The Lance Stroll Case: An Amerindian in Formula One

Canadian driver Lance Stroll is periodically subject to sports news and comments from Formula One fans. Unfortunately, most of the comments are offensive, discharging an abnormal hate load on top of one boy who never hurt anyone (much less his detractors, who do not even know him personally). Several hypotheses are raised about the origin of this hatred: envy for the Stroll family fortune, fanaticism for rival drivers, ignorance about who Lance is, among others. But only one is closer to the truth: racism against indigenous peoples.

“Oh, but his mother is Belgian,” say some of the haters. “Oh, but his skin is lighter,” others say. Such phrases relate to how much current society is unaware of the indigenous peoples of the Americas. In this article, we will prove that this gigantic anger that many netizens (and even members of the press) have about Lance Stroll is nothing more than the desire for the sport to be composed solely of white drivers.


1- The first Amerindian driver in Formula One


Lance Stroll was born in Montreal on October 29, 1998, the second son of businessman Lawrence Stroll and fashion designer Claire-Anne Callens. Lance is of Russian-Jewish and Inuit (native people of Canada) descent by his father’s side, and from Belgian and English descent by his mother’s side. Lawrence Stroll is the son of a Russian-Jewish immigrant father and a Canadian mother, has reddish skin, straight, thick hair and slightly slanted eyes. Claire-Anne Callens has white skin and blue eyes. The result of miscegenation is noted in the couple’s children: Chloe, the eldest child, has her mother’s eyes, but her father’s face shape; Lance, the youngest child, has his mother’s face shape, but his father’s slightly slanted brown eyes and dark, straight, thick hair. Lance’s skin is lighter than Lawrence’s and redder than Claire’s.


The Strolls. From right to left: Claire-Anne (mother), Lance (son), Lawrence (father) and Chloe (daughter). (Photo: Thill Arthur / ATP)  [1]


The phenomenon of miscegenation is very common in countries os the Americas due to the history of colonization, slavery, and immigration on the continent. In Canada, Lance’s home country, it was no different. Native peoples had contact with Europeans (white-skinned) and Africans (black-skinned). The children of couples of different skin colors are called mixed-race. In Brazil, for example, mixed-race people are given different names according to their origins. Children of whites with blacks are called “mulatos”, children of natives with blacks are called “cafuzos”, and children of whites with natives (such as Stroll) are called “caboclos” or “mamelucos”.

In genetics, there is a high probability that mixed-race people with white ancestors to have white children when they marry white people. Countries like the United States even banned marriage between people of different colors in the nineteenth century, while the Brazilian government encouraged marriage to whites to “whiten” future generations. However, the fact that a mixed-race has lighter skin than its ancestors does not nullify its origin. Therefore, a “caboclo” still has Amerindian origins even its skin is lighter than “Indian skin”. It has both Amerindian and European origins, and this is the case of Lance Stroll.


Physical characteristics of Lance Stroll that prove his Amerindian origin. [2]


2- Amerindians according to Europeans


Formula One was created in the 1950s. It was not even a decade since the fall of Nazi-fascist regimes in Europe, which were characterized by intense state repression and persecution of minority ethnic groups (mainly Jews) under racial pretenses. Since the nineteenth century, with the formulation of “social Darwinism”, European schools and intellectuals have taught the population that races were organized into a hierarchy, in which the European white race was considered superior to the others and the mixed-races inferior to all “pure races”. Anthropologists such as English Edward Tylor applied this theory to the defense of “social evolutionism”, a thesis that argues for a hierarchy between cultures. Even with efforts by other anthropologists, such as German Jewish Franz Boas, to show that it cannot claim about superiority of cultures or races, European society has firmly embraced the idea that it was at an advantage over other peoples on the planet.

However, this phenomenon has older origins. Since the colonization of the Americas by nations of Europe, various power-holding groups have launched propaganda to support the colonizing process. In Brazil, for example, after the death of Bishop Pedro Fernandes Sardinha (which would have been devoured by anthropophagous Amerindians) in the 16th century, the Catholic Church promoted campaigns that treated Amerindians as animalistic and savage beings to justify catechizing campaigns and Portuguese control in Brazilian territory. The consequences were catastrophic and the tribe accused of killing the bishop, the Caetés, was exterminated in the process.


