As Fernando Alonso continues to lead the Aston Martin charge and Lance Stroll searches for an answer, F1 pundit Peter Windsor says this does not reflect well on Stroll’s former team-mate Sebastian Vettel.
It came as quite the bombshell when four-time World Champion Vettel announced ahead of the 2022 Hungarian Grand Prix that this campaign in Formula 1 would be his last with Aston Martin and in the series as a whole.
Up to that point Aston Martin had been a team largely battling in the midfield with Vettel and Stroll at the wheel, Vettel scoring a best finish of P2 with the team at the Azerbaijan GP, and while Vettel did outscore Stroll across both of their seasons as team-mates, the performance level between both drivers was generally close.
Fernando Alonso inadvertently downplaying Sebastian Vettel
The same cannot be said though for Stroll and his new team-mate Alonso, the two-time champ having been brought in to replace Vettel as Aston Martin took a major step towards their future goal of fighting for titles, with the team now battling Mercedes and Ferrari for P2 in the F1 2023 Constructors’ standings.
Alonso has featured on the podium six times in the opening eight races, including a pair of P2 finishes, while Stroll so far has managed a single P4 finish as his best for the season, already trailing his decorated team-mate by 80 points.
Former Ferrari and Williams team manager Windsor then feels this is not a good look at all for Vettel who, in his time at Aston Martin, was hard to judge on whether he had actually rediscovered performance after an alarming decline to end his Ferrari tenure.
Speaking about Stroll on his latest YouTube livestream, Windsor said: “He’s actually looking worse against Alonso than anyone he’s ever had next to him, isn’t he?
“Which says a lot about Fernando, and doesn’t say much about Sebastian Vettel actually.”
Could Lance Stroll leave Aston Martin?
Team owner Lawrence Stroll seems to be hurtling towards having to make a very difficult choice, that being between his team and son. If Aston Martin are to deliver the title success which he and sponsors have ultimately signed up for, then Lance really needs to step up his game.
Even if he had half of Alonso’s F1 2023 points, it would place the team P2 in the current Constructors’ standings, rather than trailing Mercedes.
A fan then would ask Windsor if Lance could perhaps join another team so Aston Martin could bring in a stronger team-mate to Alonso?
After initial laughter, Windsor said: “Wouldn’t that be funny if Lance Stroll told his old man that he was leaving Aston Martin to go and drive for, I don’t know, whatever, Red Bull.
“Leaving the old man running the team that he’s created and bought purely to enable his son to go racing. It would be funny, that’s all you can say.”
But to answer the question, Windsor cannot see a scenario where Lance leaves, considering he does not believe the Canadian racer would have landed a seat without his father’s efforts in the first place.
“But no, I don’t think that will happen,” Windsor continued.
“Because the whole reason that Lawrence Stroll is in Formula 1 and bought that team and created that whole thing is in order to give his son Lance a drive, I’m not sure Lance would have got to drive anywhere else, so end of story really.”
The next F1 2023 battleground to tackle is the Red Bull Ring, a home circuit for Formula 1’s current dominant force Red Bull as Alonso sets about taking another shot at claiming that long-awaited career victory number 33.