Lance Stroll replacement for 2024

Formula One is almost unrecognisable from the sport it was even just two decades ago. Teams would come and go frequently whether it be manufacturers disillusioned with the sport or simply just small independent outfits who ran out of money.

Then there was a driver quality issue. Whilst Michael Schumacher was winning Ferrari six consecutive titles and Fernando Alonso became the youngest ever F1 world champion, the quality of a number of the other competitors left a lot to be desired.



Worst F1 pay drivers

Alex Yoong and Gaston Mazzacane were contemporaries of Alonso in the early 2000’s yet their obvious lack of talent meant the source of their pay-to drive funds dried up within a season or two.

Having friends in high places paid off for Yuji Ide in 2006 when he landed a drive with Honda junior team Super Aguri, run by his mate Aguri Suzuki.

At 31, he became one of F1’s oldest rookies. However, just four races into the season he was dropped. No friendship is strong enough to keep you in a seat when you’re lapping up five seconds a lap slower than your teammate, who at the time was Takuma Sato.

His final act in F1 saw him collide with Christijan Albers, whose Midland ended upside down. Ide’s superlicence was revoked soon afterwards.



F1 boom times make pay drivers unnecessary

Of course even modern Formula One has recent examples of drivers who are there purely because of the finance they bring to the team. Last year’s outgoing Canadian Nicolas Latifi is a prime example along with the Russian Nikita Mazepin who’s father saw Haas F1 through a thought season when their cash to race had dried up.

But Formula One is now in boom times. Sportico recently published a report sating the average value of an F1 teal is now $1.86b and this ranges from Ferrari (who can never be sold) at the top worth $3.9b and the current world champions Red Bull are valued at $2.6bn.

Even lowly Haas are reportedly worth $780m and Williams who were bought from the family who founded for $200m in just two years have an estimated worth of $725m.

Such is the interest in the sport, even the smaller teams have a host of sponsors on their liveries not seen just five seasons ago and even the team generating the smallest amount of revenue is thought to now be able to spend up to the cost cap for their in season racing.

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Logan Sargeant billionaire family

This a far cry from the multiples of 8,9 and 10 times the top teams would blow each year on F1 competition when compared to the back of the field.

The new found riches mean that teams like Haas F1, Alfa Romeo and Williams no longer need to employ pay drivers. Although there are currently two remnants on the grid of yesteryear.

Logan Sargeant was signed by the outgoing Williams team principal in November last year, but the values of Jost Capito were always more focused on the needs of the Dorilton shareholders rather than the best interests of the team. Sargeant’s family have billionaire status.

Williams new boss James Vowles is firing top a revolution at the historic British racing team and whilst he has been publicly supportive of Logan Sargeant is fully expected to let him go for next season.

Pirelli fight for 2024 F1 tyres



Lance Stroll: The elephant in the room

As Haas F1 proved by ditching Mazepin and Schumacher, results flow better with drivers worthy of their seat in the sport and with results comes even more money.

Yet the elephant in the Formula One drivers room is rarely mentioned. Lance Stroll at Aston Martin for some may be considered the biggest pay driver of all.

With his father owning the team and the automotive manufacturing business, Lance appears to have a job for life so long as he wishes to remain an F1 driver.

Yet the winds of change of blowing through Aston Martin who have lashed themselves from being an ‘also ran’ to top contenders in the chase to catch Red Bull Racing.

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Aston Martin should be way ahead of Mercedes

Having signed Fernando Alonso for this season, the Spaniard along with new senior recruits Dan Fallows and Andrew Alessi from Red Bull – Eric Blandin from Mercedes, and Luca Furbatto from Alfa Romeo have in a year turned the fortunes of the Silverstone based F1 team around.

Aston Martin were the shock package after Bahrain pre-season testing. They blitzed their way from 7th last year to a consistent second in the championship claiming 6 podiums from the first 8 races up to and including Canada. Alonso this year now has 3 more podiums than both Mercedes’ drivers combined. 

Whilst Aston Martin have struggled since Silverstone to make a top three finish the last time out in Zandvoort saw them return to ‘winning ways’ as their upgraded car in the hands of Alonso followed Max Verstappen home at the chequered flag.

Yet a slightly deeper dig, reveals Aston Martin should be streets ahead of Mercedes by now and be firm favourites for the second slot in the constructors’ champions behind Red Bull Racing but there is a single reason why this is not the case.

Lance Stroll. 

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Aston Martin on the up in F1

Son of the billionaire team owner is probably the second worst performer on the grid to rookie driver Logan Sargeant. 

Stroll has less than a third of his team mates points after 13 races, a percentage usually reserved for a rookie driver against an experienced team mate. But Lance is no rookie. He has been in the sport at his father’s bequest since 2017 when Lawrence reportedly paid Williams $80m to give his son a seat for the season.

Of course while the Silverstone team under the guise of Force India, Racing Point and eventually Aston Martin were towards the back of the field, Lance could hide amongst the relatively small number of points scored by the team during the season.

Yet Aston Martin now have ambitions of becoming title contenders. Their new $200m facility is almost complete and they have proven they can build a car capable of beating perennial top teams such as Mercedes and Ferrari.

Schumacher hopes forF1  2024 grow



Stroll second worst F1 team mate

Suddenly Lawrence who built his billionaire wealth from nowhere by beating his business competition is now faced with a conundrum. Does he want his Formula One team to push for global honours or is it more important he continues to facilitate for his son a place on the grid of motorsport’s biggest stage?

Lance has been out qualified 11-2 and has an average grid position five places lower than Alonso. His average finishing position is 4.8 places below his Spanish team mate and these statistics are similar to those for Alex Albon and rookie Logan Sargeant.

Nyck de Vries who was sacked after ten races by AlphTauri managed to qualify on average just over two places behind Yuki Tsunoda and had a similar deficit when looking at his finishing positions.

Lance Stroll of course is no Al Paese, who was an infamous Canadian for being the only driver in F1 history for being disqualified for driving too slowly.

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Infamous Canadian pay driver

At the 1969 Canadian Grand Prix when, driving an Eagle-Climax, Pease was shown the black flag for being a general menace and battling with race leaders despite being several laps behind.

When Jackie Stewart was nearly taken out by the Canadian, Ken Tyrrell lodged a complaint and Pease was disqualified.

Yet the time has come for Lawrence to stare into the abyss. The team have a reserve driver in Felipe Drugovitch who looks positively ready to compete in Formula One.

FIA draconian new rules



Drugovitch’s time to step up

The young Brazilian is the reigning F2 champion and has been present at all of the F1 races with Aston Martin this year. Were Aston Martin not to promote him Ito Lance Stroll’s seat for 2024 they risk losing him given that over the past nine years each and every F2 title winner has found a seat in Formula One – except Drugovitch.

Recent paddock rumours have suggested Lance Stroll is ready to quit Formula One and pursue another avenue which is his passion. 

This of course allows his father Lawrence to save face and not be forced into sacking his son as maybe the next potential “Ayrton Senna” is given his chance in 2024 to prove his worth.

READ MORE: Hamilton admits Mercedes “cost cap troubles”

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