Image of the 1882 Brazilian Anthropological Exhibition, illustrating a Brazilian indigenous and an African slave being exhibited in Europe. Notice how Amerindians and blacks are portrayed in an animalistic way compared to whites. (Photo: National Museum of Rio de Janeiro) [3]


In the 1950s the European population still did not understand what the native peoples of the Americas were like. Decades earlier, in 1911, Scottish James Matthew Barrie released his most famous work, “Peter Pan”. In the story, a Native American tribe is portrayed as submissive to the protagonist, and the chief’s daughter, Princess Tiger Lily, is willing to do everything for Peter, even though he does not have for her the same feeling for Wendy Darling, the English girl he has brought to Neverland. In 1953, Walt Disney adapted the work into an animated film in which the natives take a larger role in the song “What Makes the Red Man Red?”. In the scene, the tribe is made up of individuals standing in time, isolated from the rest of the world and wearing the same clothes as their ancestors. The stereotype around Native American people has generated so much controversy for Disney that the studios chose to not include the characters in the sequel film “Return to Neverland” (2002).


Native American tribe from the film “Peter Pan” (1953). (Photo: Disney) [4]


Since Amerindians lived only on the American continent, there was no interest in Europe in combating prejudice against them, let alone self-criticizing the interaction between whites and Amerindians over the centuries. Even in countries of the Americas, the natives were still marginalized and excluded from society. Only with the organization and struggle of these peoples, especially in the twentieth century, was the issue taken more seriously. On April 19th, 1940, the First Inter-American Indian Congress was held to promote the fight against racism and to pressure American countries to adopt policies to protect and guarantee indigenous rights. That is why in Argentina, Costa Rica and Brazil, on April 19th is celebrated the Indian Day.

Formula One aimed to encourage interest in the auto industry. At the time, consumers in this industry were white men. Women were forbidden to drive in many countries of the world, and black and Amerindian people lived in segregation, rendering them unable to access vehicles. Therefore, the category focused on pleasing the European white male public, its consumer market. This is why for years Formula One was dominated by Europeans and their descendants (Juan Manuel Fangio, Argentine driver who was the second champion of the category, was of Italian descent).


3- Revson e Hamilton: breaking the hegemony


In 1964, American Peter Revson debuted as the first Jew in the category, breaking years of European white rule in Formula One. It is worth remembering that the Jewish people have been persecuted since antiquity and were the majority group among Holocaust victims (previously it had suffered invasions of its lands by Assyrians, Persians, Greeks and Romans, inquisitions by the Catholic Church, pogroms in the Russian Empire and many other policies of segregation and extermination). Also important to note is that even a quarter of the Jewish population having white skin (Revson’s case), they are not considered white by racial theories (because they originate in the Middle East) and are persecuted by white supremacy groups. Revson drove for 10 years with teams Revson Racing, Reg Parnell, Tyrell, McLaren, and Shadow Racing. He had two wins and eight podiums, scored 14 times and accumulated 61 points throughout his career. He died in a training accident for the 1974 South African Grand Prix.

Forty-three years later, in 2007, the first black Formula One driver, the Englishman Lewis Hamilton, debuted. Son of a white mother and black father born to Caribbean immigrants, Hamilton joined McLaren to race alongside Spanish Fernando Alonso. Early at pre-season trainings, he suffered racial offenses by Alonso’s fans, who called him “monkey”. Some people say the motive for the offenses was not racial but sporting because Alonso’s fans loved the Spanish driver. But if so, wouldn’t it be more logical to call Hamilton a “loser” or to say that Alonso would “finish him off”? Calling him “monkey”, an offense historically associated with black people, proves that Spanish fans’ hatred of Hamilton was, indeed, racism.

Hamilton started the year with a podium, got his first win, and became runner-up in 2007. The following year, he was still champion with McLaren. But even with his brilliant results, the Englishman was still not free from racial persecution. At the 2011 Monaco Grand Prix, the stewards punished Hamilton for a collision with Felipe Massa, a Brazilian driver of Italian descent. He questioned the punishment and accused the stewards of taking a decision based on the drivers’ skin color, as Massa was white and Hamilton black. Instead of investigating the case, those responsible for Formula One filed a censure against the British driver, prohibiting him from accusing the stewards of racism again. The best decision, in this case, would be to show the crash video to both drivers and clarify the reasons for the punishment. By silencing Hamilton, sports administrators left room for the hypothesis of racism to be taken into account.


