Lance Stroll, Racing Point, Monza, 2020

Vettel and Stroll will get equal treatment at Aston Martin – Szafnauer

2020 Tuscan Grand Prix Ferrari 1000

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Sebastian Vettel will be allowed to beat Lance Stroll when the pair become team mates next year, Racing Point team principal Otmar Szafnauer has confirmed.

However Szafnauer said the team never considered the possibility of dropping Lance Stroll, son of team owner Lawrence, to make way for the Ferrari driver.

Racing Point announced yesterday Vettel will replace Sergio Perez in the team’s line-up. Perez will make way for Stroll despite emphatically out-scoring and out-qualifying him in their first season as team mates last year.

“Lance has been with us for a couple of years, he’s a young man at 21 years old, and his father does own the team,” said Szafnauer. “So when we looked to make a driver change because Sebastian became available, it would have been Checo. There are options in his contract and those options didn’t exist for Lance.”

Vettel will not be required to play second fiddle to his new team mate, Szafnauer said. “We’ve always allowed our drivers to race each other, and that’ll be the same in the future.”

He believes Vettel will be “a perfect fit” for the team when it becomes Aston Martin next year.

“He’s 33 years old, he’s still in the prime of his career. He’s got a vast amount of experience. He’s still highly motivated to do well. He works really hard. And we believe with our team and what we want to take it to, the level that we want to get to, Seb’s a perfect fit for that. And I’m confident that he’ll race well.”

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2020 Tuscan Grand Prix Ferrari 1000

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...

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29 comments on “Vettel and Stroll will get equal treatment at Aston Martin – Szafnauer”

  1. “However Szafnauer said the team never considered the possibility of dropping Lance Stroll, son of team owner Lawrence, to make way for the Ferrari driver.”

    This is an astonishing reveal by Omar over this team and while not unexpected, it’s ridiculous that Lance is as bulletproof as he is given his performances compared to Perez. A week after losing a race win, no less. Four seasons into his career, the lad should definitely not be treated as if he were the next Verstappen or Leclerc, or the next Norris or Russell as far as his results have shown.

    I think a lot of people can relate to the boss’s son getting preferential treatment over qualified personnel, but at this level of sports you’d expect an extra level of genuine debate when considering who to give one of your race seats to.

    1. Well it’s a private team… They can do what they want.

    2. Jose Lopes da Silva
      11th September 2020, 15:16

      You don’t do that anymore. The number of people stating that “Stroll is not that bad” is increasing. They say that Ayrton Senna was also born in a rich family.
      I just don’t know if it’s the same that bash Red Bull for firing their drivers regularly. But hopes for meritocracy, which were always Slim, are now decreasing even more.

      1. Senna’ s dad didn’t own the team, if Lance wasn’t a stroll he wouldn’t be in F1..he is a example of the F1 today …with enough money and support ,private racing lessons ECT ect anyone can make F1 or any car racing… technology and Sim has taken away “Raw God Given Talent” and the hard yards of F1.. Brabham even said this about his sons!!..MotoGP will never be like F1 because it’s talent and balls!!

        1. go watch motogp then, and forget F1…? it’s an easy fix

    3. Stroll is 4th in the championship and has been pretty good this year. Its not strolls fault that for most of his f1 career he has had rubbish cars.

      1. Jesper Fomsgaard
        11th September 2020, 18:14

        Agree – Stroll is underrated, he is better than his reputation.

      2. But it is his fault that he’s almost always under-performing, with some (very) lucky fine results (but in four years…). He couldn’t even reach Q2 last year, in “rubbish” Force India car. Always bad car you say? The only bad car he was in was Williams, and not so during his first season.

  2. he’s a young man at 21 years old, and his father does own the team,” said Szafnauer

    Such a sad statement.

    1. Then you might find this even more sad: ‘he’s 30 years old and his sugardaddy partially funds the team’. Especially when finding out that a young 21yo up and coming talent is about to equal or beat him this year.

      I still think there are too many Stroll haters (jealousy?) who are not looking at what he is achieving, but merely where he is coming from.
      I don’t see Stroll as the next Verstappen or Leclerc, but he is already outperforming quite a few other drivers and he is still improving. Good addition to F1 IYAM.

    2. Then you might find this even more sad: ‘he’s 30 years old and his sug@rd@ddy partially funds the team’. Especially when finding out that a young 21yo up and coming talent is about to equal or beat him this year.

      I still think there are too many Stroll h@ters (jealousy?) who are not looking at what he is achieving, but merely where he is coming from.
      I don’t see Stroll as the next Verstappen or Leclerc, but he is already outperforming quite a few other drivers and he is still improving. Good addition to F1 IYAM.

