Stroll Snr: ‘No one would question Lance’s place in F1 if he wasn’t my son’

2021 F1 season

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Aston Martin F1 team owner Lawrence Stroll insists his son Lance’s performance during 2020 show he deserves to drive for the team.

The younger Stroll joined the team, which was previously known as Racing Point, after his father bought it in 2018. Despite being out-scored by team mate Sergio Perez since then, Stroll kept his place in the team’s line-up while Perez was forced out to make room for Sebastian Vettel.

Speaking to RaceFans in an exclusive interview, Stroll stated his son’s performances were good enough that “nobody would be questioning” his place at the team if the pair weren’t family.

Asked how he would justify his son’s place on the team, Stroll said: “Simply by his performance over his life, from being Formula 3 champion, breaking every record.”

His son finished on the podium twice last season, in the Italian and Sakhir grands prix, and took pole position for the Turkish Grand Prix on a wet and very slippery track.

“Last year, being on pole in the wet, we all know in the wet it’s all about the driver,” said Stroll. “It takes the advantage of the car away and puts it in the driver’s hands. To put it on pole in the wet in Turkey, I think spoke for itself and speaks volumes. Leading the race for 30 laps, 20 seconds ahead speaks volumes.

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“The two podiums – he probably could have and should have won Monza if not for the restart where they started him on the dirty side of the track and we all know what that meant, he just got wheelspin and still came back to get a podium – and Bahrain.”

Lance Stroll, Racing Point, Mugello, 2020
Tyre failure put Stroll out in Mugello
Stroll’s son will start his fifth season as a Formula 1 driver this year having entered the sport at the relatively young age of 18. “For a 22-year-old, he just turned 22, to accomplish what he accomplished last year, demonstrated his performance and his justification of being there,” said Stroll.

“This is Aston Martin, this is a business,” he added. “I think his performance on the track 100% justified him being there. And, by the way, if he wasn’t my son, that performance alone, nobody would be questioning.”

Stroll added that misfortune had cost his son several more potentially strong finishes during 2020. “He was in the top four until he had a tyre blow in Mugello when he probably would have been on the podium.

“He had Leclerc take him out in Russia, he had [Norris] take him out the race after, none of which were any things that he did wrong. So I think when you put that whole season together, it was quite impressive what a 21 year old – he wasn’t 22 at the time – was able to do.”

Read our full, in-depth interview with Lawrence Stroll in the latest edition of Dieter Rencken’s RacingLines column later today on RaceFans

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Author information

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...
Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a freelance journalist who roams the paddocks of Formula E, covering the technical and emotional elements of electric racing. Usually found at...

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103 comments on “Stroll Snr: ‘No one would question Lance’s place in F1 if he wasn’t my son’”

  1. Nah he wouldnt be in F1 if he wasnt your son

    1. He would definitely not reach F1 as early as he would have gone to F2 first and that would have been the best for him, to make his classes and continue learning. Instead he did it at Williams, showing his mistakes on the bigger stage and we all still have some remains of our bags of critics. But he is not quite the embarrassing driver he once was. It looked like a wasted seat and very little progress after his first season but progress finally came.

      Stroll is a difficult one for me. He is far from being the fastest but can be fast on his days, definitely an opportunist like Perez, his ability to make places at the start are certainly valuable in modern, difficult to overtake F1, but it felt like this racing point could do a lot more last year. Not even sure Perez exploited it to the fullest and the gap was still well present.

      Bottom line, without his dad, he would have gone through F2 for his and our best interest. Probably that the learning there would have been beneficial. Am I offended he is in F1, not really, just a pity he is in RP when they looked so competitive.

      1. Jose Lopes da Silva
        13th January 2021, 9:32

        I’m a step further from you. Stroll is an easy one for me, the easiest of all. I am offended he is in F1. F1’s business model is making it more like it was in the Fifties, with gentlemen drivers buying cars and submitting then. It is what it is. It is not the sporting idea I was sold when I started watching F1.
        This doesn’t happen in Formula E.

        1. That’s because it doesn’t cost anything like as much to go racing in Formula E…

        2. This doesn’t happen in Formula E. Oh really? I think you need to check your facts. The 1st season!

          1. Teams were actually heavily incentivised to take top-rated drivers with the series helping to augment salaries, in order to secure talent, in Season One. So if anything the financial incentive was the opposite of nepotism!

            Daniel Abt always suffered from the assumption he was a pay driver with no prior merit even though a) it was him, not Da Costa who took it to the wire for the GP3 title against Evans in 2012, b) Abt are a long-established Audi brand, c) he even eventually became an Audi factory driver and took their first win (twice) in the series. He was always (well, mostly) good-natured about getting team ordered for Di Grassi but was borderline criminally underrated as a driver himself. Sometimes you just cannot escape your name; he stopped racing because after Audi there was nowhere for his heritage to go; one specific door wide open but if it ever closes, the others don’t loosen the locks…

            (not passing judgement on Stroll here, just an interesting parallel!)