Peter Revson (left) e Lewis Hamilton (right): respectively the first Jewish driver and the first black driver in Formula One. [5]


Another case of racism suffered by the British occurred at the 2019 Italian Grand Prix, whose arbitration is still questioned today. Racing for Mercedes, Hamilton had a chance of overtaking Charles Leclerc, a Monegasque driver who represented Ferrari. To block the opponent, Leclerc squeezed him against the wall and an investigation was initiated. However, the stewards decided to just warn Leclerc with a black and white flag. After the Monegasque driver’s victory, Hamilton climbed to second place on the podium and Italian fans booed him hardly. Some even made gestures and sounds imitating monkeys. Hamilton posted a message on his Instagram recommending Italians not to commit this disrespect as it would tarnish the image of a crowd remembered for their joy and enthusiasm. No Formula One’s official has even commented on the case.

Centuries of racist teachings of “white superiority” have left deep marks on European society so that the phenomenon of racism goes unnoticed or viewed as banal to this day. It is clear that movements against racism are stronger in the Americas than in Europe, but even on the American continent, some refuse to see racial discrimination as a problem. In Brazil, for example, while some European immigrants mingled with natives and blacks, others preferred to join other Europeans and raised their children with the same ideas that were reflected in Europe. This phenomenon led some Brazilians to believe that the phenomenon was not serious and to accept discrimination against blacks and Amerindians, including athletes of these ethnic groups. At the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix, after the result gave Hamilton the title of champion even with Massa’s victory, Brazilian fans booed the English and called him “monkey”, proving that the “Brazilian racial utopia” is just a legend.


4- Amerindian and Jewish: the perfect scapegoat


Lance Stroll belongs to two historically persecuted and massacred peoples: the Amerindians and the Jews. These two groups were never well regarded by European society. The Amerindians were “cannibals”, “savages”, “animals”, “uncivilized” in the Eurocentric view and as such needed conversion or to be tamed and enslaved. Jews were “deicidal”, “heretics”, “controlled the banks, the media, and politics” according to prevailing ideas and, as such, should be converted or burned for “not accepting the Christian truth and being of an inferior race”. Even with the fall of Nazism, these ideas have not been erased from the European mindset altogether. There are still figures on the world scenario who deny the Holocaust, accuse the Jews of conspiracy and argue that Amerindians should give up their original cultures.


Lance Stroll playing American football in childhood. Notice the Inuit characteristics in the boy. (Photo: Instagram) [6]

Many people in both Europe and the Americas still view Amerindians as standing in time, forest dwellers, who live on hunting and fishing. It is therefore strange to many to see that Amerindians can be successful entrepreneurs. Since Formula Three does not get as much attention as Formula One, not all sports fans knew about Lance Stroll’s achievements. All they knew about him was that the driver came from Canada and his father was a billionaire, ignoring that all drivers receive an investment to maintain their careers. Even drivers as Esteban Ocon have someone to bear the cost of their stay in the sport. In pre-season 2017, having no experience with the Formula One car, Stroll crashed several times. While some took advantage of the situation to make jokes, some hastily accused the young man of buying a seat. Well, even if Stroll had paid to enter Formula One, that would not be cause for so much hatred. After all, he had been hired by Williams to replace a retiring driver, Felipe Massa. Massa gave up his retirement after Valtteri Bottas left for Mercedes to replace retired Nico Rosberg. No one bought the seat from anyone. Bottas and Stroll were simply taking the seats of retired drivers. Why so much hatred on Stroll, which until then was no rival to anyone?

The answer to that question is simple: fans wanted to see another European at Williams. It bothers many people to have to put up with a black driver in Formula One, now an Amerindian driver was coming to the sport, in the seat that fans say should be occupied by a white driver of European ethnicity. This is why Lawrence Stroll’s fortune causes such hatred to netizens: even though he is married to a European woman, even though his companies are creating jobs and supporting families, even though his money has been obtained legally, without involvement in any scandal, he was still an “uncivilized savage cannibal inferior to the Europeans”. Just imagine how outraged these netizens must have been to see for the first time a driver from the American continent be an EUROPEAN Formula 3 champion.


