Fernando Alonso lifts lid on Aston Martin dynamic with ‘whole project around Lance Stroll’

Michelle Foster
Fernando Alonso and Lawrence Stroll smiling

Lawrence Stroll is a "racer" says Fernando Alonso.

Despite Mike Krack’s claim the Aston Martin project was built around Lance Stroll, Fernando Alonso says there’s more to it with team owner Lawrence Stroll “a racer” who wants to succeed.

After Alonso surprised the paddock when he announced days after the Japanese Grand Prix that he’s re-signed with Aston Martin, questions were asked about his team-mate.

‘I think what he has done with this team is probably unprecedented’

Although Stroll could be called the most secure driver on the F1 grid given his billionaire father Lawrence owns the team, pundits continue to ponder whether he actually wants to be a Formula 1 driver as he continues to be trounced by Alonso.

Team boss Krack responded to that, saying: “Aston Martin is Lance’s home. We know that and the whole project has always been around him.

“So we look for continuity. I’ve always that that is very important. So we will see in the next weeks.”

But with Krack’s ‘whole project’ comment in mind, David Croft questioned whether the team boss’ defence of Stroll’s indefensible crash in China was out of fear of losing the Canadian, and his father.

“This is almost like, ‘We’re going to back Lance because we want him to stay with the team’,” said the Sky commentator.

Alonso though has implied there’s more to Lawrence Stroll’s ownership of the Aston Martin team than a safe landing spot for his son’s F1 ambitions.

“He’s a great man, great boss and a great owner of the brand,” the double World Champion told Channel 4.

“I think at the end Lawrence is a racer, one of us, and loves motor racing, loves cars.

“I think what he has done with this team is just probably unprecedented. Taking it from Racing Point, Force India, and taking everything to the highest level possible. And now we are fighting with Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren and Red Bull.

“So to have leading the project someone that loves racing is very rewarding for everyone.”

PlanetF1.com recommends

F1 penalty points: Aston Martin lead F1’s naughty list after penalty-fuelled Chinese GP

Sorry Lance Stroll, but is it really that difficult to apologise for driving into Daniel Ricciardo?

Alonso talks up Stroll’s contribution to development

Since joining Aston Martin last season, Alonso has been quick to praise his younger team-mate and was again talking up Stroll’s contribution to the team in the build-up to the Chinese Grand Prix weekend.

According to the Spaniard, Stroll is “more sensitive” to any issues the car is experiencing whereas he can drive around the problem.

That means, based on Stroll’s feedback, Aston Martin are able to make changes to reach the “100 per cent” potential of the car.

“Lance and myself, we are trying to help the team as much as we can,” he said. “I think we have two different driving styles in some conditions, we have two different feelings with the car.

“I think Lance is a lot more sensitive to things than what I am, which is very important for the team. I think the analysis that Lance can reach and can feed back to the team is crucial to us and to improve the car.

“I’m a little bit un-sensitive to things sometimes and this is not a good thing. We are both trying to help Aston as much as we can and I think the direction that we develop the car and we normally finalise the set-ups on a weekend and it’s exactly the same.

“So, we arrive at the same conclusions, maybe in a different way, and I think those two different styles are just a good thing for Aston.”

He added: “Sometimes I drive the car around the problems that we have, and that’s sometimes a good thing because I can drive any car at any moment and extract 90 per cent of it.

“But to reach 100 per cent of the potential of the car, sometimes I’m not able to do [that] without sometimes the help from my team-mate on special details on the set-up or balance problems here and there.

“So, I think we benefit from each other in many different ways and this is a good thing at the moment.”

Read next: Two drivers named in brutal ‘half of the field does not belong in F1’ verdict