      2. Yeah Stroll was a Ferrari junior until he signed with Williams. For 2017, the logical step would have been F2 if he hadn’t gone to F1. If he had gone on to challenge Leclerc for the title he might’ve been under consideration for the 2018 Alfa seat, and considering Giovinazzi got the 2019 seat, if Stroll had been one of the top F2 drivers in 2018 it’s actually quite easy to see him getting to F1 without his father’s significant financial support.

        1. @milesy-jam You honestly believe Lance Stroll could have challenged Leclerc in F2? In 2015, despite all the extra testing he got, Stroll couldn’t even live with Leclerc in F3, and that was one of the most disappointing seasons in Leclerc’s junior career. Without his dad’s money, Stroll would likely have been another Ghiotto or Aitken in F2, not terrible, but not even close to being one of the best 20 drivers in the world.

          1. I doubt he would have beaten Leclerc but IF he did he probably would have got the Alfa seat over him. But in 2018 I could definitely see Stroll as being one of the top contenders. He is definitely better than Albon imo so since Albon got P3 in the championship I see no reason why Stroll could not have gone better and then secured the 2019 Alfa seat over Giovinazzi

        2. Lance was a Ferrari driver academy driver because his dad has one of the biggest Ferrari collections in North America and had a great relationship with the factory….

      3. Good reply Jeanrien. The money skipped the queue, as it tends to do in F1 (see Mazepin and many others in the past). I think the other unfortunate thing the money and the queue skipping did was generate a dislike for Lance off the back of it that he is still affected by today. It meant his performances were under scrutiny not just by being in F1 instead of F2, but by being in F1 undeservedly in the eyes of many fans who disliked him simply for being there. So his mistakes and his bad days were used to hammer him and justify their opinion he shouldn’t be there.

        As for Lawrence’s comments. They are what you would expect from a father, and there is some truth to them, definitely. I was one of the few who could see Lance was extremely young in the earlier days and wanted to see the F3 champion given a chance to mature and overcome what was a dog of a Williams. But actually, what I saw last season, despite the highs, was a worrying amount of mistakes. Lance has become an unreliable driver comparitive to his peers. He finds trouble and trouble finds him. He seems as likely to lose the back end or stick it in a barrier than he is to see out an advantage, and that’s the one thing you don’t want to see in a driver and it’s a very difficult, if not impossible thing to eliminate. People are either good under pressure or they’re not. The unfortunate thing for Aston is I was going to use Vettel as the other example of someone who has faltered under pressure before. And now they have both of them. I think it’s going to be a relatively rocky season for Aston and I hope I’m wrong but I don’t think Lance’s reputation will be enhanced by 2021.

        1. Brian (@bealzbob),

          You too also made a good reply and a good analogy of Lance.

          Lance is an ok driver but is a lower ranked F1 driver. If Forced India was controlled by someone else other than his father and money, (different owner, same money) do you think the decision of keeping Lance over Perez for 2021 would have happened? I definitely don’t think so. The competitive and smart choice would be Perez and Vettel (or Hulk) on the team? Lance would be out of F1 next season if he didn’t have his fathers money. Like you said, “Lance has become an unreliable driver comparitive to his peers. He finds trouble and trouble finds him. He seems as likely to lose the back end or stick it in a barrier than he is to see out an advantage”, where his teammate who they booted instead rises to the occasion under huge pressure, gets the job done and creates solid team points for a team who fired him, making them more money. I wouldn’t be surprised if Perez outscored Vettel if they were on the same 2021 Fi team.

          I think they (Force India) just moved themselves down the ladder a couple of notches for 2021. But it’s Lances dad who bought the team and giving his son priority over anything else, its their prerogative and they can enjoy it. But it doesn’t mean it will be a good team that will race competitively. If they do, that’s awesome but if they don’t, they’ll have to own that too.

      4. @jeanrien I think you are right in that he has effectively jumped the queue. He had the luxury of skipping F2 which may have been his level and has found his way into a competitive car.

        People say he had the opportunities to succeed put in front of him but he still had to sit in the car, drive it and win. As much as we won’t admit it, very few people can actually do it.

        I am not offended by his presence in F1, although if you were being purely objective I don’t think he is fast enough for the car he is in. However by him being there through his dad’s investment, we have another well-funded team (in midfield terms at least) so at least one other driver (who could be selected on performance grounds) has a chance to score points and podiums. I’d rather that than RP go the way of Haas/AR/Williams. Whether that is what F1 should be is another question for another day.

      5. @jeanrien Fair comment but for me I will not criticize him over his first two years in F1 in the Williams cars that he had. It had to be extremely difficult and frustrating for him to be there so handcuffed to show anything, unable to even get the tires to working temp much of the time.

        Something that has struck me about LS in the last few years is how, when he has had a good day, a good result, he still comes off in his post-race interviews as frustrated that he didn’t do better. I would have thought he’d have been over the moon, and stoked and pumped at finally showing something, which perhaps internally he was, but rather he sounds like nothing short of wins, or improving where he thinks/knows he can or needs to, will suffice. This guy is not just coasting around because he thinks he has job security. He is in it to win it, and talent and car aside, which remain to be seen as time and experience go along, this is not just a hobby for him because the family has money to burn. If he never amounts to much, to me he sure sounds like it won’t be for lack of effort nor caring.

