“We’re good, he’s a bro”: All well with team member after shove, says Stroll

Formula 1

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Lance Stroll says all is well between him and the team member he was seen shoving after Friday’s qualifying session in Qatar.

Footage of the Aston Martin driver clashing with his osteopath and performance coach Henry Howe in Losail was broadcast by Formula 1 on Friday. Stroll had thrown the steering wheel from the cockpit of his AMR23 moments earlier in frustration after failing to progress beyond the first round of qualifying for the fourth race weekend in a row.

However Stroll insisted all is well between him and Howe following the incident. “We’re good,” said Stroll. “He’s a bro. We go through the frustrations together and we ride together, so we’re cool.”

Video of the incident circulated on social media and Stroll’s behaviour was widely criticised. “I’m not looking at social media,” he said. “I’m in the car driving this weekend.”

Stroll has endured a run of poor results since the summer break, during which time he has not added to his points tally. “We’re in a rut and it’s not getting better,” he admitted.

“Frustration is just, I think, in the whole group right now. I mean, we want to do better, we want to get better, but it’s just a struggle right now.”

Despite his obvious dissatisfaction with his recent results Stroll insisted he is still happy to be competing in F1. “I’m just struggling with the car and just getting to grips with the balance,” he said. “I’m just not able to extract performance from it right now, which is just difficult and frustrating.”

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He said he hasn’t been comfortable at the wheel of his car since the Austrian Grand Prix in July. “There’s high levels of understeer, snap oversteer, a lack of grip,” Stroll explained.

“I feel like I can’t really lean on the car and drive it with confidence without dealing with snaps and understeer and just a balance that I really don’t particularly enjoy driving.”

He started yesterday’s sprint race from 16th and was classified 15th, last of those running, after being penalised for repeatedly exceeding track limits. Following the Q1 elimination which provoked his anger on Friday, Stroll will start today’s grand prix from 17th, and is pessimistic about his chances.

“We’re locked in and it’s going to be tough,” he said. “We’re going to see what we can do with strategy. Hopefully a few things happen in front of us.

“But in terms of actual pace, I’m not super-confident because I know the limitations of the car and I know that I’m not confident driving it right now.”

While Aston Martin’s performance has dipped over the second half of the season, Stroll’s team mate Fernando Alonso has continued to reach Q3 and score points more often than not. He will start today’s race from fourth on the grid, 13 places ahead of his team mate.

Alonso is better able to cope with the changes in their car’s handling, Stroll believes. “I think he has a particular driving style,” said Stroll. “The way that he gets around the corners might be very different to mine.

“At the beginning of the year I think the car was giving a bigger window for different driving styles to work. And right now it has a lot of limitations that I don’t like that I think he kind of drives around and deals with and that doesn’t bother him as much.”

“I know we’ve changed the car a lot throughout the year and the characteristic of the car has changed a lot throughout the year,” he added. “So maybe we moved away from something that suited me better at the beginning of the year.”

However Stroll admitted he is unlikely to handle his frustrations differently in the future. “I fucking hate having a bad day,” he said. “It’s not going to change.”

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25 comments on ““We’re good, he’s a bro”: All well with team member after shove, says Stroll”

  1. Electroball76
    8th October 2023, 9:24

    Error 404. Talent not found.

  2. It’s all well and good that they’re “bros” and have made up, but didn’t Verstappen get a reprimand and have to do some kind of community service on safe driving after he pushed Ocon at the Brazilian grand prix? I’m sure this incident won’t attract the same amount of scrutiny and punishment, since Lance seems to be untouchable in the paddock.

    1. You make a good point. Verstappen’s shove of Ocon and Stroll’s shove here seem quite similar. You’d think there was at least some repercussions from the FIA in this.

      1. If anything this is worse: verstappen’s actions were provoked, ocon hit him and caused him to lose a race win while he was lapped, whereas the team member didn’t do anything in stroll’s case.

    2. The incident with Verstappen and Ocon is water under the bridge, for me it’s hard to connect it to this incident.

      Lance continues to make a fool of himself on and off the track. As long as his dad keeps him around in the paddock, he makes a fool of himself too. Aston Martin won’t be as competitive as they can be without a proper nr. 2 driver.

    3. @keithedin It’s intra-team, so most likely the FIA will deem this an internal incident, and convey to Lawrence Stroll that it expects appropriate internal disciplinary consequences (without specifying what those are, since the team will have more information about it than the FIA does). Verstappen pushed someone in a different team, which prevented the FIA from doing this (even if Red Bull had laid out a consequence, Racing Point wouldn’t have been able to prove the cause-consequence chain and therefore would have protested to the FIA. Since the FIA wouldn’t have had proof either – the proof of cause and consequence being in different hands – it would have been obliged to give a penalty to Verstappen despite a consequence already having been given. Which would be odd).

  3. I’m sorry, but even though we didn’t see everything on our screens, what I saw didn’t seem like a typical “bro” banter. Besides, I don’t think we’d ever see your roles reversed. What I see is a team of people scared of saying or doing anything that would annoy the owner and his son. It’s not the only company like that in the world, but we rarely see these things on TV, and in such popular sport (or show, whatever this is now). What we saw is kinda illegal as well, it is mobbing for one. Oh and that guy who throws things, breaks stuff, shoves people around, he’s the only weak link there to make things worse; it should be the other way around. Junior, if you weren’t the Junior, you’d be sacked after your first season in F1. But no, you bought a team and fired a better driver than yourself, so you take his place. And since the media following F1 only talks about the sport in superlatives (like Sky), you were never in spotlight. But until now, it was only the case of nepotism. Now it’s the case of mobbing, physically assaulting people, humiliating staff around you and acting like a madman in front of cameras. And all that after such a nice act, always smiling for the cameras. I can only imagine how you treat your housemaids and other staff away from TV crews. I know that if someone pushed me like that, I’d respond. Bros? Mates? Did you see your face, you spoiled child?

    1. You are right when you say that bros (generally) don’t shove bros. I think Lance meant “he’s a bro” in the sense that they know how to communicate with each other in a way that enables them to talk through problems like this without lingering hard feelings.

      (Also note that Lance said nothing about Aston Martin’s management being cool with this, and I’m sure the FIA will remind AM’s management why it should not be cool about it).

  4. Lance, two things. First, you don’t push “bros” like that. I’m more curious how he feels about the relationship than the perpetrator anyway. Second, it’s not the car, it’s you. You don’t have the talent to drive in formula one. It’s best for you, the team, the sport, and your father if you just move on. It’s beyond embarrassing now.

    1. Good point about “you”. He always, but always says “we just didn’t have pace” when things go wrong, which usually means after every session of every GP weekend, every season. It’s always “we”. And he says that despite one car going fast, which makes things quite obvious. But why wouldn’t he play dumb and be arrogant? His “boss” (if you can be a boss of someone who owns you) plays ball the best he can. It’s a terrible job, working for Aston’s PR.

  5. You are a worthless driver and an even worse human being. You have no talent for life, daddy’s boy.

  6. The guy was up in his face as he was ‘storming off’. Petulant? Sure, but it’s not like the anti-Stroll folks need much to go to town on him.

    Let’s not forget that the guy has as many podiums as Ocon, more than Albon, more even than the entire Haas team combined. A pole position, too. Of course he’s not as good as Alonso, few are. Is he struggling? Absolutely. But even the very best run into a car or two over the course of their career that they don’t gel with.

    1. Michael, imagine how anti-Stroll any of us would be if he shoved us the way he showed that poor soul that works for him? Wouldn’t you be? Trust me, if he did it to me, that would activate my own anti-stRoll mechanism. I think this deserves legal action, what we say here is of no consequence. If that guy doesn’t sue him, that’s his problem, but this is also F1’s problem. They can’t allow things like this to happen in their own paddock. That kinda sends the wrong message, and it sends it live. I’m the first one to tell you that people have gone too soft these days, too sensitive to all kinds of things. But that’s why we had revolution in France and American war for independence, so things like this don’t happen. Yes, it would be a thing between friends if that guy could do the same to Stroll, or if he fought back (so they settle it later with a glass of wine or whatever).

