Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll is rumoured to be considering leaving F1 to become a professional tennis star, it has been claimed.
The Canadian has enjoyed a respectable level of success since arriving on the grid with Williams in 2017, claiming three podium finishes and memorably setting pole position for the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix, but is yet to prove his credentials as a potential World Champion.
Having measured up well alongside four-time title winner Sebastian Vettel in 2021/22, Stroll has struggled alongside two-time World Champion Fernando Alonso in 2023.
Lance Stroll: From Monaco to Wimbledon?
While Alonso has six podium finishes to his name this season, Stroll is yet to finish higher than fourth and sits a massive 102 points behind his team-mate in the Drivers’ standings ahead of this weekend’s Dutch GP.
Stroll’s commitment has been regularly questioned throughout his seven-year F1 career, with rumours growing that he may be set to walk away from the sport.
Appearing on The Race podcast, respected journalist Ben Anderson – the former editor of the GP Racing magazine – referenced rumours that Stroll is contemplating a sensational switch to tennis.
And he identified AlphaTauri drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda, plus Williams’ Alex Albon and McLaren rookie Oscar Piastri, as potential replacements.
Anderson said: “[Stroll] is too far behind Alonso but, really, he’s only likely to leave that team voluntarily – he’s on a rolling contract in his dad’s organisation.
“There’s been some rumours floating around that he’s considering a switch to tennis, so if he makes a career switch like that that opens up the seat.
“That said, I don’t think he’s keeping anyone off the grid who truly belongs there, I just think maybe he should be slightly lower down.
“If the seat were theoretically to come up for 2024/25, [there’s] probably a few ahead of Daniel Ricciardo in that queue: Albon, Tsunoda has already been mentioned as somebody Honda [Aston Martin’s engine partner from 2026] would potentially like to bring onboard down the line.
“Even someone like Oscar Piastri, who’s making waves as a rookie: once his original McLaren contract comes up he’d be someone you’d look at very seriously, especially in Aston Martin’s situation when you’ve got Alonso as established team leader but ageing and not likely to continue much beyond ’25.
“So Ricciardo, yes, big commercial appeal and popularity – but he’s got a long way to go still to restore his reputation to really compete for a top drive, although he would be a credible asset to most F1 teams.”
The departure of Stroll would likely raise major questions over the future of the Aston Martin team, which is owned by the 24-year-old’s father Lawrence.
Mr Stroll rescued the Silverstone-based team – then Force India – from administration in 2018, signing his son for the following season before embarking on an ambitious mission to build a title-winning force.
Having rebranded the team as Aston Martin at the start of 2021, Stroll committed to the building of a new state-of-the-art factory, which opened earlier this year, with the team making a significant leap forward in performance in 2023.
However, Aston Martin’s performance on track is said to be covering up the struggles of the luxury road car company, which Stroll has owned since January 2020.
In March it emerged that Aston Martin had suffered losses of £495million in 2022, up from £213.8m the previous year.