Nico Rosberg criticizes Lance Stroll, who, according to the German, is lagging too far behind teammate Fernando Alonso. The single world champion questions the future of the Canadian after he is now significantly behind Alonso. There are rumors going around that Stroll himself wants to quit F1, but he denies those rumors.
After Stroll started the season impressively, things only seemed to go downhill later on. Even after the summer break, the Canadian did not exactly make a comeback. In Monza he qualified last, while Alonso again advanced to Q3. Stroll’s poor performance has seen Aston Martin slip from second to fourth place in the championship, behind Mercedes and Ferrari. With McLaren expected to be competitive from the start in 2024, Aston Martin’s one-sided line-up could cost them a spot in the top four next year.
“I don’t know exactly what happened to Lance,” Rosberg begins in the Sky Sports F1 podcast. ‘He is a very solid driver, he showed at the start of the season that he can stay close to Fernando. When Fernando was third, Lance was in fifth or sixth place. He is now in a difficult phase. In the long term, Aston cannot afford to have one driver who lags far behind,” the German continues. “Either Lance needs to get back to where he can be, should be, or they need to think about changes to the second driver.”
Rosberg doubts whether Aston Martin will take action: ‘It is a father-son relationship’
Alonso is now the sole ruler at Aston Martin and is responsible for the majority of the points. Stroll has not yet been able to match his teammate’s performance once. ‘Fernando must be challenged. The setup work is better when there are two drivers who really go for it. It’s a different dynamic. It is important to have two fast drivers,” Rosberg continued. Since Stroll’s father, Lawrence, owns the team, Rosberg doubts any changes will be made to the lineup unless Lance makes the decision himself.
‘I can’t judge it. Lance would probably say, hey, I need to do something else if he keeps struggling like he is now. The easiest thing would be for Lance to find a way to get back to where he can be, which isn’t too far from Fernando. It’s a father-son relationship, that’s the challenge, that’s what counts. So it’s a tricky issue. If Aston were second in the Constructors’ Championship I think there would be a lot of money at stake, about £30 million more in TV money income from second to fourth. So there is a lot of money at stake,” said the single world champion.