Lance Stroll's billionaire father reportedly offered an incredible $80 million to Williams for the 18-year-old's 2017 debut.
At the reveal event on Thursday, one common theme was that notwithstanding Stroll's dominant run to the European F3 title this year, he is nonetheless a 'pay driver'.
"Everyone has their own opinion, I can't change that," he said. "I come from money, I am not going to deny that. But I believe I won my shot in F1 because I won every championship I have competed in in single-seaters."
The report claims his father, the fashion mogul and billionaire Lawrence Stroll, bought the Prema F3 team and installed well-known Ferrari engineer Luca Baldisserri to oversee Stroll's rise.
Lance Stroll was then the clear 'number 1' driver this year, benefitting from F1 engineers seconded to his F3 campaign and a special simulator put at Williams' Grove base.
He also embarked on a round-the-world test programme with a 2014 Williams, supported by 20 staff, 5 Mercedes engineers and two engines prepared specifically by Mercedes.
A little known fact is that Stroll's F1 test programme went to Silverstone, Hungary, Monza, Austria, Barcelona, Abu Dhabi, Austin and Sochi.
Williams' Pat Symonds admits: "The last rookie with that many kilometres of testing for his debut was Jacques Villeneuve."
Not only that, Stroll Sr paid for a new high tech simulator at Grove, which Bottas and Felipe Massa could not use throughout the year as it was calibrated for F3.
Lance told Germany's Auto Bild: "Motor sport is a sport where money is important, of course, so I'm very happy that my father helps me."
Circuit de Catalunya - Winter testing
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing
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