Stroll will lead Aston Martin after I stop driving – Alonso

Formula 1

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Fernando Alonso says his team mate will ‘lead Aston Martin into the future’ once he calls time on his own racing career.

The two-times world champion joined Lance Stroll at Aston Martin at the start of last season. Alonso has out-performed his much younger team mate during their first 30 grands prix together, scoring 239 points to Stroll’s 85 and taking eight podiums while Stroll has failed to achieve any.

Formula 1’s most experienced driver of all time said he embraced the position of being the team leader at Aston Martin, but he fully expects his younger team mate to take on that position once he retires.

“When you arrive in Formula 1, you feel this competitiveness in the team, in the sport,” Alonso told The Times. “That is brutal, but you’re a little bit shy because you are twenty-something and your team mates are normally older, they have more experience.

“Now I feel the opposite, I’m the oldest, I’m the one with more experience and I feel that responsibility on my shoulders, of leading the team and trying to help not only the engineers, but also Lance. I will be part of the team for many years, even when I am not driving, and Lance will lead this team in the future. I will always support him.”

The 42-year-old recently signed a contract extension with Aston Martin, committing him to the team until at least the end of the 2026 season, when the sport will introduce sweeping changes to its chassis and power unit regulations.

Current world champion Max Verstappen has expressed doubts about staying in F1 as long as Alonso has. But the Aston Martin said he once felt the same as Verstappen but found he wanted to keep racing in Formula 1.

“That’s what I was thinking when I was at Max’s age,” said Alonso.

“I remember it was back in 2007, I signed a contract with McLaren for three years after being world champion with Renault and I was 200 percent sure that it was my last contract.

“[Then] I thought that it was my last season in 2018 and I said ‘bye bye’ to F1, thinking that it was enough for my career. I found, even when I decided to stop, I couldn’t.”

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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13 comments on “Stroll will lead Aston Martin after I stop driving – Alonso”

  1. My boss also put his son in a position of leadership regardless of skill or past accomplishment earning him said position. So I’ll believe it.

  2. Poor Aston Martin

  3. Lance will be a great leader, just needs a little bit more time

    1. LOL, comment comedy central

    2. About 1.7 seconds per lap will do

  4. Is Lance a good driver?
    Alonso: Lance is extremely valuable in developing the car.

    Is Aston Martin stuck with Lance for ever?
    Alonso: Stroll will lead Aston Martin after I stop driving.

    Some day Alonso will reveal in his autobiography how much he was laughing inside when saying all those things, which he had to say to keep Papa Stroll pleased.

  5. You mean Great Leader like Kim Jong Un?

  6. Aston Martin will never be a serious title contending team until they get rid of Lance and have two F1 quality drivers in there, no matter how fancy their building is, who the team personnel are, or the size of the companies sponsoring the car.

    At the moment it’s a really expensive hobby team.

  7. Lawrence must have some business acumen (I know little of how he got his wealth). But whenever I hear these PR pieces on Lance, I really struggle to marry up the larger picture and how it must feel to be an employee of Aston.

    Its a competitive industry, F1 boasts about how cut throat and determined it is. Its not just being sat in a debrief with Lance, it’s the travel, machining, sim correlation, sponsors hospitality, CAD, making sure the car park doesn’t get flooded, pension payments are made, mops, spark plugs and all the millions of little bits that make an organisation function, and then ask they function better than Mercedes, or Red Bull or McLaren.

    You’re asking the staff to either believe that Lance is the best option and do everything to the best of their ability, or do everything to the best of their ability and tell them its not their place to care.

    Lance being their might not make it harder to recruit because people will move for money. But as atmospheres go, it can’t be ideal. There’s as loss somewhere in the mix, that wouldn’t be there if Alonso had another driver pushing him and everyone else in the organisation. Imagine if Sainz had been there. Any fireworks would have been dampened with points and podiums

    1. @bernasaurus Maybe that’s why they’ve hired actual strong drivers with a good pedigree/reputation such as Vettel and Alonso – both to keep the motivation of all the employees of the company, and for the perception of the shareholders, so that they know all the work and money isn’t going completely to waste and that if they actually built the best car they would have a chance of getting the WDC at least. If they hired the weakest driver they could get away with to partner Lance, then it would be obvious that it was done to make him look better, and I imagine neither shareholders nor employees would be happy.

  8. It’s hard to lead from behind, but I guess there’s slower drivers than Lance available.

  9. Is he 200 percent sure about this as well?

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