Lance Stroll has been a subject of controversy since joining F1 with Williams, constantly being followed by the “pay driver” label. Stroll divides opinion, with some arguing his wealthy background detracts from his talent. For others, the Aston Martin driver would not be on the grid without hefty financial support.
The conversation surrounding the Canadian was less intense last year, given that he wasn’t blown away by teammate Sebastian Vettel.
The four-time Champion was still the faster driver, to be clear. However, the 24-year-old was performing well enough to avoid the harsh criticism he now faces in 2023.
However, a fantastic Fernando Alonso (combined with a very competitive Aston Martin) has put tremendous scrutiny on Stroll’s driving.
Misfortune, a limited pre-season and a general lack of performance have all contributed to the substantial 121-point gap between Stroll and the Double World Champion.
Last weekend was another frustrating weekend for the F1 podium finisher, with team principal Mike Krack explaining the role strategy played in the race result:
“It is a shame we did not optimise the race for Lance, and the decision to remain on dry tyres in the early stages cost him a chance of scoring points.”
Ahead of the Italian GP, Mike Krack chose to silence any speculation about Stroll’s continuation with the team for 2024.
Rumours, albeit clearly unsubstantiated ones, have gathered momentum as the discrepancy between the Aston Martin teammates has grown.
Regardless of the nature of these rumours, the Aston team boss felt it was necessary to outline his position:
“As a team, we need to do a much better job on that side of the garage,” he explained in Monza.
“We have also had reliability issues, and it was always on that car. So it is something we need to do better.”
Aston Martin seems unmoved by the criticisms thrown towards Lance Stroll, confident that he can deliver results.
Though bad luck has certainly played a part this year, it would be simply incorrect to put the Canadian in the same category as the best in F1.
With this in mind, time will tell if the Silverstone-based team will seriously consider making a change in the foreseeable future.
Author: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang