More Lance Stroll commitment questions raised after ‘rookie errors’ in F1

Oliver Harden
Lance Stroll pulls a face with a prominent Aston Martin logo alongside him

Lance Stroll's commitment to F1 has once again been questioned after a poor mistake at the Chinese Grand Prix

Sky F1’s David Croft has questioned Lance Stroll’s desire to remain in F1, claiming the Aston Martin driver “sometimes doesn’t look like he wants to be there” after a “rookie error” at the Chinese Grand Prix.

Stroll has been heavily criticised after a mistake behind the Safety Car in Shanghai, in which he piled into the back of Daniel Ricciardo’s RB ahead of the restart.

Lance Stroll’s Aston Martin F1 future under scrutiny

The Canadian showed little remorse in the aftermath of the incident with Stroll’s nonplussed reaction incurring the wrath of Ricciardo, who remarked “f**k that guy” after being informed that Stroll had referred to him as an “idiot” over team radio.

Appearing on the Sky F1 podcast, Croft is alarmed that Stroll is still making “rookie errors” eight years after arriving in F1 with Williams in 2017.

But with his father Lawrence the owner of the Aston Martin team, he believes Stroll’s place in F1 is assured as long as he wants to continue.

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He said: “Why is Lance under pressure, other than the pressure of driving for a Formula 1 team? If he wants to stay around, he stays around surely.

“The team has been built around him – and there’s nothing wrong with that whatsoever – but if he wants to stay in Formula 1, he stays in Formula 1.

“That’s why his dad has invested so heavily into the facilities there and into that team, he wants his son to be to be a grand prix winner and to maybe have a chance of winning a World Championship.

“Does he want to stay? I honestly don’t know the answer to that. Sometimes he doesn’t look like he wants to be there and sometimes he does.

“Sometimes he puts in a terrific performance and other times he makes the sort of rookie error that you don’t expect from a guy in his eighth season in Formula 1.

“I honestly don’t know what the situation is. I hope Lance is around to stay and I hope that he’s enjoying being in Formula 1 because, quite frankly, you’ve got to enjoy it because it is surely one of the greatest jobs in the world and you’re one of the privileged 20 to be doing that week in, week out.

“But that was that was a poor mistake.”

Croft’s fellow contributor, presenter Christian Hewgill, claimed that Stroll was “defending the indefensible” by pinning the blame on Ricciardo.

And he questioned whether Stroll is in the “right headspace” after lagging behind team-mate Fernando Alonso in the early weeks of 2024.

He said: “Even at karting level, you are taught from minute one that you focus on the bumper of the guy in front of you. It’s grassroots stuff.

“Looking over to the right, you’re defending the indefensible there. He’d have far more sympathy [if he just owned up to it]. Mistakes happen.

“And we’ve seen people spin under the safety car, spin on the formation lap, Max [Verstappen] put it in the wall on the way to the grid [at Hungary 2020] – things happen.

“You’d have far more respect if you’d just gone: ‘Actually, that was my mistake.’

“He started the season fairly promisingly and a little bit closer to Fernando and then that’s dipped again, and he’s a world away from Fernando.

“How much does that take a toll on your mentality?

“I wonder if Lance is in the right headspace at the moment, because you would think he would come out of that situation and go: ‘Let’s cool down, I need to hold my hands up, I’ve made a mistake.’

“But he didn’t do that and that’s the most disappointing thing for me, not the mistake itself.”

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