Stroll’s recovery was “a great achievement” despite only taking ninth – Krack

2023 Canadian Grand Prix

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Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack said Lance Stroll’s achievement in coming from 16th on the grid to finish in the points should not be underestimated.

While Fernando Alonso started and finished second in the team’s other car, Stroll qualified 13th and was moved back three places on the grid for impeding Esteban Ocon. However he climbed into the points on race day.

Krack admitted Stroll “struggled with grip” in the rain-hit qualifying session on Saturday, “and if you struggle like that and you don’t have the confidence then it is very difficult.”

However Krack said Stroll “drove really well” to salvage two points on Sunday. “We took him out of traffic and when he was out of traffic, he managed the lap times of the front runners on the hard,” he said. “But if you are in these DRS trains it’s really hard.

“To come from 16th to ninth I think it’s a great achievement. Now, on paper, it looks only ninth and your team mate finishes second and you think it’s not a good performance. But when you see where you come from, I think it was very good.

“So I think he will take the positives from here and with the races to come we know he’s very strong in high-speed circuits and we will have a couple of such circuits to come so I’m confident that we can score with both.”

Krack said Stroll’s result was particularly impressive as he lost time when the Safety Car was deployed shortly after he made his first pit stop.

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“I think he was quite happy at the end, especially with the misfortune of the Safety Car coming just in the lap after he had stopped, which put him back actually in a couple of positions,” said Krack.

“At the end of the day there’s no point of lamenting or complaining about his situation. This is how racing goes and you have to do the best out of each situation. He did well, I’m really happy for his home race after yesterday to have such a good recovery.”

Stroll approached the final corner of the race in 11th place, but overtook Valtteri Bottas on the way out of it, beating the Alfa Romeo to the line by just three-hundredths of a second. The Aston Martin driver gained another place from Lando Norris who had a penalty.

“We gave it everything on the last straight, I can tell you,” said Krack. “It was good because first of all Fernando was already through and then to have this sprint out of the last corner and then if it goes for you, it was a bit like Sebastian [Vettel] in Suzuka last year with Fernando. So credit to our power train that we had more juice at the end because our tyres were older.”

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2023 Canadian Grand Prix

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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...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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39 comments on “Stroll’s recovery was “a great achievement” despite only taking ninth – Krack”

  1. In any other team this guy would have been sacked already, or in the verge of being so, but on this one…

  2. I think after this season Lance is looking for other hobbies.

  3. Coventry Climax
    19th June 2023, 14:19

    Ah, it’s in Krack’s contract too, to continuously praise the boss’s son.

  4. When asked the question about the boss’s son, Krack thought to himself, do I want to be fired today, and then answered praising the 9th place finish.

  5. Jamie Franklin
    19th June 2023, 14:35

    I’m surprised by the amount of attention on Perez over the weekend from the major broadcasters, podcasters etc… and the lack of attention on Stroll, despite the latter’s negative effect on the Constructors champs picture.

    1. That’s because Perez is an F1 driver.
      Everyone knows that is useless to debate the Stroll case. He is there, everyone knows he is there, and that’s it. End of story.

  6. I don’t understand how baby Stroll takes the ego bashing he’s received in F1… then still gets back in the car on a race weekend and achieves nothing, again. I blame Sirotkin for Stroll still sticking around. That one season must have put the thought in Lance’s head that he’s a decent F1 driver.

    1. Sirotkin outpaced him overall that year though.

  7. The kid can drive, but he’s so inconsistent it’s laughable. His peaks aren’t that high, but if he nailed a weekend together, and did it frequently, it’d be sort of alright. Not for a team that wants to win championships, tho. Alonso’s an absolute beast, but Lance was also behind Perez when they were team mates, and Perez’s not a beast…

    Aston would comfortably be in second place in the championship if it had a Bottas in the 2nd car, for example.

    1. Perez, being the roller coaster that he is, was much better than Stroll too on both seasons.

      Vettel was the one who made Stroll look about average by not dominating him completely.

      1. Without a blow diffuser, Vettel would not dominate a crippled paramecium

      2. Then one could say Alonso made Ocon look decent while Ricciardo utterly destroyed him.

        1. That’s what happens your car retires from high in the points SEVEN TIMES, your car fails to even start or take part in a print, you have partial power unit failure when you start second, you have multiple technical failures and blown pit stops in ONE season.