  2. Lance does not really look like he could be his daughter?

    But I get what he means. Then Lance always had the best material, extra tests etc. The performance was there, but the road was paved.

  3. …..said the RICH guy……

    1. …..to the JEALOUS guy……

      1. Why is he jealous? He stated the obvious. Only money brought his son to F1, there were many stronger candidates for his seat and there still are. If someone is or isn’t jealous is irrelevant. His son under performed and the team fired a much better driver (who was overtaking his son a few times in the same car, even with older spec, and on slower tyres). But now, we’re only jealous for seeing the facts. Or how they fired a more talented driver to free up the space for Lance in the first place, which was humiliating for the whole team.

        1. He indeed “stated the obvious”, and I obviously stated a satirical follow-up; form over substance.

          If you want to discuss the substance then check my answer below.

          1. Agree, @coldfly. The stroll down satire lane is paved with gold.

            FTR, the phrase is style over substance. Since Lawrence made his billions in the fashion biz, he is expert in overstating his brand.

          2. “The stroll down satire lane is paved with gold.”
            ;)
            @jimmi-cynic

  4. Yes. Yes, I would.

    For one, I question why on Earth he was promoted to F1 at his age when he very obviously wasn’t yet ready to compete in F1. There’s absolutely no reason that he should be considered akin to the a Max Verstappen, or some of the other drivers that went to F1 after a year or two in open wheel racing. He wasn’t ready, it showed, and it took a lot of expensive private testing to fix that. Guess what, if Stroll wasn’t your son and he was promoted that early, they had kicked him out before the summer break was over that year.

    For another, ever since, he hasn’t shown nearly enough to earn that seat over almost any single one of his teammates, Massa (who was all but retired at the time) excluded. In no regular situation would he have kept his seat over Perez, in no regular situation would Ocon have been replaced by Stroll. Stroll is consistently outperformed by his teammates, in qualifying and in race conditions.

    Now all that said. Do I believe Stroll is a bad driver? No, he’s not. He’s perfectly acceptable and someone you might eventually see in F1 for a few seasons, and then have a moderately successful Indycar or Formula E career. But is he on the level of any of the top young talent in F1 right now? No, he’s very clearly not. It’s a given that any other team owner would have stuck with Perez over Stroll instead of the other way around.

    1. WELL SAID….👍🏻

    2. @aiii Unfortunately, I can see Lance Stroll breaking Raikkonen’s/Alonso’s record for most starts in F1 history. For as long as Lawrence Stroll owns an F1 team, Lance is basically guaranteed a seat in F1 regardless of performance.

      1. He’s not the worst driver on the grid nowadays anyway, so don’t see why kicking him out, regardless of who his father was.

  5. A bit of nepotism never hurt anyone..

  6. While Lance is obviously there because of his father, he is undoubtedly better than the other pay drivers that have been on the grid in the recent years / in the current grid. Jolyon Palmer / Esteban Gutiérrez / Marcus Ericsson / Sergey Sirotkin / Kubica / Latifi.

    I remember when Perez came on the grid in 2010, everyone called him a pay driver too as he had Carlos Slim’ backing.

    1. Jose Lopes da Silva
      13th January 2021, 9:57

      Not undoubtedly. None of those drivers had the same amount of money to invest in his development.
      Apart from Ericsson, and honestly I don’t think that Stroll is better than Ericsson. Because he got a couple of podiums? Well, he has a better car. Ericsson never drove the 2nd/3rd best car.

      1. Ericsson got beat by every single teammate he ever had

    2. I do think that Lance has what it takes to become a good or even very good F1 driver too Sumedh.

      But off course it was his fathers money that bought the tools to get in (massive amounts of coaching in junior series) and arguably brought him to F1 a year or 2 earlier that would have been good for his development.

      Based on his first half of last season, I would have rated both FI drivers more or less even, with Lance probably slightly ahead. After that, Lance had COVID, it hurt his performance IMO and then a streak of incidents kept him from ever really getting in a groove, while Perez took motivation from being dumped and hammered himself into a super efficient racer.

      1. @bascb,
        I’m with you: Lance is not the next Hamilton or Verstappen, but he has proven that he is (by far) not the worst this year and IMO deserves his seat in F1 based on performance.
        I don’t care if people perform based on 10.000hrs of training or based on pure talent. It is the performance in the end what counts.
        And I understand (not necessarily agree) why RP/AM decided to keep Stroll instead of Perez, even ignoring that he’s the son of the boss. He was at least as good (a bit better if you ask me) during the initial part of the season when they made the decision, and he is still improving year after year.

        It’s amazing though how many contributors here seem to be driven by envy and jealousy when commenting on his position.
        Which actually makes me chuckle; I doubt that by writing down their frustration at other people’s achievement will make their own life much better.
        Unfortunately, comment sections like this one become less a treasure for people who want to discuss a certain topic, but more an outlet similar to other social media outlets (hence my constant frustration that the round-up becomes too much social media focussed).

    3. I agree with your list except for Kubica, who won a race and was a regular podium finisher in the late 00’s / early 10’s before his horrific rally accident.

      With Stroll it’s simple: he went to F1 and will probably stay there for a long time because of money, but he is not a bad driver, not even close. If I where his father, I wouldn’t think I threw money away.