    3. If it wasn’t for Lance Stroll Force India could have been broken up and sold in bits and pieces, so we’d now have just 9 teams competing instead of 10. Because Lance was involved in F1 Lawrence was close enough to the action that he saw a business opportunity and bought up Force India’s assets. I suspect this has contributed to his involvement with Aston Martin too. I’m looking forward to seeing what Lawrence’s top designers can do with a super car.

  3. Given his performance relative to Perez?
    Stroll is ahead in the standings and they don’t need Perez’s money.

    Sensible decision.

    1. what performance? the only reason he has more points then Perez is because of Perez’s bad luck and Strolls undeniable good luck in no way he is outperforming him, stroll to me is actually doing a mediocre job when you consider the car he has, he lost a race win and even a 2nd place do to lack of skill Checo would of won the race is his position

  4. If they were interested in fair treatment, or winning for that matter, Lance Stroll would not be driving for them

    1. Why? Lance stroll is 4th in the championship. Is it strolls fault that for most of his time in f1 he has had rubbish cars? I’m not even a lance fan but the criticism he gets is so unbelievable sometimes. Stroll received more criticism from f1 pundits for not winning in monza than bottas actually got.

  5. Although he is performing well this season, it’s ludicrous that Lance’s contract is bullet proof and the better performing driver over multiple years is dropped, it’s also a big middle finger at the man who started the process to enable the team to be up for sale in the 1st place. They may be happy to have Vettel but as a team with ambitions they’d better hope Stroll Jr continues his progress this year.

    1. If i’m a father and i’m buying a team, why would i not make my son’s contract as bullet proof as possible?

      One person’s fair is often another person’s unfair.

      Who knows what would’ve happened if it wasn’t Lawrence Stroll that got the team. If it was Dmitry Mazepin, maybe the team would not be where it is today in terms of performance. We never know…

      Sometime that’s just how life is.

      1. If you’re a father, just buy your child a toy, not a real race car (team).

        1. Be reasonable.

          Lawrence Stroll is optimizing his money to achieve both his ambition to build a top team, and get the most for his son.

          Two birds with one stone.

          He has the money and power and therefore he makes his decisions of whether he to buy a toy, or buy a team.

          Most people would do the same.

  6. Not a Lance’s fan and hardly comment on this site despite following since the F1fanatic name but I think he is proving many people wrong.

    I understand that it could be because of his father that Lance is in F1, but he had to fight in the lower categories to obtain his super licence, so he is probably a much better driver and more talented than anyone who keeps sending negative comments about him. I think that most are just jealous, keyboard warriors and bullies.

    Motor sport is a costly “hobby” and some are more fortunate than others to play with expensive cars so good on Lance. His father buying his seat or not, he is at least doing a quite decent job and I also believe he is desperate to run away from the stigma of being a daddy boy as many people say. Obviously, I would love to be swimming on money like him, but I’m sure it is not so “easy” mentally to always have people looking at his personal achievements only because of his father. If he ever wins a race, I’m sure people would come back and say it was all because of his father and never recognise his hard work and dedication.

    At the end of the day, he is a young man doing what he loves and seems that he is much more respectful to others than many keyboard warriors. He is not the first nor will be the last to buy an F1 seat. Good luck Lance!

  7. if Checo had not missed two races due to covid im sure he would have been higher in the championship .
    i think Checo is the better driver but it makes no difference now .

  8. It’s clear Racing Point don’t care about winning, because they just let their best driver go, and kept their worst one due nothing but nepotism.

    1. It’s clear Racing Point don’t care about winning…

      As I understand it Lawrence Stroll is a self made billionaire, making most of his money from the highly competitive fashion industry. I just don’t see a guy like that buying an F1 team for “looks”. No, he’s in this intending to win races because that has marketing value.

  9. “We’ve always allowed our drivers to race each other, and that’ll be the same in the future.”

    Someone could publish a compendium of Otmar’s 2020 lies …

  10. Just what I always wanted. My own little World Champ. I will hug him and pet him and squeeze him and name him Seb.

  11. Forget driver stats, wins, Quali records, all of it. The fact that this needs to be said out loud by anyone at Racing Point is hilarious.

    Now just think, if another amazing driver comes to market, and Aston Martin have the opportunity to snatch them up, who do you think will get the boot? A 4x WC or the team owner’s son?

  12. The day when one and a half (season) became a couple.
    On the other hand I think there are some drivers in F1 who are weaker or have less future potential than Stroll.

  13. In terms of “equal treatment” how about some Vettel bashing to even out the Lance abuse.
    My take is that this arrangement is going to end badly. Vettel is not known of as a Team Player whether that was at Ferrari or Red Bull. Do the spots change? Not likely.
    Perez and Lance seemed to get along well and work together. Certainly better than Ocon and Perez.
    Expectation is for Fire-Works in the Aston Martin camp at some point. Will be interesting to see who gets burned.

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