Amidst speculation over his future, Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll is reportedly mulling over a surprising career change, considering a shift from Formula 1 to the world of tennis.
The Canadian driver, who entered the F1 scene with Williams in 2017, has secured three podium finishes and notably clinched pole position at the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix.
However, Stroll has yet to substantiate his claim as a potential World Champion.
While Stroll exhibited commendable performance alongside four-time title holder Sebastian Vettel in 2021 and 2022, his struggles against two-time World Champion Fernando Alonso in the current 2023 season have been evident.
While Alonso has achieved six podium finishes, Stroll’s highest placement is fourth. As the Dutch Grand Prix approaches, Stroll languishes 102 points behind his teammate in the Drivers’ standings.
Throughout his seven-year F1 journey, Stroll’s commitment to the sport has often come under scrutiny, fuelling rumours of a possible departure.
In a conversation on The Race podcast, esteemed journalist Ben Anderson, former editor of GP Racing magazine, touched on the whispers suggesting that Stroll is contemplating a surprising transition to professional tennis.
Anderson also pinpointed several contenders, including Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda from AlphaTauri, Alex Albon from Williams, and McLaren rookie Oscar Piastri, as potential replacements for Stroll.
Anderson stated, “He’s on a rolling contract in his dad’s organisation.
“There’s been some rumours floating around that he’s considering a switch to tennis, so if he makes a career switch like that that opens up the seat.”
Assessing the potential successors, Anderson noted, “If the seat were theoretically to come up for 2024/25, [there’s] probably a few ahead of Daniel Ricciardo in that queue.
“Albon, Tsunoda has already been mentioned as somebody Honda [Aston Martin’s engine partner from 2026] would potentially like to bring onboard down the line.”
“Even someone like Oscar Piastri, who’s making waves as a rookie: once his original McLaren contract comes up he’d be someone you’d look at very seriously,” Anderson added.
The potential departure of Lance Stroll would undoubtedly raise significant questions about the future trajectory of the Aston Martin team, a squad founded and owned by Stroll’s father, Lawrence.
Lawrence Stroll’s efforts saved the Silverstone-based team (formerly Force India) from administration in 2018, leading to his son’s inclusion in the lineup for the subsequent season.
The team’s transformation into Aston Martin at the beginning of 2021 was accompanied by ambitious goals and investments, including the establishment of a new state-of-the-art factory.
Despite the team’s on-track progress in the 2023 season, reports suggest that Aston Martin’s performance may be veiling the challenges faced by its luxury road car division, which Lawrence Stroll acquired in January 2020.
Aston Martin recently reported substantial losses for 2022, underscoring the challenges faced by the broader business operations.