      And you know, Senna came from a wealthy family, Lauda essentially bought his way into F1, don’t judge someone’s talent by their wallet..

      1. Absolutely, his second stint was obviously a failure, but before the accident Robert Kubica was a top drawer pilot

      2. Micheal Schumacher also paid for his drives with Jordan

  7. I don’t think senior has the capability of seeing his sons reality. Blinded by wealth he continues to have this Father-Son dream about the roles they both play. Problem is junior on his own simply wouldn’t get a ride at Grand Prix levels.
    How about a test role in the team while he builds his own future in racing with the old man by supporting the team in a mid management role. His time as a driver is just about done so to stay in F1 it won’t be as a driver. So find a job within the organization. Or get betters racing, like try to be Vettle better or face the reality of your skillsets Lance.

    1. Jose Lopes da Silva
      13th January 2021, 9:58

      I think senior has the capability of seeing his son’s reality, but he defends him publicly. Why wouldn’t he?
      After all, F1 teams can rely on a single driver, it happened for ages, way before Michael Schumacher. Who cares if the second car has a talented driver of the team owner’s son?

      1. I care because that means a better driver with a chance at racing future doesn’t get the chance because the father chooses to promote his son Who Ain’t Goodnuff.

        That’s an example of how money can blur reality.

        It’s simply wrong but I get it, it’s all about money.

      2. Racing Point has probably cost themselves upwards of 20m in prize money by replacing Stroll with Ocon. With Ocon in the team, I’m almost certain Racing Point would have gotten 5th in the WCC in 2019 and 3rd in 2020. That alone is enough justification to replace Stroll, but I guess letting his son have his dream job is more important than money for Lawrence Stroll.

        1. Looking at Lawrence’s net worth they could lose that 20m every year for a hundred and thirty years before they hit 0. That is of course with them making now other income in that time frame.

          Personally I see Stroll and the younger Grosjean (albeit with a little more talent and less take out everyone in his first years).

          Yes he has had a leg up but every father would do anything to help their children as much as possible. If I could do the same for mine I would. However you can’t deny that on his day he is FAST. Inconsistent but he can be very fast.

          I believe its much like shooting. As long as you are consistent you can work on getting better. If you up and down its much harder to build up. Compared to his early years in F1 he much better and I’d rather have him over Latifi.

  8. Lance has had some very good races & qualifying. He has also pulled off some good over takes aswell. But has he solely earned his place in f1? Thats a question for many other drivers as well. F1 has always been about rich or semi rich folk going racing. Honestly i wish i had a BILLIONAIRE father that bought a super car manufacturing company and a f1 team just for me.

  9. He’s right. I overall agree with everything he said, especially the part about Monza.

  10. He should shut his mounth regarding performance. Based on pure performance, Lance should’ve been shown the door, not Perez. And then Lance would’ve been without a seat – Red Bull would’ve never picked him up.

  11. Lance is just another pay driver and only gets a drive coz daddy owns the team even with all daddy’s money I doubt any other team would have him.

    1. We know that’s not true because Williams took him in 2017 (for his money, but Lawrence Stroll didn’t own Williams).

  12. Facts: he’s 21, he’s F3 champion, he’s poleman, he’s podium-scorer, he was 4th in the championship among a superstar field, he rarely blames people, he loves his job. The rest is jealousy and class warfare.

    1. 4th? That was Perez…. the guy who got booted out of the team. Lance finished 11th…

    2. Ambrogio Isgro
      13th January 2021, 10:10

      Oh come on… He won in F3? Well we have other drivers that won junior championships and never got a F1 opportunity or that didn’t last.
      He got a pole and a podium. Well, Maldonado won a gp. After was less fast than Grosjean (not Hamilton or Schumacher Sr., Grosjean) and when money finished he was out. Stroll jr. performed less than Perez but Money are still there so he Is there.
      He is a better driver than before? Yes he is, but he was terribile at the beginning, now is ok. If Racing Point/Aston Martin want a young one alongside Vettel there are better options outside (Russell, Ocon, Gasly, Norris, Sainz, Albon, Vandoorne, Wehrlein)

      1. He won’t the F3 spec series in 2016 beating Guenther, Russell, Cassidy, Ilott, Hubert, Barnicoat, Kari, Mazepin…

        1. @jeff1s This is called “clutching at straws”.

          You can cherry pick something he did in the past, and well done to him for doing it even if he did have backing that others were envious of, the point is that after several years in F1 he’s still not all that good, if I was feeling generous I’d call him ‘average’.

        2. @jeff1s With a huge budget and testing advantage over the other drivers. He had his own team of mechanics brought in from F1, had his own simulator and had private testing. Beating those other guys is the very minimum.

          1. Let’s give you this opportunity and see if you finish any race. Talking isn’t racing.

        3. He wasn’t 4th in last year championship; that F3 championship wasn’t an spec championship. I sincerely believe this is where most of the moderate support to Stroll comes from, from ill informed fans believing Lawrence’s sales lines, while hardcore fans are mostly critical of Lance quality.

