Lance Stroll blasted after Q1 exit reaction, Alonso resigned to McLaren fate – F1 news round-up

Henry Valantine
Lance Stroll in the Qatar paddock. F1 news

Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll in the paddock at Lusail.

Friday was full of F1 news, as the Qatar Grand Prix weekend flew into life at the Lusail International Circuit.

With it being a Sprint weekend, one sole practice session was followed by qualifying on Friday evening, and there was plenty of drama to digest as Max Verstappen gears up to seal his third consecutive World Championship.

Let’s not make you wait any longer for your daily dose of F1 news, let’s dive straight in.

Lance Stroll angrily reacts after Q1 exit in Qatar

After qualifying 17th on Friday, another Q1 exit for Lance Stroll proved to be a step too far for the Canadian as he reacted with fury after getting back into the garage.

First throwing his steering wheel out of the car, he appeared to shove his personal trainer as he tried to leave the garage, before giving a series of one-word, blunt answers in his post-qualifying interviews.

With team-mate Fernando Alonso right on the pace throughout qualifying, that will no doubt have rubbed salt into the proverbial wound as he watched on from the sidelines for the rest of the session.

Read more: Angry Lance Stroll clashes with trainer after latest Q1 exit in Qatar

Fernando Alonso admits ‘McLaren will overtake us’ in Constructors’ battle

On the other side of the Aston Martin garage, Fernando Alonso made it into the top two rows for the first time in several races, but he admitted that the team are fighting a losing battle against a resurgent McLaren.

The heavily-upgraded MCL60 has established itself as the most likely challenger to Red Bull in the second half of the season, but even though Aston Martin still hold a 49-point advantage over McLaren, Alonso is not sure his team will hold onto P4 in the Constructors’ standings.

“I mean, they have the momentum now, they’re scoring a lot of points, both cars, and they are very strong,” Alonso told reporters after qualifying.

“Eventually they will overtake us, we will have to accept it and say well done to them. But so far, we’re still in front and we will try to defend every race.”

Read more: Fernando Alonso resigned to McLaren fate despite Qatar qualifying resurgence

Lance Stroll behaviour slammed as ‘totally inappropriate’

Sky Sports F1 pundit Naomi Schiff reacted to Stroll’s outburst in the moments after it took place, and believes it’s no way for a driver to treat the team around them.

“Multiple poor performances in a row. On one hand, you look at this in slow motion, I mean, he really puts a lot of energy into that shove,” Schiff said on Sky Sports F1.

“And that’s really totally inappropriate. You cannot be behaving that way, no matter how disappointing your day has been.

“Those are the people who work to get you on track to make it happen for you. You can’t be treating your team like that. It’s one thing to have a bad day, come out of the car and apologise, but to come out and act that way, it’s just not good enough.”

Read more: Lance Stroll blasted for ‘totally inappropriate’ behaviour towards his trainer

Max Verstappen wants sprint change after taking Qatar pole

Another qualifying session, another pole for Max Verstappen, but the three-time World Champion-in-waiting expressed his view that the strict parc fermé rules in use on Sprint weekends should be relaxed in some form.

Currently, the three hours of practice used on regular race weekends are dropped to one before car setups are locked following qualifying, and Verstappen hopes to see some flexibility brought in for when drivers and teams need to make significant changes to their cars.

“It can also be that sometimes – and we’ve had it in the past – you make a few decisions where you think it’s going to be OK and then it doesn’t work out and then your whole weekend is ruined because you can’t touch the car,” he explained after qualifying.

“I think that is a bit of a shame and that’s maybe something we have to look into for the future if we want to continue doing these kinds of events.”

Read more: Max Verstappen calls for major change to F1’s sprint format despite Qatar pole

Williams wade into Andretti debate with strong words

Williams team principal James Vowles spoke vehemently against the idea of another team joining Formula 1, given the state of Williams’ finances.

Williams announced a substantial loss for 2022 this week, and the team boss wants to see all of the current teams on a stable financial footing before the grid expands even further.

“My thoughts are very clear: Williams is against the addition of an 11th team, we’re very strongly against,” Vowles told reporters in Qatar.

“Everyone says ‘well, we’re in a good place.’ We are in some regards, but now this is tens of millions, in fact hundreds of millions, you’ll see shortly being invested to make the sport better.

“It becomes therefore clear why we’re very careful about diluting what we’ve already got because it’s just more losses on the table and we’ve been clear from the beginning: More than happy to bring in new entities, but the pie has to grow as a result of it, not shrink – and so far it’s just shrinking.

“For clarity on that, that’s not against either Andretti or GM, quite the opposite. I welcome GM [with] open arms and Williams [welcomes] GM with open arms and I hope to forge a relationship with them should things not work out. They are an incredible entity that I think will make the sport better.

“So it’s not that we’re close-minded to more people coming to the sport, but what we’re very careful on is protecting the sport we have right now.”

Read more: Williams ‘very strongly against’ Andretti F1 bid in fresh wave of resistance