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

Michelle Foster
Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll arms crossed in a press conference

Lance Stroll with arms crossed in press conference.

Kees van der Grint believes “half of the field” of F1 drivers do not belong in the sport, with Lance Stroll and Zhou Guanyu singled out by the former Bridgestone engineer.

Stroll, not for the first time in his Formula 1 career, made headlines for all the wrong reasons in China when he crashed into Daniel Ricciardo and Oscar Piastri while behind the Safety Car.

‘Half of the field does not belong in the field at all’

The Canadian blamed those ahead of him for checking up sharply, but as Piastri put it, “but everyone else didn’t crash into each other”. As for Ricciardo, the Honey Badger went with a more salient “f*ck that guy” response.

Stroll, slapped with a 10-second penalty for causing a collision, finished the Grand Prix in 15th place, one spot behind China’s Zhou Guanyu.

Although the Kick-Sauber driver was hailed by F1 bosses for his influence with the race said to be sold out, Zhou wasn’t able to celebrate with a points-scoring finish, not in the Grand Prix nor the Saturday Sprint.

Van der Grint wasn’t holding back.

“I have often said, I don’t understand why he is still running,” he said of Stroll, whose continued longevity at Aston Martin has kept 2022 F2 champion Felipe Drugovich in a reserve driver role at the team.

“There must be flow. It cannot of course be the case that the Formula 2 champion does not enter Formula 1.”

As for Zhou, he said: “We don’t really know yet how good it is, but he is also there because of commercial interests. I can name a few more, but we have to accept this, because that’s how it is.”

He added to Viaplay’s ‘In de Slipstream’: “It is simply a fact that half of the field does not belong in the field at all. They are there because of commercial interests, or you could say money. We have to live with that.” recommends

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Lance Stroll’s excuse ‘interests or actually irritates’

But while his fellow analyst Rudy van Buren wasn’t so quick to disparage Stroll, after all there are moments when he is “fast”, he wasn’t impressed with the Aston Martin driver’s excuses.

“Come on,” he said. “The man occasionally does things with a racing car that makes you think okay, he can be fast. But the downsides are also so clear.

“The initial reaction – which interests or actually irritates me – when he drove into the rear was that he puts on his brakes.

“But he just looks the other way when you see the onboard. It’s a hairpin, there’s always going to be a concertina effect there. He just doesn’t pay attention.

“The story that follows. The feedback that yes he hit the brakes. That’s not possible! I won’t quote everything – it was mentioned in enough places – but come on. Put your hand up, you drove into the car in front.

“Even if there is a concertina effect, whoever is riding behind is at fault.”

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