    3. @jeff1s

      Let’s break down that comment –

      Facts: he’s 21, he’s F3 champion

      Good for him. A lot of previous F3 champions haven’t made it to F1. Out of the ones that have made it, they’ve had a stint in F2 before showing they’re worthy of making that step to F1. If you think Lance got the promotion straight to F1 from F3 because of his exceptional talent… then you’re just kidding yourself. He got the seat because his dad paid a cash strapped team a hefty amount of money to give his son a seat. And let’s face it … he was pretty embarrassing in his first year in F1.

      he’s poleman

      Can’t take that away from him. Although it would be good to note that he finished 9th in that race after starting from pole.

      he’s podium-scorer,

      Yes he is. One fluke podium followed by two podiums that he should have gotten considering he was driving a podium worthy car and from running drivers hit trouble. None of those race performances were exceptional. In fact, he should have won one of those races (Italy 2020) as he lucked in with a red flag period. It should be noted that he threw away a win that more than half the grid would have converted. He instead dropped to P3.

      he was 4th in the championship among a superstar field

      He finished 11th in a championship where he should have finished in P5 or P6 given the machinery he had. He underperformed… again.

      he rarely blames people, he loves his job.

      Check out some of his fun interviews from the Williams days

      The rest is jealousy and class warfare.

      Sure. Stroll gets retained and a driver significantly better than him get dropped, primarily because his dad doesn’t own the team. I don’t think that’s class warfare.. I think that’s people’s dislike for nepotism. There are drivers like Hulkenberg without a seat because of clowns like Lance.

      The fact that his dad has to come out and defend his son’s position in the team pretty much sums up the entire scenario.

      1. Hey @todfod instead of « breaking down my comment » why not make your own comment instead of replying? I was just the devil advocate here, monitored his whole career, not just the few. it’s from F1. Anyway, have a good day.

        1. @jeff1s

          If you monitored his whole career and made that comment then you’ve got selective memory. Good day to you as well.

    4. He rarely blames people? You can’t have been listening to the same interviews that I have, because he *always* blames anyone else except himself, taking no resposibility whatsoever for his own mistakes, and there have been a cornucopia of those. He’s the total opposite of Leclec, who always beats himself up for any mistake.

  13. He’s absolutely correct that no one would be questioning about Lance in F1 because no one would know who he was as he would never be in F1 or even F2 for that matter. No one would probably know him outside of his local Canada racing scene, even if he was winning trophies there. Lets be totally honest, He’s was exactly the kind of driver lighting the world on fire that would earn him fully paid programs from sponsors outside his family money, He’s not a terrible driver but he’s never lit the world on fire like Max, Lewis Hamilton or Robert Schumacher.

    1. @redpill

      He’s absolutely correct that no one would be questioning about Lance in F1 because no one would know who he was as he would never be in F1 or even F2 for that matter.

      Given that he won the F3 championship (Beating George Russell in a spec series) I think he would have got to F2 & had he continued to show the pace he did in F3 he also likely would have ended up in F1.

      But people tend to like to ignore his championship wins & dominant performances in junior formula as that doesn’t fit there narrative.

      1. All race car drivers come to their level of racing with different talent, different mind sets and most certainly ability. As for Lance whopping everybody way back when does not prove that a single racing event good or bad doesn’t mean he would remain a force over others who grow and learn at different rates. So what if he had decent results. He doesn’t have internally what the others now have thinking of George (in histories all time lousy last few years) nor Charlie Clerk who caught Ferrari’s eye. So early success doesn’t mean continued success. This comparison of talents five or six seasons doesn’t mean they all remain in order. Remove old man Stroll from the equation and I believe few would ever have heard of junior.

      2. But then, the money of Lances father was what paid to get extra coaching, simulator sessions and tech support to win that F3 title in the first place, wasn’t it @roger-ayles?

        Now, I do certainly agree that Stroll Jr. did the job of making that money count in F3 and during this season in F1 I would also say that Stroll is at the level where we can stop thinking about which money brought him to F1, apart from the fact that if it wasn’t his father owning the team, he would have had a harder time deciding which of his two drivers to ditch to make room for Vettel in his team.

        Afther the first 4-5 races last season, there was not much between Lance and Sergio. The second half of the season however showed us a Perez that rose to the heights that mean he deservedly got that race win in.

      3. @roger-ayles

        “the money of Lances father was what paid to get extra coaching, simulator sessions and tech support to win that F3 title in the first place, wasn’t it”

        I’m not saying Lance is a bad driver but when watching F3 back then, it was very obvious how much money was being spent on his F3 campaign, way above the norm, there was a lot of open talk about how much crazy money was being spent on this young kid Lance, he was able to get on the best team right away, he had several highly paid coaches around him in the paddock, then all the tons of very expensive private track time in several different types of cars with coaches present that the other kids had no chance to ever getting and he also had a phenomenal amount of tech support. It was a total package program for a junior kid in F3 that rivaled what a F1 driver would get. Other drivers who were at same level or better really didn’t have a chance competing against that program as they too were also very young and were all needing help developing skills and time to get better. Lance got all of that on steroids because of massive family money being poured into a high budget F3 program. He did benefit from it and he didn’t screw the pooch and it showed, he won it.

