Former Aston Martin strategy engineer turned pundit Bernie Collins believes that Lance Stroll receives a “bad rep” because his father, Lawrence Stroll, owns the Silverstone-based team; however, she admits that the Canadian has had a “poor” season.
Stroll has faced significant backlash in 2023 because he’s performed so disappointingly, despite having arguably the best car he’s had in his Formula 1 career.
He’s bucked under the pressure of having Fernando Alonso replace Sebastian Vettel, with the Spaniard having instantly become the team’s leader.
Whilst Stroll was given the benefit of the doubt at the start of 2023 after missing pre-season testing through injury, the Canadian never really got going.
Alonso constantly out-performed him throughout the season and even secured fourth in the Drivers’ Championship on 206 points.
As for Stroll, he ended the season down in 10th on just 74 points.
The AMR23 was more than good enough to get well above 100 points, as proven by Alonso who score almost three times more points than Stroll.
Stroll failed to even finish on the rostrum, something Alonso achieved eight times.
There is no hiding the fact that Stroll’s poor campaign is the reason for Aston Martin finishing fifth in the Constructors’ Championship.
Had he performed closer to Alonso, then the British side wouldn’t have been beaten by McLaren and would’ve certainly been in the fight for P2.
Due to his shocking season, several questions were asked as to whether Stroll was only being retained because his father owns the team.
Most believe that if Stroll raced for any team other than Aston Martin, he would’ve likely been shown the exit door.
Collins thinks it’s “very hard” to forget about Stroll’s father owning the team when discussing his performances this year; however, she does believe the 25-year-old needs to put in more “work” to compete with Alonso.
“I think Lance gets a bad rep for you know his father owning the team,” said Collins on the Beyond The Grid podcast. “And I think it’s very hard to remove that aspect when judging his performance. This year his performances have been poor, I don’t think you can argue that particularly since the car’s got worse.
“I think Checo in Force India was underrated, so when Lance wasn’t beating Checo he was underrated even more which is why there has been this drive to bring in Vettel, and now Alonso, drivers that are highly rated to get some close results.
“And I will be interested to see – I don’t think we’ve had an accurate view on him versus Alonso because of what’s happened throughout the year, he does have to work at it more than, you know, the likes of Alonso.”