This season, Lance Stroll received the most competitive car of his formula career. It would seem that the way has been opened for the Canadian to fight for high positions, but no: Lance does not really take advantage of the opportunity given to him. This year, Stroll alternates boring races with brilliant failures. You don’t have to go far to see examples: last Saturday he crashed his car in qualifying, so he didn’t even go to the start of the race.
This year, the Canadian is already in his seventh season in F1, and so far his performances do not even come close to justifying the money invested in his career, and there are no prerequisites for overall progress. Apparently, the time has come for Lance Stroll to leave Formula 1. Here are three main arguments.
Stroll is not at the level of a top team
Of course, we did not “expel” Lance from Formula 1 for his numerous failures. As history shows, even talented pilots can make funny mistakes. What can we say, even if among the “crushers” there are quite capable runners? Jody Scheckter, Ralf Schumacher, Romain Grosjean are examples of this.
Stroll’s main problem is to eliminate all his stupid mistakes and we get a nondescript “slightly below average” driver. In the seven years that Lance spent in F1 he did not show anything particularly notable. The Canadian only looked more or less decent against Williams, against the background of the loss of motivation of Massa and the debutant Sirotkin, and even then lost the qualifying duel against Sergei.
Once at Racing Point, Stroll had more competitive teams at his disposal and, at the same time, a stronger partner. In an intra-team battle with Sergio Pérez, the Canadian suffered a devastating defeat. Some hope for Lance’s career growth might have been raised during the two years in which his teammate was the eminent veteran Sebastian Vettel. Yes, Stroll was still inferior to his teammate both in terms of pure lap speed and race pace, but she no longer smacked of defeat. Lance looked relatively decent compared to the German champion. It would seem that Stroll has gained more experience and is ready to continue progressing, but the current season has shattered all illusions about the Canadian’s sporting potential.
Stroll was not the only one who failed in a strong team:
F1 drivers who failed in the best teams. Compared to their partners, they were simply terrible.
Fernando Alonso clearly demonstrated the power of the AMR23 car with six podiums in the first eight races. Subsequently, Aston Martin’s pace slowed somewhat: Mercedes and Ferrari did a better job with updates and the status of the second force in the peloton began to migrate from one team to another. However, Alonso continued to get the most out of the car: until the Singapore Grand Prix (stage 15 of the season), Fernando was scoring points in every race.
As for Stroll, it was nowhere near the status of a team capable of competing for the top spots. Stroll’s failure is best reflected by the fact that 10 different drivers have stood on the podium this season. Lance is not among them, even though in about half of the past races he had the second-fastest car in the field at his disposal.
This season, Stroll only celebrates his teammate’s podiums.
Photo: Clive Mason/Getty Images
Overall, Stroll’s best gear doesn’t measure up. And the most ironic thing is that it is his father who so zealously tries to form a team capable of fighting for victories. On behalf of his son’s career prospects, Lawrence Stroll invested a lot of money in the Aston Martin project and did an impressive job in the transfer market, attracting several top engineers. From the outside, everything seems that Stroll Jr. will stay in F1 until the bitter end, until his father’s team builds a “self-propelled truck” that will finally open the way to victories.
If such a plan really exists, it cannot be considered reliable. No matter how quickly the designers build the car, if the driver doesn’t squeeze the most out of it, nothing will work. You don’t have to look far to find examples. Take Max Verstappen himself, who is rewriting one album after another this year. Yes, he has one of the most dominant cars in F1 history, but the Dutchman himself demonstrates incredibly stable driving and makes virtually no mistakes. The same Pérez does not always get on the podium
. The same Pérez who left no stone unturned in Stroll, being his partner in Racing Point. Should Lawrence Stroll invest a lot of money in the Aston Martin project if his daughter simply isn’t up to par with the top team? I think this is a rhetorical question.
However, Stroll is far from being the worst F1 driver:
Who is the worst driver in the history of Formula 1? Difficult choice among 20 candidates
Lance slows down Aston Martin development
Since we’re talking about Lance’s father, it wouldn’t hurt to think about the future of the Aston Martin team. At the moment, it is Lawrence Stroll who seems to be the main victim of this whole story.
Lawrence invested a lot of money in the racing stable. What should a Canadian businessman do with the Aston Martin project when his son has already been an F1 driver enough? This is a good question. Essentially, Stroll Sr. will have two options: sell the team or continue developing the racing team without the goal of raising a champion son. Considering that the construction of a new base gives clues to the team’s long-term development strategy, as well as Lawrence Stroll’s close ties to the concern, it is logical to assume that the second option is closer to him. Therefore, the Aston Martin project will live on even after Lance leaves Formula 1.
Lance Walk and Lawrence Walk
Photo: Clive Mason/Getty Images
If Stroll Sr. is really focused on the development of the team, he should think clearly about the convenience of having his son in one of the eco-friendly cars. This season, Alonso leads Aston Martin almost alone in the Constructors’ Championship: the Spaniard scored 78% of all the team’s points!
Simple math: If there were two Strolls at Aston Martin this year, the Silverstone team would currently have 94 points under its belt: fifth place in the Constructors’ Championship, dangerously close to sixth-place Alpin (81 points). If Alonso had had Albon or Gasly as partners, Aston Martin would have been able to compete with Ferrari and Mercedes for second place in the team standings. But alas, the reality is that the green AMR23 is powered by Stroll.
As long as Lance wastes the engineers’ efforts, his father can forget about any rivalry with the best teams: it is difficult to fight with just one car.
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In Formula 1, Stroll is losing time. It’s time to develop another series.
Let’s be honest, Stroll Jr. has already reached his ceiling in Formula 1. Today, in fact, he is marking time in a golden cage, losing time, strength and energy that he could devote to development in another racing championship.
History remembers many drivers who did not shine in F1, but managed to build a successful career outside of it. Take Marcus Ericsson himself. The Swede did not do well at all in the Royal Races, but in IndyCar he was able to successfully restart his career: last year, Marcus won the Indy 500 and also fought for the title. In addition to the “American formula”, you can also think of the WEC. Hartley, Buemi and Kobayashi are recent examples of former F1 drivers who won at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Additionally, there are rumors about Aston Martin’s imminent entry into the hypercar category. Lance is quite capable of reaching the WEC level.
Overall, it will be much easier for Stroll to achieve success outside of F1. And the sooner he understands it, the easier it will be for him, his father and the Aston Martin team.
The most striking examples of how to restart a race after F1:
8 drivers who failed in Formula 1 but became legends in other racing series