        But ask yourself, if he was in the same F3 season without the extra money or extra help on a avg. team and only had the parity of help as the other drivers, would he have done so well? Would it have been more likely that he would not have finished as well or have been noticed to get the good sponsors needed to pay for a winning team F2 ride without the family money?

        There’s so many very good talented winning drivers better than Lance we haven’t heard and never will because they didn’t have the money to get to the next level where press and sponsors take notice. The Stroll family decided to go the extreme to get where they are, you can’t disapprove or chastise them for that, they’ve really put a lot of energy, investment and commitment to a good program but Strolls senior quote above is not realistic even by a slight amount.

        The reality of where he is, is directly related to Dad’s money by a very significant amount.

  14. His results in F1 have justified his place to a large extent, I agree about this.

    But the fact remains that if Lance wasn’t a billionaire’s son would he be a racing driver, let alone an f1 driver? Would he have had the privileges he had coming up the junior ranks (like membership of the Ferrari Driver Academy, like a training programme from Williams, like access to the best teams like Prema) which made it easier for him to shine? I doubt it. Without those, he probably wouldn’t be an F1 driver.

  15. When Williams signed Stroll in 2017, they had better options, in terms of driving ability. Alex Lynn, for example, was a top six GP2 driver, while Stroll was only in European F3. Admittedly, he won it, but it is still at least one and a half step lower than GP2 (I would rate it as half a step below GP3, as although they did merge, I thought GP3 had been slightly more competitive). On driving ability alone, I don’t think he is good enough for Formula 1, although he definitely would have made it to F2 at least, and would now be driving in something like Formula e, WEC or Indycar now. If he had the advantage of his dad’s money, but Lawrence Stroll didn’t own Racing Point, he would probably still be driving for Williams now, hopefully not in place of George Russell. However, he wouldn’t be in a competitive car like Racing Point, and he definitely wouldn’t be there in place of Esteban Ocon or Sergio Perez.

  16. Respect is earned, not bought so it’s not something they should be spending their time worrying about – both the car and the driver. They should enjoy this for what it is – a chance to have the ultimate “track day experience” for a few years. The more time they spend complaining about people’s opinions, the less they’ll get to enjoy what they’ve bought.

    1. My gramma loves car racing. Digs F1 because how noisy they are. Track day experience for the rich brings the distinct possibility that paying to play does not mean that person should be on the track with real race car drivers because they can pay to play. So should my rich gramma get to race because she wants to or has the money too? At this level of racing it shouldn’t happen. I get what you are saying but it looks like money makes things OK. In space travel only a few humans not astronauts but wanna bee astronauts. Money bought the seat and their function in orbit is just a good ride.
      That’s pretty straight forward. Compare to Grand Prix racing where money buys seats but in this case it would be extremely dangerous for all in the race to have a paid seat owned by an under performing rising rich kid.

    2. @petebaldwin
      This, really.

      My biggest pet peeve isn’t the way privilege is how Lance managed to have a seat on the team, it’s how his father isn’t willing to come clean and say what everyone has already figured out for years now.

      In all honesty, I think we’d all rather have Stroll, who seems like a genuinely nice person, on the grid than someone like Mazepin but to say that his performance this year “100% justified” his place in a team like Force India/Racing Point/Aston Martin/whatever they’re calling themselves now, is a bit disingenious.

      I mean, Lawrence here is still treating Lance as some new kid in the block when he’s been in F1 for 4 years now. Heck, Norris, Gasly, and Russell haven’t been in F1 as long as Lance has and they’ve already shown more promise!

  17. Lance is a class act, he seems like a good sportsman, seems like a genuinely nice chap and he’s a good F1 racer.

    But he’s not a *great* F1 racer. If he were in a midfield team then I don’t think folk would have an issue with him. But when drivers who are clearly superior are being dropped in favour of Lance then the unfairness of it is made obvious.

    Also, he has amazing hair. Possibly the best mane in the pit lane.

    1. Possibly the best mane in pit lane???
      His hair is a mess but the helmet does that. If I where my baseball hat all day and my hair looks screwed up as you can imagine. But your hair comment is one that I’ve never heard nor saw in the past 43 years of watching over 600 Formula One Races. You cracked me up.

  18. Right. Is he on level with Sergio? Both are pay drivers, one is a son of team owner…

    Facts just point the other way.

  19. A pointless and intelligence-insulting thing to say, as well as a flawed syllogism. If he wasn’t your son, he would not have reached F1. So there is way people would question a place that would not have been there. Simple.

  20. In many ways, Stroll suffers from this bizarrely inverse form of racism – in that people abuse him based on factors he was born into and has no control over. The exception being that this sort of discrimination is deemed acceptable if the person being abused is rich and white.

    In addition, I personally think its quite commendable that someone who was born into such privilege and wealth has made the personal sacrifices and absolute dedication necessary to be a competent Formula 1 driver.

    1. Stroll suffers from this bizarrely inverse form of racism – in that people abuse him based on factors he was born into and has no control over.

      I don’t think anyone would be discriminating against him if he had reached his position on the current F1 grid on merit alone. There’s no way he would have gotten a Force India seat on merit. He was never as good as Ocon or Perez. He got it because of nepotism.. and that’s a valid enough reason to dislike him.

