Fernando Alonso’s “ridiculously over the top” assistance towards Lance Stroll will come to an abrupt end the day his team-mate beats him on merit, predicts Peter Windsor.
Alonso has, as Max Verstappen put it, been Stroll’s coach this season with the double World Champion not only offering advice during grands prix but also encouragement with Alonso saying he’s doing it because one day Stroll will be Aston Martin’s team leader.
It has been noted by some pundits that this is not the Alonso of yesteryear, however, the Spaniard insists he’s always been a team player but those radio messages weren’t the ones F1 chose to air.
Seven races into this season and Alonso is leading his team-mate 6-1 in both qualifying and grands prix with Stroll having pulled one back at the Spanish Grand Prix after a broken floor in qualifying hampered Alonso’s chances.
Starting three places behind Stroll, Alonso crossed the line less than a second after his team-mate, having opted not to attack him in the final few laps despite being within DRS range.
Former Ferrari and Williams team manager Windsor believes it’s only a matter of time before the “perfect team-mate” persona implodes.
“Fernando at the moment is being ridiculously over the top about trying to help Lance Stroll, partly because Lance is struggling and partly because he knows it’s good for his currency with Lance’s old man,” he told his YouTube channel.
“You can read it a mile away.
“But there’s Fernando trying to be the perfect team-mate to help Lance along.
“Yeah right,” he added sarcastically.
“You wait, the day Lance Stroll out-qualifies Fernando Alonso [on merit], let’s see how nice Fernando is about Lance on the day.”
The 71-year-old also weighed in on Stroll’s future with the team as, even though his father Lawrence owns Aston Martin, his results compared to Alonso have many wondering if he deserves the race seat.
Stroll has yet to reach the podium this season while Alonso has five champagne celebrations to his name, the latter having scored 99 points to the Canadian’s 38.
Windsor reckons the next race or two, which include the driver’s home race in Canada, could be key to Stroll’s future.
“I think we may see Aston doing something about this because I can’t see that Lawrence is going to let it go on for too much longer,” he replied.
“My theory, and I repeat it is only a theory, is they’re going to change Stroll’s set-up and see how he goes with less going on at the rear of the car which Fernando loves but Lance doesn’t.
“To me, it is interesting that the minute Alonso arrived, even though the car is better than it was last year, Stroll’s gone off the boil.
“And that can only to be with something about the way Alonso has that car set up. That’s my line of reasoning.
“Let’s wait and see in the next race or two.
“Obviously it’s the Canadian Grand Prix coming up so ‘we better get our act together with Lawrence’, this is what the Aston Martin guys are thinking about their boss, ‘we better put on a good show in Canada’.”