          Yet still Ocon barely edged him. At least when Stroll out qualified Alonso he admitted it only happened because Alonso’s floor was damaged. Ocon treated it like he had beaten Alonso on merit.

    2. Alonso is vandoorning Stroll.

      1. Not quite, to me it seems like Alonso is doing that only when he has no choice and they are too far apart (which is very frequent).

        When he ran 1 second behind Stroll in Spain, on fresher tires, Alonso was quick to say that he won’t try any overtakes. Feels like his babysitting the kid for some reason, while blowing out of proportion every half-decent result Lance is getting.

  8. It’s almost as though many people making comments can’t (or won’t) see that without Stroll in the car, the team wouldn’t be Aston Martin and wouldn’t be running at the front of the pack.
    It would be owned by someone else, carry a different name and be run with a far lower budget. Would also likely be competing for the wooden spoon each season by now.

    1. I think that’s part of what people are complaining about, though. Stroll Sr obviously bought the team to give his boy a seat, but without that Lance would have lost his seat years ago.

      The Aston is currently a really good car. With a better driver alongside Alonso, even a mediocre driver, they would be comfortably 2nd in the WCC. Given Perez’ performance, they could even be a challenger for the WCC with a decent second driver. Instead, Stroll gets praised for bringing a couple of points into the team.

      1. With a better driver alongside Alonso, even a mediocre driver, they would be comfortably 2nd in the WCC.

        With a different driver beside Alonso, the team would be owned by somebody else and almost certainly would not be 2nd in the WCC.

        Instead, Stroll gets praised for bringing a couple of points into the team.

        Stroll should be, perhaps not ‘praised’ but at least accepted, for providing the funding to the team to allow it to accumulate even a couple of points.
        Without Stroll Jnr, there is no Stroll Snr, no Aston Martin, no money and no Alonso either.
        This is not a new thing in F1, nor in the wider motorsport industry – not uncommon in other industries either.

        1. People have been complaining about pay drivers, those who are only in F1 because of the money they bring the team and aren’t really good enough on talent, for a long time. They take up space in the grid which could be given to one of the numerous drivers who do have the talent.

          The large difference here is that we have a pay driver in the second best car on the grid. I don’t think we’ve ever had that before. When you’ve got a back marker or midfield team with a party driver, your get one driver picking up some points occasionally while the pay driver just hangs around the back of the field, and it isn’t really noticeable. However, when one driver is regularly on the podium and the other often struggles to get points, it becomes really obvious.

          In addition, this feels different. This isn’t someone sponsoring the team in exchange for allowing a driver a seat, this is daddy buying an F1 team as a toy for his son. Not only does it feel like it’s cheapening the sport, it’s taken away the semi-neutral position of the team owners/principals. With a normal pay driver, those in charge of the team always have the option of ditching one pay driver for a better one or finding alternative funding (if possible). That’s no longer the case with AM. It feels like nepotism rather than commercialism, and people hate that.

    2. You’re not wrong about Stroll keeping this team on the grid, but the better the team is the more of a problem this situation with Lance becomes.

      First, competitively. If they want to win a title some day they’ll want two strong drivers – or a dominant car. But in close seasons a good second driver is invaluable.

      Second, internally. The knowledge that all the hard work done by the team is – partly – for naught because the driver is just not good enough is a drain on people’s motivation. You constantly hear this in interviews with senior technical people; their admiration for drivers who can consistently deliver what they know the car is capable of.

      Third, longer term Alonso is going to retire, and there won’t be any more ‘mentors’ on the grid who Stroll can partner with his son. This means they’ll have to find someone of Lance’s own generation, or even younger. One that will, effectively, have to be the lead driver. This changes the dynamic between the teammates, and could become quite a messy situation.

      1. I agree with first and disagree with 2nd and 3rd.
        Internally, having Alonso and Stroll is like Ferrari having Schumacher and Irvine, or Renault having Alonso and Fisichella. One top driver is enough.
        The dynamic between teammates is Aston Martin is brand new in Formula One history; I can’t recall anything relatable. There is no dynamic and no need to one. Lance is driving his dad car and will be happy with it no matter what. The Lead Driver just has to drive, praise Lance in interviews and not do anything stupid – like Alonso cleverly not did in Spain. If Aston was fighting for a championship, Lance would have moved aside for Alonso.