Lance Stroll was the first Amerindian to win European Formula Three championship. Racists wanted to see an European as champion. (Photo: Prema Powerteam) [7]


Motivated by racial hatred for Stroll, racists threw acid criticism of the Canadian driver’s presence in Formula One as if he were to blame for all the ills in the world. Lance felt in the skin what his people had suffered for centuries. Those who hate the Strolls for their fortune are the same ones who do not even give alms to a needy beggar, and purposely ignore the fact that there are equally rich drivers whose results are not close to Lance’s. Why? Because a white rich does not generate the same strangeness and discomfort as an Amerindian rich. Because an Amerindian-Jewish man is blamed for all the misfortunes of the world as if a single Canadian driver were responsible for world hunger and misery while the equally wealthy whites had no part in it.

After all, who was the last rookie driver to get a podium in a car of a weaker team? Who was the last rookie to start from the front row in a far from competitive car? Who was the last driver to break three records in his debut year? All these deeds are purposely erased from fans and journalists’ memories to inoculate fans with the idea that Lance is only in sport because his father is a billionaire. Why? Because racist on internet and media cannot stand to see that an Amerindian driver has accomplished feats that many whites were unable to obtain, and that eight white drivers, including Fernando Alonso (the same idol of the racists who called Hamilton “monkey”), went after an Amerindian in his debut year. To do so, they omit not only his deeds, but they also omit Lance’s ethnicity from the discussions. They use the excuse that Stroll’s mother is white to say that he is “no longer an Indian”. Nobody stop being Indian. It is like stopping being old.


5- White pay drivers are not pay drivers, only the Amerindians


The fact is that the 21st century is not the same as the twentieth. Even with the persistence of racism, combat movements are stronger today than in the last century. Western society is more aware of the importance of respect and that no ethnicity or culture is superior or inferior to another. Therefore, even the most convinced racists try to mask their racism to avoid being condemned by public opinion.

The excuse racists found to criticize the presence of an Amerindian in Formula One without realizing the racial motives was to underscore his father’s fortune. And as Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels said, “a lie told many times becomes a truth”. Thus, there are journalists and netizens so numb with prejudice and the idea that Stroll does not deserve the seat that they refuse to even read the driver’s story before judging him, convinced that the Amerindians should be ignored, treated with contempt. Just as it was centuries ago, when European settlers massacred tribes, enslaved natives, and forced them to give up their original cultures.

But racists end up missing their plan by committing a fatal slip: unaware of the ethnicity they deem inferior. Many netizens in his defense claim not to know that Lance Stroll is Amerindian, and others even firmly deny his ethnicity. The same excuse was given when the same racists claimed not to know that Stroll is Jewish. The reasons: Stroll does not wear a kippah, the Jewish “little hat” (and even if he did, it would be hidden under his helmet), does not wear a peyot (the hair curls on his temples) and has no “big nose”. The first step in identifying a racist is to note that he generalizes all members of a group as if they were all equal. In this case, because Lance is not a Hasidic Orthodox Jew, “there’s no way of knowing that he is Jewish”. The internet makes research work much easier, but racists find themselves so superior that they do not see the need to research those they consider inferior.



The Jewish people are made up of diverse ethnicities. It is wrong to think that all Jews are equal. In the image above you can see four Jewish ethnic groups: Ashkenazi, Sephardi, Ethiopian Jews (also called Beta Israel), and Mizrahi.  [8]


Even more absurd is the excuse of not knowing that Stroll is Amerindian. The reasons: he does not use an Indian headdress, does not hunt and fish with a spear, does not live in the woods or an Indian reservation, and his skin is lighter than “Indian” skin. This reveals much of today’s society’s ignorance of indigenous peoples. In the first place, there is not just one Amerindian ethnicity. Grouping all the native tribes and nations of the Americas as a people was only an instrument of the colonizers to convince the European monarchs that the Amerindians would be easily defeated and tamed. There are Amerindians of various skin tones. In Canada, the Métis, for example, are lighter than the Inuits, and that does not make them “less Indians” than the others. Among the American tribes, Quileutes are different from the Navajos, which are different from the Cherokees, which are different from Ottawas, which are different from Potawatomis, which are different from Powhatans, and so on. In Brazil, the Tupiniquins differ from the Guaranis, which differ from the Yanomamis, which differ from the Jês, among others. True, most Amerindians have dark, straight, thick hair, reddish skin, slightly drawn eyes, and few body hairs, but not all are like that. Ironically, Stroll has many of these characteristics, but because he does not live in isolation from contemporary society, his detractors omit him from being Amerindian.


