Racing Point’s Lance Stroll says he is “fuelled” by critics “who hope he fail” on account of the financial backing he has received in his career.
Stroll stepped up to Formula 1 with Williams in 2017, aged 18, off the back of a dominant title-winning campaign in Formula 3.
He switched to Racing Point for 2019 in the wake of father, Lawrence, acquiring the team in mid-2018.
Stroll has had a mixed 2020 season in which he claimed a maiden pole position in Turkey, and finished on the podium at Monza, but missed the event at the Nurburgring through illness, either side of several incidents.
Speaking on the Formula 1 podcast Beyond The Grid, Stroll responded to the criticism, commenting: “I love it, I fuel off of it. If you don’t fuel off of the criticism then you dwell on it and it eats you up inside.
“I think I’ve learnt to embrace and use it as energy to prove people wrong. I love that, I think it’s powerful to use it as fuel.
“But I’ve always said to myself I’ll just do my talking on the track and it’s always been like that since day one. Where I come from and my background there are a lot of people who hope I don’t do so well and hope that I fail, and that’s okay everyone is entitled to have their own opinion.
“So at the end of the day I do my talking on the track, I won those championships leading up to Formula 1, F4, F3, Toyota Racing Series in New Zealand, then in F1 I’ve been on the podium, been on pole.”
Stroll also acknowledges he still has room to improve as a driver but insists he has earned his place on the grid.
“I’ve had many good races, my consistency hasn’t been the best, I’m aware of that,” he said.
“That’s something I’m working on, last couple of years I definitely think my consistency can be better and there was a year at Williams where I was in a pretty bad car, so that was a tough year for me.
“But I’ve proved as well in Formula 1 that I deserve to be here. “It’s always going to be the same, I’ve recognised that.
“When people do bad that’s when people start talking bad and when you do well everyone is right there and wants a piece of the pie. It’s all part of the circus.”