Aston Martin urged to boot out undeserving Lance Stroll before he denies them a title

Michelle Foster
Lance Stroll up close and serious

Aston Martin's Lance Stroll

Aston Martin have been urged to drop Lance Stroll, perhaps ease him into their hypercar programme, before his form denies them a Formula 1 title.

On the grid for a sixth season at a Formula 1 team owned by his billionaire father Lawrence Stroll, much has been said – and most of it critical – about Stroll’s performances which last season cost Aston Martin dearly.

Lance Stroll continues to be trounced by Fernando Alonso

Scoring just 74 points to his team-mate Fernando Alonso’s 206, Aston Martin fell to fifth in the teams’ standings. Had Stroll scored even half the number of points of the Spaniard, the team would’ve been fourth. Had he matched Alonso, it would’ve been P3 for the team.

But despite questions about his motivation, F1’s rumour mill at one stage even suggesting he could be off to play tennis, Stroll continues with Aston Martin this season.

And again he’s being trounced by Alonso.

He’s out-qualified the double World Champion once in four race weekends and last time out in Japan exited qualifying at the first hurdle in 16th place while Alonso put his AMR24 put into fifth place on the grid. Alonso has scored 24 points with Stroll on nine.

Aston Martin told to drop Lance Stroll for Yuki Tsunoda

BBC F1 pundit Harry Benjamin reckons it’s time for Aston Martin to make the call to drop the Canadian and instead put Yuki Tsunoda in the car.

He believes with Aston Martin moving onto Honda power in 2026, the Japanese driver would be the perfect replacement.

“Look Fernando Alonso is Fernando Alonso let’s not underestimate that, but he is absolutely wiping the floor, and then some, once again with Lance Stroll,” Benjamin said on the BBC Chequered Flag podcast.

“And Stroll, you don’t get pole positions, you don’t get on the podium in Formula One if you’re a bad driver, but if he were any other driver, he would not still be in Formula One right now based on his last few years of performance.

“He’s only in that team, and we all know why, is because his father owns the team and runs the team.

“Surely, there’s got to be the conversation at some stage unless he dramatically picks up performance – and even with an upgrade this weekend he didn’t have the pace advantage within himself, he said that in his interviews – and you have to wonder how long can he go on within himself doing this and being absolutely beaten every time.

“Aston Martin lost out on a top three position in the Constructors’ Championship last year because they only had one man scoring the points. Okay, Stroll picked up a few points here and there, but he’s not pulling his weight in that team. Fernando Alonso is once again carrying it.

“If Aston Martin wants to become a serious threat in Formula One, they have the facilities and the money to do it, they need a second driver. Well, first of all, they need to hold on to Fernando Alonso, then they need a second driver, who is capable of scoring points and banking them.

“They get Honda power units in 2026 – I would like to make the case for Yuki Tsunoda, if he’s not rated in Red Bull to be promoted or to even stay in that RB team, at the moment he’s trouncing Daniel Ricciardo.

“Okay, I don’t think he’s a World Championship driver. But if he’d been in that second Aston Martin, he would have banked more points than Stroll has so far. The Honda link with Tsunoda is my sort of reasoning for that.”

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Aston Martin could ‘ease’ Lance Stroll into their WEC programme

But told there is no way Lawrence Stroll is going to boot his own son out of his Formula 1 team, Benjamin argued Aston Martin could “gently ease” the 25-year-old over to their World Endurance programme as he is “not” going to win an F1 World title.

In fact, the Briton reckons even if Aston Martin created a championship-winning car, it would be Alonso who would win the Drivers’ title while Stroll’s performances would cost them the Constructors’ title.

“His son is not going to be a World Champion, and that was the reason that he put so much money into him, he wanted Lance Stroll to be a world champion but that is not going to happen. Surely the next step is to make Aston Martin World Champions?” he continued.

“One day let’s say they have a great car Fernando Alonso wins the Drivers’ World Championship for Aston Martin. Aston Martin still ain’t winning the Constructors’ Championship unless he has a season like Max Verstappen had last year.

“The other thing, which may soften the blow slightly if they want to kind of gently ease your son out of an F1 seat, is they have a rather plumb hypercar seat in the World Endurance Championship, which is coming along nicely. And that is a championship that is about to enter a golden era of racing.

“Maybe Stroll might end up there, still within the Aston Martin family, still racing and they might word that so it’s his decision to go. But I just don’t think from a business perspective, you can carry on like that.”

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