Aston Martin issue F1 2024 line-up update amid Lance Stroll struggles

Oliver Harden
Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll speaks to the media after qualifying at the 2023 Monaco Grand Prix.

Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll speaks to the media after qualifying at the 2023 Monaco Grand Prix.

Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack has insisted Lance Stroll will remain as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate for the F1 2024 season despite his struggles alongside the two-time World Champion.

While Alonso has claimed seven podium finishes in the first 13 races of 2023, Stroll has failed to finish higher than fourth and trails his team-mate by 121 points ahead of this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

With Stroll’s commitment frequently questioned since arriving on the grid with Williams as a teenager in 2017, recent speculation has suggested that the 24-year-old may choose to walk away from the sport in the near future.

Additional reporting by Thomas Maher

Aston Martin: Lance Stroll is going nowhere

Stroll laughed off rumours of a switch to tennis at last weekend’s Dutch GP, with Krack adamant that the Canadian – whose father Lawrence owns the Aston Martin team – will remain in place next season.

Asked on Thursday at Monza if Stroll was immune from being dropped by the team, he told media including PlanetF1.com’s Thomas Maher: “This is a nice way of putting it, to ask a provocative question, which is fine.

“It’s Monza, it’s driver silly season and it’s bit boring at the moment. I think we don’t have any such such debate at the moment. We will be fine next year with the two drivers.”

Pressed if he has spotted any signs that indicate Stroll may be considering quitting the team, he responded: “No, no.

“I think we have seen over the last weeks a very hard working driver trying to analyse every little detail where he can improve, being in the simulator, driving a lot, so I think there’s nothing that goes in the direction.”

Stroll’s lack of contribution alongside Alonso has arguably cost Aston Martin a position in the Constructors’ standings, with the Silverstone-based team trailing Mercedes by 40 points in the fight for second spot with nine rounds remaining.

Krack has rejected the notion that Stroll struggles for performance compared to Alonso, pointing out that the team have let him down on occasion too this season.

“No, there is not a marked gap in performance – there is a marked gap in points. It’s important to separate between the two,” he explained.

“We, as a team, are analysing the season from both perspectives, from both drivers, and I think we as a team need to do a much, much better job on that side of the garage come race strategy but also we had reliability issues and it was always hitting that car, so that is something we need to do much, much better.

“I think, in general, between drivers there is always a certain gap that you would say is, I would say not normal, but circumstantial. Sometimes you have a bit of traffic, sometimes one has a glitch in one corner, but I think the drivers are normally within three tenths.

“I think when you look at the last qualifying sessions – Q1 in Zandvoort, for example – there was nothing in between them, so I don’t think that there is any particular characteristic [of the car] that will be different for him than for Fernando.”

Stroll’s difficulties alongside Alonso have come after he measured up well as four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel’s team-mate in 2021/22, albeit in a less competitive car.

Krack has backed Stroll to get on a par with Alonso too, adding: “I think he can be just the same. You saw it last year – we had all this discussion when Sebastian joined the team and I think it went pretty well. There is no reason why it should not be the same.

“That was the same before [when] we had a four-time World Champion, so we don’t look at it like you do in terms of who has won how many Championships.

“We brought driver of that class to take steps as a team and I think we all learn from having Fernando – and the same goes for Lance.

“So, from that point of view, it’s all normal and we need to also learn from that experience and that is something that we do on the driver side and on the team side.”

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