There are thousands of Amerindian ethnic groups on the American continent. Each tribe has particularities such as culture, religion, dress, language and customs. In the picture above you can see four Amerindian ethnic groups: the Inuits (Canada), the Navajos (USA), the Seris (Mexico), and the Yanomamis (Brazil). [9]


As you can see, former Bolivian President Evo Morales has the same kind of hair and eyes as Lance Stroll. Morales is of Aymara ethnicity and Stroll is mixed-race of Inuit ethnicity with European ethnicity. Both have indigenous origins. [10]


The problem with racism with Amerindians is that it goes unnoticed by the population because there is not much media attention about it as there is for prejudice against other ethnicities. The Amerindians struggle for respect is silenced by media contempt, and some say they have never heard of an Amerindian. When you hear the word “racism”, it is rarely associated with Amerindians, and they only appear on the news when the government or some farmer or prospector invades the lands of a reserve and clashes with the village members.

And the hard evidence that the haters’ hatred for Stroll has nothing to do with money but skin color is their idolatry for the English driver Lando Norris. Lando is the son of magnate Adam Norris, a millionaire owner of Horatio Investments and has a US$ 270 million personal fortune.

Unlike Stroll, who debuted on an uncompetitive team, Norris made his debut in McLaren in a year of chassis upgrades that gave the team a good performance to compete for the top five places. Differently from Stroll, who finished his debut year just three points behind his experient teammate (even surpassing him in the standings at times), Norris ended the year with 47 points less than teammate Carlos Sainz Jr., who had four years of experience. Sainz also got the team’s only podium of the year with a third-place finish at the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix.

If we compare the results, there is no doubt that Lance Stroll is better than Lando Norris. In his debut year, Lance got a podium, started from the front row and broke three records: youngest rookie to have a podium, youngest driver to start from the front row, and youngest podium (lower age average from drivers at the podium). His achievements secured his team’s fifth place in the constructors’ championship. Lando in his debut year did not achieve any podium and did not break any record, his best result being a sixth place in Bahrain and Austria, the same year that Lance had his best result a fourth place in Germany. To mask his mediocrity as an athlete, Norris launched a marketing campaign for fans and Formula One itself to remind him as a funny driver rather than a pay driver who is only in sport because his father is a millionaire businessman. In this campaign, several memes are made, fake profiles are used to spread them, and anything Norris does is already accompanied by a flurry of people laughing and considering him the best driver on the grid, even though he is doing nothing impressive. Also, Petrobras’ sponsorship of McLaren ensured that Brazilian narrators and commentators praised Norris as if he were the reincarnation of Ayrton Senna himself.

So if Lando Norris is also a millionaire and has much lower results, why is Lance Stroll called the “pay driver”? Indeed, even in the year of Norris’ “glory”, Stroll’s best result was better than Norris’ and the Englishman still does not have the Canadian achievements. And yet netizens and the media idolize Norris and stone Stroll. This proves that it is not money that matters, it is the color of the person who has the money.



Logic of racist: If you are Amerindian, you are pay driver; if you are white, you may be the most mediocre driver that we will praise you. [11]


Another case of racism was when the media tried to blame Lance Stroll for Esteban Ocon’s departure from Formula One (see “Understand the Esteban Ocon Case”) after the Canadian’s father bought the team, saved 405 jobs and kept Ocon until the end of his career. contract (you see, even with this detail, racists go into the absurdity of accusing Lawrence of buying teams for Lance). They omit that Ocon was already leaving when his sponsor Toto Wolff promised him a seat at Mercedes, Renault or McLaren, but all the other teams refused. In other words, is it Stroll or Wolff, who lied to his sponsored, to blame? And why they not blame Daniel Ricciardo, Lando Norris, Carlos Sainz Jr. or George Russell for Ocon’s departure? Because all of these men are white.

