Lance Stroll has blamed “bad fortune” for his disappointing results so far in 2023, which have seen him fall 102 points behind team-mate Fernando Alonso.
The Canadian has endured a poor first half of the season, which has seen him claim a best result of fourth.
This came at the Australian Grand Prix, and whilst the result might look good on paper, it’s nothing compared to what Alonso has achieved in his first 12 races for Aston Martin.
Alonso has already claimed six podiums for the Silverstone-based team, putting them third currently in the Constructors’ Championship.
The two-time World Champion even sits third in the Drivers’ Championship, whilst Stroll is down in ninth, behind Lando Norris.
With the package he’s got, the Canadian should at the very worst be eighth, especially as McLaren have only been strong since Austrian Grand Prix four races ago.
Missing pre-season following an accident in training was by no means ideal and does explain his lack of pace in the opening few rounds; however, that excuse can’t be used for the entire season so far.
In his defence, Stroll retired from the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix following an engine failure, whilst he hit a piece of debris from Norris’ car during Q2 at the Monaco Grand Prix.
Other than that, though, he just simply hasn’t been quick enough.
Stroll has progressed to Q3 just six times this season, despite Aston Martin having had the second-best car at the start of the season.
Alonso on the other hand, has made it into the final part of qualifying at every round.
Stroll is confident that he will eventually become “competitive” with the frontrunners, with him blaming his 2023 woes so far on “bad fortune”.
“Hopefully we get back to a stage where we’re that competitive,” Stroll told Motorsport Magazine.
“I do believe we can do that. I mean, it definitely didn’t help to miss 250 laps of testing or whatever it was, and just be physically not at my best earlier on in the season.
“However, I think more than my injury we probably got hurt more by bad fortune on the track. We were running fourth in Jeddah and then we had the engine issue. We were competitive as a team in Miami, but we had a very bad qualifying, so we were on the back foot there on a track you can’t overtake.
“Same thing in Monaco again, we hit [Lando] Norris’ debris in Q2, and that was just the end of our session starting 14th, and at a track where you want to be up at the front.”
Whilst Stroll’s father might own the team, the situation is pretty clear.
If Aston Martin had a stronger driver alongside Alonso, then they’d be comfortably second in the Constructors’ Championship.
Given that the lower they finish the less prize money they’ll receive, Stroll’s father might eventually have no choice but to drop his son.
The driver is certain that things will improve in the second half of the season though, with Stroll insisting that a lot out of Aston Martin’s “control” has “really affected” himself and the team this year.
“I think this year is honestly a lot of things that are out of our control that have really affected us. And I think if we have clean weekends, the results will be better. That’s what I honestly believe,” added Stroll.