Fans on social media were less than impressed by Lance Stroll’s defensive tactics after the Canadian robustly defended his position from team-mate Sebastian Vettel on the final lap of the French Grand Prix.
Vettel and Stroll started 12th and 15th respectively after a disappointing qualifying for the British side, but the 23-year-old made it up into the points following a good start and a crash for Charles Leclerc while the Monegasque was leading from pole.
It looked as though Stroll might have had a chance of passing Daniel Ricciardo for ninth, but the Australian escaped in the dying laps as Vettel converged on his team-mate.
The four-time champion had a go into Turn 11 as Stroll fended him off, before trying to cut back underneath him on the exit of the final corner, only for Stroll to move across mid corner and cut him off.
Vettel waved his hand in frustration as he crossed the line 11th in a frustrating day for the German, and Stroll was criticised by social media users.
“You can’t be mad at Stroll. The guy is a meme. In every sense,” said one fan.
Another referred to Stroll’s position as the son of billionaire team owner Lawrence, indicating that nepotism will keep him on the grid regardless of what he does.
“Stroll being Stroll. And he’s got a long career ahead of him, safest seat on the entire grid,” they added.
A third joked that Stroll will ask his father to drop Vettel from the team if the 35-year-old passes him.
“Vettel: Tries to overtake Stroll.
“Stroll: You better stay behind or you won’t have a seat next year,” they quipped.
Others had a more sympathetic view of Stroll’s defending, with one comparing his tactics to those of double world champion Fernando Alonso.
“Good tactic by stroll, not accelerating fast forcing the other driver to lose momentum. It [reminds me of] some tactics Alonso used [at] Imola 2005 to stop Michael [Schumacher] on the exits of the corners,” they affirmed.
Stroll’s point was the fourth time he has finished in the top 10 this season, so another suggested that he can be excused wanting to fight for it given how 2022 has gone for the team.
“Vettel did an awesome job to set up that corner to blast past him, but can’t blame Stroll for wanting the point badly during this miserable season for him,” they explained.
Vettel cut a slightly forlorn figure after the race, but was not too surprised at how the afternoon panned out given his starting position.
“It was a bit frustrating to be stuck in traffic the whole race,” he said in the media pen.
“I think it was expected from where we started.”
The 53-time race winner hopes for better fortunes at next weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix, the last before the summer break.
“I think we understood the car a little bit more but we’re still lacking pace,” added Vettel.
“Let’s see, next week is a different track.”
Stroll’s point inches Aston Martin closer to AlphaTauri in the Constructors’ Standings, but the British side remain ninth, eight points behind the Italian side.