And speaking of George Russell, he proved that the media only criticizes minorities while evades whites from guilty. In 2018, with Williams’ poor performance due to its engineering department headed by Paddy Lowe, the media blamed Lance Stroll for not bringing enough points to the team. Stroll finished that year second to last, beating Romain Grosjean and teammate Sergey Sirotkin. When George Russell and Robert Kubica came to the English team to replace Stroll and Sirotkin, Williams’ car performance worsened and the team scored just one point, scored by Kubica. At no point was Russell’s hiring criticized, even though he was unable to make a meager point for his team. The media preferred to bet on Russell as an excellent driver, victim of an incompetent team, title they would give Stroll if he were not Amerindian.


6- You aleady knew he is Amerindian, you just do not want to admit it


When announced as a 2017 Williams driver, Lance Stroll was in evidence. There was an interest from the media and netizens to get to know him better. One thing that was readily noted was the resemblance between Lance and American actor Taylor Lautner, famous for playing Native American werewolf Jacob Black in the “Twilight” saga. Interestingly, even though Lautner was the son of an Amerindian mother, there were still people who doubted his ethnicity because his father was of pure European descent. If Lautner had not been Amerindian, he would not have been called to play an Amerindian character, right? And if Stroll was not an Amerindian, it would not make sense comparing him to an Amerindian actor. Why not compare Stroll to Will Smith or Leonardo DiCaprio? Because he does not have the same ethnicity as these two, but as Taylor Lautner.


Photo that compares Lance Stroll to Taylor Lautner. (Photo: Blig Groo) [12]


Humorous site F1 Fanatic calling Stroll the “cover of Twilight werewolf” (“cover do lobisomem do crepúsculo). For those who do not know, Jacob Black, the werewolf in the Twilight saga, is a native of the Quileute tribe. (Photo: F1 Fanatic) [13]


7- What do we learn from this?


  • That Lance Stroll is not taking anyone’s seat. He was hired to replace a retiring driver.
  • That Lance Stroll has more achievements than many European white drivers, and this bothers a lot of people.
  • That despite being the son of a Belgian mother and grandson of a Russian immigrant, Lance Stroll has Inuit ancestors, indigenous people to Canada, and he has still Amerindian origins because he is mixed-race.
  • That there is not just one Amerindian appearance. There are thousands of indigenous tribes in America, each with its ethnicity and culture.
  • No matter how good the driver is, he will always be a victim of racism if he belongs to an ethnic minority (ex: Lewis Hamilton).
  • That no driver gets to Formula One without financial support (including Brazilians). The problem with Strolls’ fortune, which earned honestly and fairly, is pure anger of people who think Amerindians cannot succeed.
  • That all Lance Stroll haters are either racists who cannot stand to see Amerindians in the sport (especially beating whites) or are idiots who repeat the racist fallacy because they are unable to think with their heads and swallow everything the media and the internet says.


Knowing this, the next time you see or hear a netizen or television host (narrator or commentator) calling Lance Stroll a “pay driver” or “rich boy” or accusing him of steal someone’s seat, know you are facing a case of racism. Report, confront, tell the truth to this person. Do not let racism thrive. If we want a society where everyone is equal, do not ignore prejudice with the others. Unmask the racist. Make it to shut up. Amerindians are human beings like all other ethnicities and origins, and as such deserve our respect and support.


Addendum (March 11th, 2020): On March 11th, 2020, The Racing Track’s page on Instagram was a target of a racist comment from a profile called official_alexalbon, which stated that “Jews deserve ‘Aushwitz’ not f1 seats”. This is a clear proof of what was demonstrated in this article: who is against the presence of Lance Stroll in Formula One is against the presence of Amerindian and Jewish drivers in the sport, using the Canadian family’s fortune as an excuse for the disproportionate hatred of a person they do not even know. Bearing in mind that supporting European white drivers, or even not being a fan of Lance Stroll does not make the supporter a racist (at no time did the article imply this), but using a double standard to judge the drivers, ignoring the achievements of Stroll and demoting them in relation to equally wealthy white drivers whose results in the sport were inferior is an act of racism. Below is the photo of the comment:


To those who doubted racism against Lance Stroll was real, there is the proof.


8- Bibliography




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