      1. @todfod I get the sentiment towards the unfairness of nepotism. Nepotism happens all the time in all levels of occupations. Sometimes it simply helps when you have a parent or two (or even a friend or relative) engrained in a career that you as their son or daughter end up also wanting to pursue, and the parent ends up helping get them in at the company they work for, or perhaps own. But for me it has to start with the son or daughter really wanting to do that activity, discipline, career, etc. Or at least even if not their passion, deciding to take that in for that government job or what have you for the pay and the benefits and the guarantee of job security and a great pension.

        But I think you are being petty to dislike someone and consider it valid to do so just because of nepotism. In the case of Stroll, yes he has/had advantages, as have certain past and current F1 drivers (amongst every sport globally) who are the sons of former F1 drivers. Has Mick Schumacher earned everything he has, including now a seat at Haas? Any chance he’s been coddled and hand held due to his Dad’s career? Max? Damon Hill? Villeneueve? Sainz? etc etc. The Andretti’s? Martin Brundle’s son races. I’m sure I’m missing many many names of folks who were helped along by nepotism. Fittipaldi. Rosberg. Earnhart. Magnussen. Palmer. Piquet.

        For me nepotism is something that just naturally exists and always will. So to dislike someone for that is as I say imho petty. Would you have expected Lance to refuse all that he was born into, just because some petty people can’t handle it? Would you refuse it? How about all the race car drivers that have benefitted? They should have chosen another career path just because they might offend someone petty?

        Oh I’m not holier than thou, and I too sometimes have felt the unfairness that nepotism can evoke, however, for me to actually dislike a person due to nepotism would only be if that person comes off as arrogant and tries to make themselves sound like they didn’t have help along the way, and I have never heard that from Lance Stroll. I think he fully appreciates that he has been lucky to be born into money, and has had to rebuff sentiments that come from your ilk, that dislike him just because, and he understands that just comes with the territory. Lance to me comes off as grateful and knowing he’s luckier than many, and I think it motivates him to keep proving he belongs in F1, and for example I don’t get the same vibe from Mazepin who seems to take the advantages he has and act like that gives him license to behave however terribly he wants.

        As I say nepotism is a natural and unavoidable thing, but it is in how the beneficiary takes what they have and runs with it that makes the difference. Would you just automatically dislike someone who is born with a silver spoon in their mouth but chooses to be charitable with their inheritance? I doubt it. But I’m sure you yourself wouldn’t mind if you had the option, having been born into a situation of wealth you had no say in, to take that and be a good person, or to be selfish, greedy, and arrogant with it.

        1. @robbie

          Im going to keep it brief. I really don’t think you can compare Lance to Max, Sainz, Jacques etc. Sure they took advantage of a being born in to the family business, but they earned their retention of their seat in the sport.
          Do you think Lance deserved to be retained in the sport after his first 3 seasons? He was consistently one of the worst if not the worst driver on the grid for 3 seasons.

          1. @todfod As I’ve believed all along, his first two seasons in the Williams cars handcuffed him as they were terrible cars, and since drivers are coloured by their cars, that set a tone for him. Like I’ve said

          2. @todfood Oops my dog nudged my arm…like I’ve said I do understand the frustration with nepotism but at the same time his Dad saved a team and a lot of jobs too, just as he employs thousands globally in his businesses. With Lance, I don’t find him to be one who is unappreciative of what he has. As to his worthiness, I think he has shown that his first two years was the car more than him, and of course as we know the car is 80% to 95%, so let’s see where he goes from here.

  21. Stephen Higgins
    13th January 2021, 9:56

    Lance would probably still be stuck in F2 at this point f he wasn’t Lawrence’s son.

    1. If he even made it that far. With more conventionally wealthy parents, the money probably would have dried up before then, and I doubt that he would have ever stood out enough to attract any really big sponsorships.

  22. Larry seems to be going out of his way to rub folks up the wrong way. Witness the Silverstone video. Tiresome really.

  23. Of course he would be questioned, because those questions are faced by literally every single driver who has their place in this sport on merit. Every race would be scrutinised, not just by fans on Twitter, but by team bosses. And his continued participation in the sport would be judged based on the performances. That’s just how the sport works for every other driver.

    Let’s be realistic. Of their two full-time drivers this year, they’ve chosen to keep the one who finished 11th in the championship over the driver who finished 50 points ahead in 4th. There is no conceivable reality where that would happen for competitive reasons.

  24. I’m 50/50 on Lance and this article. Half the time he looks like a clever driver with a lot of skill and the other half he looks like he is way over his head. I think it comes down to his mental strength which at times is way off.

  25. All I can say is I really hope Perez wins the championship this year… a long shot I know.

    1. and Aston Martin along with everyone else in F1 would be happy for him!

  26. Correct, there would be no need to and you get way less spotlight on track days at Nürburgring.

    He’s a decent driver but hes way too inconsistent, his driving is substantially different to everyone else, multiple inputs and everything happening at once is a great watch but little else for the teams. Simple question really , would he have got the 2nd RBR seat if AML didn’t exist?

  27. IMO if they were smart they just wouldn’t have this conversation at all. He has very little to gain from making statements like this.

