Lance Stroll addresses the haters who don’t believe he belongs in F1

Henry Valantine
Lance Stroll in the paddock. Miami May 2023.

Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll walks in the paddock in Hard Rock Stadium. Miami May 2023.

Lance Stroll believes there is a “big group of people” who don’t give him “the credit that I’m due” for the Formula 1 career he has had to date, given his personal circumstances.

Stroll has faced the label of ‘pay-driver’ for much of his career, given how father Lawrence was able to finance his junior career, along with bringing him to ‘Team Silverstone’, then known as Racing Point, after two years with Williams when he led a consortium of investors in the team.

Stroll Sr is now owner of the Silverstone-based outfit, now Aston Martin, and his son has entered his fifth season with the team, partnering Fernando Alonso for the first time in 2023.

There have been significant highlights in Stroll’s career to date, namely a pole position in slippery conditions in Turkey in 2020 and three podium finishes, but he feels that has not stopped his detractors due to his background.

When asked if he feels within himself if he is an ‘underrated’ Formula 1 driver, the 24-year-old said he finds motivation from knowing within himself when he has done the best job possible, and is the first to be self-critical when he has not.

“I think I’ve definitely had good results, been on pole, finished on the podium, I’ve been in the points a lot,” Stroll told Sky Sports F1.

“I think naturally there’s a big group of people that, because of my background, where I come from, kind of don’t support me or don’t give me the credit that I’m due.

“I think that I’ve recognised that over the years and tried not to pay so much attention to that because it’s negative energy and I like to surround myself with positive energy.

“When I know that I did a good job and I got the most out of the car, whether people see that or they don’t see that, I don’t really care – because I know myself inside like, ‘yeah, today you did a good job, Lance – or you didn’t’.

“I’m the first one to be super hard on myself when I don’t do well. I’m too hard on myself sometimes.

“For me, there’s no better feeling than putting it together on a Saturday and delivering on a Sunday, and when I have those weekends, that’s the best feeling in the world. That’s what keeps me going, and that’s what keeps me out there racing.” recommends

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Former Aston Martin strategy director Bernie Collins, who worked with Stroll during her time with the team, echoed the view that the Canadian has not received the credit he has perhaps deserved in Formula 1 to date.

But having had two multiple World Champions as his most recent team-mates in Sebastian Vettel and now GivAlonso, what he will have learned from them will only help him in his own driving as well.

“I think he’s been judged a bit harshly,” Collins explained in Azerbaijan. “One of the problems has been the drivers he’s been racing against have always been underrated as well.

“So, when he was doing so well against Checo, maybe Checo wasn’t given the strength that he should be and now [he is] at Red Bull.

“Lance works really hard. He’s always in there going through the data on a Sunday morning, he would spend a lot of time with the strategists understanding what the plan for the strategy was, what we were aiming to do at the weekend and contributed in his own way what he felt from the tyres.

“So, I think he has been harshly judged and over time with the experience, the knowledge he gained from Sebastian and what I’m sure he’s gaining now with Alonso, he’s really coming on as a driver. I think we’re starting to see that this year.”