Is Lance Stroll worth $18 million, because that’s what he’s cost Aston Martin so far this season in the Constructors’ Championship (*salary and crash damage not included).
And that’s just the beginning with a potential 10-year pay-day on the line.
In a season in which new Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso has scored 170 points, his teammate Stroll has just 47 on the board with the Canadian yet to bring in a big haul through a podium result.
Lance Stroll has the biggest points percentage deficit outside Williams and Haas
Even more worrying, is that the gulf between the teammates seems to be on the rise with Alonso scoring 71 points since the Spanish Grand Prix, the last time Stroll beat him on a Sunday, while Stroll has brought in just 12.
With Alonso responsible for 78 percent of Aston Martin’s points, and Stroll only 22, it’s clear which of the two is the weak link in the Aston Martin attack. It’s also clear who’s responsible for the team not retaining their early-season P2 in the standings.
Last time out at Monza, almost unnoticed in the midst of Max Verstappen’s record-breaking 10 on the trot and Ferrari’s late-race argy-bargy, the Scuderia leapfrogged Aston Martin in the teams’ standings.
Having lost second place to Mercedes at the Spanish Grand Prix, and now trailing them by 56 points, Aston Martin lost another position at the Italian Grand Prix as Ferrari surged 11 points ahead.
Imagine if Stroll was on a par with Alonso, or even just a position or two behind him, that would be a hefty chunk of points coming Aston Martin’s way. But alas he isn’t, and those points aren’t.
Stroll can argue bad luck all he wants, the driver saying “more than my injury we probably got hurt more by bad fortune on the track”, but the numbers point towards a deficit that even luck – or the lack thereof – cannot account for.
His team boss Mike Krack has defended the driver, not for the first time either, telling the media including PlanetF1.com: “There is not a marked gap in performance – there is a marked gap in points. It’s important to separate between the two.”
He added: “I think, in general, between drivers, there is always a certain gap that you would say is, I would say not normal, but circumstantial.”
But when do the excuses no longer distract from reality, and in Stroll’s case it is a costly reality at that, starting at around $18m give or take a couple of cents.
The price of Lance Stroll’s struggles
Based on the premises that Stroll has single-handedly cost Aston Martin second place in the Constructors’ Championship, and the above attests to that, that means he’s denied them a few bob in prize money.
By the terms of the Concorde Agreement, the document that governs the running of the sport including the distribution of prize money, the top team in the Constructors’ Championship receives 14 percent of the total prize pot, and the bottom team receives six percent. This agreement is locked in until January 2025.
For 2023 it is estimated that the total prize pot that will be split amongst the teams will be worth $900 million, it could even be more such in Formula 1’s growing popularity.
That means Red Bull, already with one hand and a pinkie on the teams’ trophy, can look forward to a $126m pay-out with second place receiving $117m, third place $108m, and fourth place only $99m. As for P5, that’s worth $90m.
And then there’s also extra money for teams who have finished inside the top three in the past 10 years. As that stands today, that’s Red Bull, Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren, and Williams. That overall figure is, according to The Race, 20% of what Formula 1 makes over $650m with the sport said to be bringing in $2b this year.
Crunching the numbers that’s $18m Stroll has denied the team from the Constructors’ prize pot while Aston Martin are now also out of the running for a share of roughly $67.5m for next season, and the next nine. The exact split for this is not known but it could be divided equally amongst those teams, so let’s call it $11m.
That’s $29m (again, salary and crash damage not included)!
So never mind an $18m driver, is Stroll worth $29m? That’s a question Lawrence Stroll’s investors have to ask the driver’s father.