    2. The guy was up in his face as he was ‘storming off’.

      My understanding from the commentary is that drivers are required to exit the front of the garage, and the guy was trying to express this with some urgency. Maybe he could have done it differently, but if that was the case then he was still only doing his job.

      1. True, and it doesn’t cover Lance in glory.

        But let’s not exaggerate it either; a single shove in a moment of frustration does not make him dangerous menace to his colleagues.

        1. A single shove is a potential summary firing offence at a lot of companies (that is to say, the company is allowed to skip many of the usual requirements that protect standard firings) in the UK where Aston Martin F1 is based, precisely because there’s no guarantee that it won’t be repeated in similar circumstances.

      2. @cairnsfella If so, that’s not in the main set of regulations. (It may, however, be in the race director’s notes, which change from race to race and if present there, would also explain a number of occasions where this has not been the requirement).

  7. Never understood the defence of this guy. Would he have a some seven year F1 career based purely on his talent? Absolutely not. Would anyone having seen what Stroll can do in an F1 car believe that if he had a championship winning car he could take a world championship? Again, absolutely not – whoever was in the other car would comfortably beat him in the same manner that multiple world champions have, rookies have, and one-off stand in’s have.

    He’s competent enough to score points, could be a potentially great #2 but he can’t even do that currently. So what’s the point of him? He’s experienced enough to say he’s no longer a rookie, he’s not extracting *anything* from his cars, not capable of beating his team-mates and this isn’t even one bad year it’s a theme throughout his entire career. Ricciardo underperformed and was booted, even Latifi’s money couldn’t grease him in longer and Alpine let Piastri and Alonso go for sublimely stupid reasons and yet here remains Stroll, with a largely indefinite seat he is categorically undeserving of.

    Like has been said before of him – teams look at other drivers. Nobody is looking at him and the only reason someone would is for his father’s money.

    1. Alpine let Piastri and Alonso go? You make it sound like it was Alpine’s choice.

      1. It was Alpine’s choice in Piastri’s case because it had lots of opportunity to sign a contract that the CRB could recognise, but Alpine chose not to do it. For months. The CRB found Alpine’s case so weak that it was ordered to pay McLaren’s costs and not just its own.

    2. Never understood the defence of this guy. Would he have a some seven year F1 career based purely on his talent? Absolutely not.

      It’s not that absolute, though. Magnussen and Hülkenberg are still on the grid too, and Magnussen in particular is a bit of a rough and tumble driver with plenty of self-inflicted bad races.

      This is probably Stroll’s worst year in F1, and the frustration (and blame) is understandable. But in his career he’s had a list of pretty impressive teammates against whom it was hard to shine; Vettel, Massa, Pérez and now Alonso. All Grand Prix winners who had won or would win titles with their teams. Compared to other teammates who are perhaps more in his league, like Di Resta and Hülkenberg, he did quite well.

      He probably won’t be hired by anyone else, but that’s also true of guys like Tsunoda, Zhou, Hülkenberg, Magnussen, Ricciardo and probably also Bottas by now.

  8. It’s my bro and my daddy owns the team. So …

  9. Has anyone actually seen or heard from “bro”? Or did dad have a chat with him and tell him to either keep his mouth shut or head to the airport?

    1. @dmw Physios rarely speak to the press on record in any case due to professional expectations – the things the press want to ask them about are rarely topics that professional codes would allow them to discuss without their client’s permission. Which Lance couldn’t give, even if he wanted to do so, until Aston Martin’s management finish their investigation. (This would also partially explain why Lance’s post-qualifying interview to Sky was six words long despite being asked three questions).

      If Henry spoke prior to Aston Martin management finishing its investigation, Henry would risk professional deregistration, at which point Lance and Aston Martin legally wouldn’t be allowed to have him as a physio, again even if they wanted him to stick around as a friend/minder. I doubt anyone would have needed to remind Henry of his professional obligations – the sort of physio who would might have shoved back…

  10. Nepo baby abuses paid ‘bro’ who has little choice but to take it.

    Yeah, OK Lance, whatever you say.

    (BTW – my money is on that guy breaking you in half if he was able to face up to you on equal terms)

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