        Unless you imagine Lance disobeying his dad order…

    3. Coventry Climax
      20th June 2023, 16:55

      Maybe Aston Martin wouldn’t be an F1 team, but is that so bad? I’m sure the spot would be/have been taken by someone else, there’s sufficient interest. There’s no excuse for having such klutzes taking up an F1 driver spot – ever.

      1. Agreed.

        Everyone goes on about how F1 is a meritocracy. However, with pay drivers like Stroll on the grid, you can see it’s as flawed in that respect as any other system. Ability, merit and hard work will only get you so far, and you don’t need them if your daddy has big enough pockets to buy you a team as a plaything.

  9. It’s hilarious how everyone at this team falls over themselves in the race to keep praising the boss’ son. Seriously though, they seem to have laid down a good basis from which to reach further, but in the long run an organization that has an inbuilt major blind spot about half of its driving talent is only going to hamper itself.

    1. I agree is totally hilarious. It’s a good way to have a dream job, nevertheless. And they are fighting for podiums and, eventually, wins!
      I disagree with you last assertion. In the long run they can do like Schumacher-Irvine. Ferrari might have won all the 3 championships from 1997-99 (assuming Schumacher did not had the crash) and having Irvine as a kind of a dead weight.

  10. Stroll seems to have a special talent for considering his rare highs (which absolutely do exist!) as the norm, while shifting blame for his other results to external circumstances. If Aston Martin wants to be a serious contender, and fair play to Mr. Stroll for making the investments that many others aren’t, then they are going to have that tough talk with Lance sooner or later. Don’t underestimate the drain this must be on the motivation of the people working there; they know.

  11. The more successful Aston Martin become, the more scuritiny on Little Stroll. I don’t think this goes anywhere beyond just a topic for us to discuss though.

  12. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    19th June 2023, 15:44

    It wasn’t a great achievement, it was a poor performance. Bad in qualifying and bad in the race – pretty much summing up almost all of his races this season. I don’t understand why people defend him – he’s not “terrible” but he’s certainly not good and he’s been in F1 for several years now! This is his level – he’s not going to learn anything more than he already knows, and as people have said now the Aston is a strong car he’s now representing their weakest link. Put Norris or Albon in that car and you’re at least going to see it only a place or two below Alonso instead of struggling to get into Q3.

    As an aside, I’ve seen people criticise Alonso’s age, that he’s naturally fading as age catches up with him. Personally I don’t believe that for a minute but if true then Stroll’s even worse than we already think he is. I got a lot of time for what Aston are selling us but I’m not buying Lance Stroll at all.

  13. Yup, that was fantastic. Epic even.. Stuff of legend. We will all remember where we were and what we were doing when Lance took P9 in the canadian GP.

    1. No one will ever forget the way he took that place off Norris…

    2. The only noteworthy thing stroll did is that he overtook bottas on the finish line and bottas was exactly the one who had done it to him 6 years ago.

  14. Alonso has more than triple Stroll’s points tally already. At some point Aston Martin’s partners are going to ask why they are sacrificing Constructor’s Championship positions to employ the bosses’ son. They should easily be 2nd right now. That’s a big price tag even for Daddy Stroll’s accountants.

  15. bid daddy is on krack… :)

    1. “BIG” ^^^

  16. So this is what Krack a joke means.

  17. Electroball76
    20th June 2023, 14:13

    Let’s not be so hasty to dismiss young Lance.
    I mean, the facts speak for themselves.
    Whichever way you slice it, Lance is one of the fastest Aston Martin drivers in F1 today. Maybe even in the top 3.

  18. How about the silly season? Which teams are considering hiring Lance Stroll for 2024?

  19. Lance Stroll, like Mazepin and many others before, is useful to remind us that in F1, as the top-tier of racing, the driver, the human element matters. Engineering can’t do everything.

  20. If Stroll had some jeopardy attached to his seat then he might actually get some motivation to perform. If his father threatened him with loosing his seat then he might raise his game and actually perform, but right now his seat is more secure than Verstappen’s at Red Bull despite him having the greatest deficit in points percentage to his team mate throughout the entire grid. All this talk about being a “potential future world champion”, show me a driver who has only beat his team mate once in six seasons, and go on to be a future world champion? Stroll is waisting his time in F1, he’s not improving. He need to have something to motivate him so much that if he doesn’t perform he knows he will never get another shot, because his approach right now definitely isn’t working

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