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Thursday's Formula 1 news roundup

Here, Sports Mole rounds up the latest Formula 1 news on Thursday, January 21.

Sports Mole rounds up all of the latest news regarding Formula 1 on Thursday, January 21.

Thursday morning's Formula 1 news roundup

Less critical Villeneuve 'must be right' - Stroll

Lance Stroll pictured during qualifying for the Turkish Grand Prix on November 14, 2020© Reuters

Lance Stroll says he is happy to keep responding to his critics by impressing them on the track.

The Canadian's countryman Jacques Villeneuve has been a fierce and vocal critic of Stroll, whose father is the Aston Martin team owner and billionaire Lawrence Stroll.

But in Istanbul last year, 22-year-old Stroll secured his first ever pole position on a slippery track - with 1997 world champion Villeneuve calling it "exceptional".

"Jacques really said I did a great job? I didn't know that," Stroll smiled to France's Auto Hebdo.

"I suppose if Jacques thinks so, then it must be right," he laughed. "I always believe there is only one way to respond to criticism - to be successful on the track."

Constantly called a 'pay driver' throughout his career, Stroll reveals that he has developed a thick skin.

"In fact, comments like that have never influenced me," he said. "Whether I am criticised or not, I work the same way."

The comments came thick and fast last season, when Racing Point ousted 2020 race winner Sergio Perez rather than Stroll to make way for Sebastian Vettel this year.

Stroll insists: "I have never thought that I was taking someone else's place. Last year I worked as I always do, and if everyone thinks I did well, so much the better."

However, he is also playing down expectations for 2021, even though the team is rebranding as Aston Martin and his teammate will be a quadruple world champion.

"Having more resources and being called Aston Martin won't change the racing DNA of this team," said Stroll. "We will not be a big team suddenly this year, because having everything you need is one thing, but being able to use it is quite another."

As for being Vettel's teammate, Stroll sounds unfazed.

"As you say, he is very experienced and knows what a team needs to be successful. But personally, I'm not expecting anything special. I have my own job," he said.

Stroll is also expecting Aston Martin to build on Racing Point's progress of 2020.

"In theory yes, but the changes in the aerodynamic rules are actually not as insignificant as they might seem. It's a new challenge for everyone, but I know what we are capable of," he said.

Step forward 'not easy' for Ferrari in 2021 - Domenicali

Stefano Domenicali pictured in March 2014© Reuters

Taking a big step forward in 2021 "will not be easy" for Ferrari, according to the Maranello team's former boss Stefano Domenicali.

Domenicali has now taken over from Chase Carey as Formula 1's CEO, but he was asked by Italy's Sky Sport 24 to comment on his former employer's notably poor performance in 2020.

"In contrast to what happened last year, we all need a competitive Ferrari. We need a Ferrari that comes back, but I realise it's in a difficult context," he said.

However, Domenicali backed Ferrari to make obvious progress this season.

"I am convinced that things will improve, even if it will not be easy with regulations that are stable," he said. "They were able to work a little on the power unit to close last year's gap.

"Now, I expect a Ferrari that is close to the goal of being able to fight again. I think even team principals like Toto Wolff and Christian Horner also wish for it so that we have a show that is more attractive for everyone."

More news from Formula 1:

Renault wanted Alfa Romeo to be customer team
Alfa Romeo looks set to stick with Ferrari power for 2022. Read more.

Domenicali not sure Hamilton will race in 2021
It is not clear if Lewis Hamilton will be on the Formula 1 grid in 2021. Read more.

F1 must be 'flexible' with 2021 calendar - Domenicali
Stefano Domenicali says he has "cautious optimism" that Formula 1 will get through a full and unprecedentedly-long 23-race calendar in 2021. Read more.

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