Szafnauer: Stroll ‘one of the most gifted drivers in modern F1’

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Lance Stroll walkin. Netherlands September 2021

Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll walking through the Zandvoort paddock. Netherlands September 2021

Otmar Szafnauer says Lance Stroll is “one of the most gifted drivers in modern Formula 1” following confirmation of the Canadian’s renewal. 

While there was some speculation regarding the latter’s future, it was widely assumed that Aston Martin would keep their current pairing of Stroll and Sebastian Vettel for the 2022 campaign, and that has now been confirmed.

Of the two, Vettel has been the slightly stronger driver so far in 2021, scoring 11 points more and standing on the podium, and if he stays ahead, it will extend Stroll’s run of being out-scored by a team-mate in every season since joining the grid in 2017.

Despite this record though, team boss Szafnauer says that the Canadian is one of the most talented drivers around.

“Lance is one of the most gifted drivers in modern Formula 1, and to that raw talent he is now adding serious racecraft,” he said.

“A four-time world champion, having driven 271 Grands Prix, of which he has won 53, Sebastian is also a massive asset to our team, and next year we expect both of them to race well in what will be a very different formula from the current one.

“We never under-estimate our opposition, so we do not intend to over-promise, but we know that Lance and Sebastian will get the very best from the tools we will put at their disposal.”

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The 2021 campaign hasn’t exactly gone to plan for the team formerly known as Racing Point, with them dropping down to the bottom of the midfield pecking order, currently sitting in P7 in the Constructors’ Championship, after often being the best of the rest last season.

Lawrence Stroll, Lance’s father and the team owner, puts that down to the regulation changes in the aerodynamics department though and is happy with how his drivers are performing.

“The first-ever season for Aston Martin has got off to a disappointing start, owing to the regulatory changes over the winter that disadvantaged the two teams whose cars utilise a low-rake aero philosophy,” he said.

“But we have made good progress over the past few months, and both Lance and Sebastian have delivered some excellent performances.

“They have had more than their fair share of bad luck, but in 2022 we are delighted to be continuing with such an excellent blend of youthful talent and experienced expertise.”