Williams kept Lance Stroll’s test programme top secret in order to reduce the pressure on the 2017 team rookie.
That is the claim of team deputy Claire Williams, referring to Stroll’s near-unprecedented world tour of tracks in a 2014 car to prepare him for his Melbourne debut next March.
When asked about that programme, Williams told Auto Motor und Sport: “I can’t go into too much detail.
“But he drove on a handful of European and non-European tracks. In the end, he will have driven about 8,000 kilometres.
“It’s to make him familiar with the job, working with the engineers, all the processes and the way the race weekend runs, including pitstops and starts.
“His preparation is unprecedented at a time when basically no testing is allowed,” Claire admitted.
Undoubtedly, the programme has been funded by Lance’s billionaire father Lawrence Stroll, a Canadian fashion mogul.
As for why it was kept so secret, Williams said: “We wanted to take the pressure off him. And he shouldn’t be distracted from his work.
“A lot of people are interested in him and his story, not only because of his talent, but also because he has a well known father.”