JV: Stroll finding out F1 not like running ‘watch brand’

Michelle Foster
Aston Martin working on Lance Stroll's car. Australia April 2022

Aston Martin working on Lance Stroll's car. Australia April 2022

With Aston Martin the only team yet to score this season, Jacques Villeneuve is the latest to claim that Lawrence Stroll is out of his depth.

Stroll bought the Force India team back in 2018, and it is fair to say he was buying a Formula 1 team that was known for punching above its weight.

But, as of Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix, they have now suffered their first run of five races without a single point since 2009.

Villeneuve, the 1997 Formula One World Champion, says the buck stops with team owner Lawrence Stroll.

“Running a team takes more than just money,” he told Formule1.nl, “as Lawrence Stroll is now finding out with Aston Martin.

“It is not a clothing chain or a watch brand, because it is much more complicated. Especially if you’re running a team for your son, finding solutions becomes all the more complicated.”

Both Lance Stroll, the team owner’s son, and Sebastian Vettel had weekends to forget in Melbourne, both drivers crashing in FP3 before Stroll had a second accident in qualifying.

Vettel had his second of the weekend during the grand prix, a race in which his team-mate was penalised for weaving on the straight.

“Looking at this weekend you saw that Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll kept getting into trouble,” said JV.

“Stroll’s incident with Latifi in qualifying was just embarrassing. He also once blamed the track for the crash, which was perhaps the strangest explanation for a crash ever.

“And in the race we saw that Stroll really does use his mirrors given his swing tactics.”

As for Vettel, the 51-year-old reckons the four-time World Champion would rather be sitting at home.

“Team-mate Vettel is clearly not having a good time, I think he would rather be at home,” he said. “He has also made mistakes at Ferrari, but his slippers this weekend do not suit his stature.”

With the four crashes, the Australian Grand Prix was an expensive one for Aston Martin compounded by their lack of points leaving them P10 in the Constructors’ Championship.


“They were not big hits, no chassis was lost, but technically they are ticks,” said Villeneuve. “Sponsors don’t like that, aside for the damage, it also costs money because of the missed points.

“The question now is, what is big boss Lawrence Stroll doing? If he treats his drivers the way he does business, those are not nice conversations.

“The atmosphere in the factory must also be to die for [sic], you are currently not welcomed there with a smile.

“In the long run it is not an easy situation to solve, they have built a car comparable to a Williams or a Haas. Only those other teams managed to do it with less budget.”


PlanetF1 verdict


Is Stroll out of his depth with Aston Martin F1 team

Jacques Villeneuve has said Aston Martin team boss Lawrence Stroll is out of his depths with the team and that running an F1 team takes more than just money.