Lance Stroll's underwhelming performances for Aston Martin have got an increasing number of fans convinced 'daddy's boy' has run out of chances.
Canadian Stroll – whose father, Lawrence, owns the Formula 1 outfit and is executive chairman of Aston Martin – suffered his second retirement of the season in Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix. That's in stark contrast to colleague Fernando Alonso, who is thriving in the AMR23 and placed a season's best second in Monte Carlo.
It's not the first time Stroll has been dogged by the narrative that he doesn't necessarily deserve his seat. However, the instant success of Alonso – who sits third in the table and hasn't finished below fourth in any of the six races so far this season – has highlighted the driver disparity further.
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Stroll, 24, has notched just three podium finishes in 128 race starts to date, while Alonso is close to doubling that tally in his debut year with Aston Martin alone. Granted, the Spaniard and two-time world champion is one of the sport's greatest talents, but F1 followers are nonetheless frustrated with Stroll's lack of advancement.
"The only team with consistent drivers now is [Mercedes]," railed one concerned critic. "[Ferrari driver Charles] Leclerc is making too many mistakes and Stroll is just a daddy's boy."
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"I’ll say it again, Lance Stroll isn’t good enough for Aston Martin if they want to win World Championships," remarked another. "27 points after six rounds compared to Alonso’s 93 points is just not good enough considering his only bit of bad luck was Jeddah, and he didn’t even lose many points."
Red Bull are once again running away in the title stakes as reigning champion Max Verstappen leads out in front. But Alonso is the only outsider managing to keep touch with the leading duo at this point.
Stroll has also been referred to as an 'average midfield driver at the very best', with many in doubt as to whether he's capable of joining the true elite. Alonso, on the other hand, was already inspiring title talk after an impressive pre-season with his newest employers.
With a net worth of around $3.6billion (£2.9bn), Stroll Sr brings a lot of financial sway to Aston Martin, having invested in the team back in 2018 when it was still Racing Point. His son, Lance, made his debut for Williams in 2017, though it's been reported Lawrence made a payment of around £55m to the British manufacturer around that time.
There's a wide consensus among many fans that Aston Martin boast the second-best car on the grid this season, having overtaken Mercedes and Ferrari in performance.
It hasn't been enough for Alonso to end a race win drought that's now more than a decade old. The 41-year-old last crossed a chequered flag first in F1 back in May 2013 when he won his home Spanish Grand Prix.
Now in his seventh season as an F1 driver, Stroll is yet to take such an honour, and it's almost three years since his last podium place. He came close to breaking that duck in Melbourne earlier this year, but supporters are largely in agreement the Quebec native needs more to deserve his seat.
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