  28. Nobody questions Adam Norris’ son, because he’s a competent driver. This has nothing to do with last names.

    1. Stroll is on about a similar level to him… So are guys like Ocon, Gasly

  29. As many others have pointed out, he is correct that no would would question if Lance deserved to be in F1 if he wasn’t his son because he probably would not be in F1 at all. Stroll Sr.’s wealth enabled Lance far greater opportunity to get track time, private instruction and to buy the best equipment to enable his rise. It also meant that Lance didn’t have to worry about things like achieving success in school because he knew that he had enough family money to live a very comfortable life. That is not to say Lance doesn’t have talent. He is a talented driver. But he would not be in F1 on his talent alone.

  30. To be honest stroll is faster then kimis and george’s teammates

    1. Only because there cars were crap and Strolls was a close copy to history’s dominant team currently

  31. We would not even have to think about it because he probably would not be in F1 and if he was, he would not be taking a prime seat.

  32. I wouldn’t have demanded Verstappen sacked had the Portugal incident never happened.

  33. Sure, Vettel and Stroll is a much better line up than Vettel and Perez. Sure it is.

  34. Like I said before, I agree with stroll that lance is performing well enough to deserve a spot in f1, and from a pay driver you can become a top driver if you’re good enough, the difference with schumacher etc. is that the money came from sponsors.

    In any case, I find a flaw with what stroll said, and that is perez’s performance: why replacing perez, who was performing still a little better than stroll? Even if the decision came early in the season, at best the decision would’ve been to keep both drivers, I don’t see why replacing perez based on his performance if not for nepotism reasons, furthermore I’m baffled by the choice of vettel and hope it comes to bite them next year, example with stroll outperforming him, not too far fetched I think based on vettel’s recent form.

  35. I am inclined to agree with Lawrence here but without his backing, Lance would not have reached F1 so early. Maybe he would have reached F1 last season with Williams instead & would be driving now instead of Latifi.

    But the truth is people are oblivious to the fact that while Lance is inconsistent, mistake prone. He has some serious talent! Monza 2017, Baku 2017, Turkey 2020 to name a few!

    In terms of raw talent he’s on the same level as Norris & Ocon… Only problem is he just can’t channel that pace consistently over a full season. But with experience I’m sure he will & I think we will see alot from Lance in the future (it will benefit having Seb as a Teammate)

    Also in know way am i saying that Stroll deserved the Racing Point seat instead of Ocon… I marely mean that eventually they will be off a same level

  36. Lance has the same talent as Morris- are you serious?! Lance isnt bothered or hungry to win and be the best. He doesn’t have the passion of Leclerc or Norris. Watch Lance’s post race interviews and see how ‘ not bothered’ he is- since he doesnt need to work for his seat- daddy and Otmar will make sure there is an excuse for his poor performances- sad!

    1. So then was Kimi not worthy of his seat? Im sure you think he was, so just because someone is bit camera shy or has a dull personality does not mean they dont deserve to be in F1. Personally I think Stroll is one of the most motivated to suceed, I mean a guy who has such a wealthy family doesnt even need to race in F1 at all, he couldve just become an investor like Toto Wolff or managed 1 of his dad’s f1 teams. Point is dont bring people down just because your ot a fan of them or because your jealous of wealth

  37. Lance Stroll epitomises one of the biggest problems in F1 today: drivers who have rich dads who can buy them a seat. Like Mazepin and Latifi, none of whom would be in F1 without parental money, he’s taking up a seat that better drivers deserve. OK, he has speed, on occasion, but what he doesn’t have is control, as we’ve seen time and time again. It really makes my blood boil to see Perez, the best and most reliable points scorer in the team, being fired while Lance Stroll retains his undeserved seat. The most telling statement for me was during the driver conference just before the announcement of Perez’ departure when Stroll said (and I paraphrase) “I don’t mind who my teammate is”, which just underlined his total confidence and reliance on his parent’s domination of the team. Now we also have the repulsive Mazepin joining Haas, who have been too chicken, and too desperate for cash to take appropriate action concerning his execrable behaviour.

    Of course, the reason behind teams’ need for pay drivers is the whole financial structure of F1, and this will keep happening until *all* the teams get a fairer slice of the F1 pie. And you can forget about any new teams joining the circus when it takes 200,000,000 just to get a toe in the door, before any expenditure on *anything* else.

    1. Norris is rich, Russell seems to come from a quite well off family, Leclerc is from Monaco so he cant be poor either… Point is this day & age it has become a pre requsite to be from a wealthy background because karting & junior series are so expensive now.

      Sure Russell & Leclerc are probably two of the best drivers F1 has in terms of talent but like I said even they have strong backing. Norris has equally strong if not more backing but he’s even though he’s not at that top level he isnt being criticized (I remember in one year, he took part in 4 different junior series which wouldnt have been possible without money).

      Thing is I understand criticizing Latifi or Mazepin because well they havent won anything but people need to stop comparing Stroll with them… He has done everything he can until now to prove he is F1 worthy, he won in every category (whether the field was poor or not, its not his fault). He may have had the best car or more testing but you still have to win! In my opinion him, Norris & Ocon are off the same level of ability & potential to suceed in F1

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