think that the drivers in the [F1] paddock have respect of each other.
“They all know that winning Formula 4, Formula Renault, Formula 3 takes a lot of effort and work to do that.
“So for sure the drivers in Formula 1 have respect for each other, we know what it takes to arrive here and that obviously the drivers, who are not here, most of the time will find a way to find a reason not to be here.
“So it’s normal. I don’t think I need to spell it for you, but that’s the way it is. Because you always going to find jealous people and people that don’t like you for the wrong reasons and that’s the way it is.”
Stroll started the Australian Grand Prix at the back of the grid following a penalty for a gearbox change incurred as a result of a crash during practice, but by the end of the first lap he had managed to make his way up to fourteenth, and was thirteenth when he was forced to retire due to a brake issue.
He believes that the respect shared by F1 drivers is as a result of them all understanding what it takes to make the grade and the championships that breed future winners.
“I think everyone here on the grid as drivers, and even the people who work in the teams they really know racing, they know what it takes to arrive in Formula 1,” he said. “They know the championships you need to win are challenging and to score the points for the superlicense, you need to be able to win them.
“And for drivers like [Sebastian] Vettel and [Lewis] Hamilton and [Esteban] Ocon – all of them had to win those championships. That’s very challenging and they know that and that’s why we share respect for each other even if we are racing all together, we have respect for each other.”