Aston Martin to fire Lance Stroll and hire Ferrari driver

Lance Stroll has scored 80 points fewer than Aston Martin team-mate Fernando Alonso after eight races in 2023.

Lance Stroll has endured a difficult 2023 season thus far, with new signing Fernando Alonso comprehensively outperforming him at the Silverstone-based team.

While Alonso has bagged a podium at almost every grand prix so far this year, Stroll’s best finish is a P4 at the 2023 Australian GP.

As for finishing ahead of his veteran team-mate, Stroll has only managed this once – namely at the 2023 Spanish Grand Prix.

Charles Leclerc, meanwhile, has also had a very disappointing start to the year with Ferrari, prompting speculation that he will be looking to leave the Scuderia at the end of 2023 or, more likely, at the end of 2024, when his contract expires.

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Ex-Formula 1 driver Ralf Schumacher believes a move to Aston Martin is a “logical possibility” for Leclerc, to replace the underperforming Stroll.

Whilst Leclerc is contracted to Ferrari until the end of 2024, the Monegasque doesn’t look set to win any titles anytime soon with the Scuderia, who’ve been dealing with an inconsistent car this season.

It’s not just Ferrari’s car which has been inconsistent, the team themselves have also been guilty of making some peculiar decisions.

This was on show once again last weekend at the Canadian Grand Prix, as Leclerc was asked to set a lap on the Intermediates during Q2, despite the fact the circuit was dry enough for slicks.

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As a result, Leclerc went on to be eliminated ahead of Q3, something which proved costly given the fact that he boasted sensational race pace last Sunday.

Leclerc recovered from outside the top 10 to finish fourth, with him having likely been a contender for victory if he’d qualified better.

If Ferrari get their act together then there is no reason why Leclerc would need to consider a switch elsewhere; however, a continuation of their woes could lead to the 25-year-old looking for a move.

Should that happen, then Schumacher thinks Aston Martin would be a great team for Leclerc, to form a partnership alongside Fernando Alonso.

It would be to replace Stroll, who’s often failed to keep up with the two-time World Champion.

“So far, there have only been Mercedes and Red Bull as potential options,” Schumacher told Sky Germany.

“Mercedes is not quite as current at the moment, and it’s safe to assume that Hamilton will continue there.

“But I believe a strong candidate is also Aston Martin, as they also need to look around. Fernando Alonso will have another year after that. Who knows, [Lawrence Stroll’s] son doesn’t fulfil the season goals, they may need to bring in another strong driver for the future, building alongside Fernando Alonso.

“Accordingly, that would be a logical possibility for Charles Leclerc, also considering the Honda partnership eventually.”

Ex-Formula E driver Oliver Askew discussed Stroll following his home race last weekend, where he recovered from P16 to ninth.

Whilst it marked a good recovery, Alonso was amongst the frontrunners and finished second, securing his sixth podium of 2023.

If Aston Martin want to become real championship contenders then they need two drivers capable of finishing in the top-five consistently, something they don’t currently have.

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“I can’t help but think how much further ahead in the constructors’ [Aston Martin] would be over Mercedes with the help of Lance Stroll,” Askew told the BBC’s Chequered Flag podcast.

“Yes, he did score points [in Canada, but] it was only a couple.

“He will be looking to learn how Fernando is getting the success, hopefully, and be able to match him more or just get thereabouts as that’s all he needs to do to help that team.”