May 27, 2024

Who slept worse last night: Lance Stroll

Dear readers,

The way Lance Stroll is protected by his team sometimes seems a little awkward

It takes a lot to upset Daniel Ricciardo, the little boy from the Australian West Coast. But when Lance Stroll crashed his rear end while braking at Turn 14 in Shanghai on Sunday, watch out – under the safety car, his sunny disposition came to an end.

“What an idiot, man,” were the first words out of his mouth on pit radio.

In general, the pit radio says a lot about the Ricciardo-Stroll incident at the Chinese Grand Prix, and about how frantically the people at Aston Martin are trying to get the “little boss” to reconcile with the “little boss”, as they do it at my house in the Austrian Mühlviertel in a rude way for the son Which is laughed at by the powerful company owner who says he is protecting.

Pit Radio: You're the best, Lance, it's everyone else's fault!

When Stroll crossed the finish line in 15th place, receiving a ten-second penalty for the incident during a safety car restart at the end of lap 26, he was 1:23 minutes behind winner Max Verstappen and 11.1 seconds behind Guanyu Zhou, who crossed. The finish line is ahead of him in 14th place.

A great achievement for race engineer Andrew Vizard: “That was bad luck, honey. It went really well at the start. It went really well in the first two stints, until the safety car. Just so you know: that was a huge achievement.” “I caught some of it right away, and I think Sainz was the one who shot it forward.”

Stroll was on the second lap when he again criticized the ten-second penalty as “ridiculous” because: “The whole train stopped in front of me. Twice! Even on the long straight. Someone braked there. Then again in the hairpin.”

It struck me as a message from someone who had to justify something. Knowing that he ruined himself.

Vizard then expressed his understanding for the Canadian, who, in his view, had suffered a grave injustice: “Yes, we saw that. It certainly wasn't you. It was just a mess, wasn't it? The others didn't.” Not doing a very good job. You deserve more than that.”

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Fact check: Did Sainz actually play the accordion?

But that's not all: if you check the assumption expressed on pit radio that Sainz is said to have caused an accordion effect, you will come across something completely different: it is true that Sainz accelerated first before Turn 14 and then applied the brakes. But that was within the range of what could be described as normal before the reboot.

The person who fell asleep behind Sainz, pulled left at the last second and slid in front of the Ferrari with smoked tires just inches from the Ferrari, and had more luck than feeling was the other Aston Martin driver: Fernando Alonso. Then an accordion effect appeared behind Alonso, which Stroll was not paying enough attention to.

This is the part of the story that Aston Martin doesn't like to talk about.

Aston Martin: Race stewards judge us particularly harshly

Team boss Mike Crack appeared before the press after the race and did his best to rehabilitate the “little boss”: “I wish,” he criticized the race stewards, “that they would have looked at it in more detail.” We tried to discuss the matter in detail, but the verdict was quickly made that Lance was responsible.

In my personal opinion, there wasn't much to discuss. In fact, Aston Martin's perspective seems quite exclusive. also skyIn live commentary, pundit Ralf Schumacher rejected the argument that poor Stroll couldn't do anything about it because of the accordion effect: “That's a hairpin curve. And it makes sense that they're all going slow there. Man, man, man, man, man.” And: “I don’t know where he was looking.”

At least not forward, which the on-board recordings also prove, but to the right towards the curve. For any reason.

Not only is it cumbersome, it's also very slow.

I now find it almost embarrassing how Aston Martin is trying to acquire the Stroll Jr. To protect. When he was twenty behind Alonso in Q2 (who finished third in Q3, compared to Stroll's P11), Krack was pleased with the narrowing of the time gap between the two. Now, after this disturbing event, are the race stewards supposed to be the bad guys?

Sorry, but that's a denial of reality.

Stroll is no longer a complete novice, but a veteran in his eighth season in Formula 1. At Imola he will compete in the 150th Grand Prix. Even without sprint races, he has completed more races than athletes such as Emerson Fittipaldi, Mario Andretti, Jacky Ickx or Keke Rosberg in their entire career. His training period had long since ended.

Everything Aston Martin can say

Please do not misunderstand: no one expects team management to stab their driver in the back. But constantly shifting responsibility onto others, without blaming poor Lance, is neither honest nor particularly good.

After Shanghai, you might have said, “Yes, Lance made a mistake. It wasn't supposed to happen, but it did. It happened to others, too. He apologized, and he meant to apologize. But now we'll leave it alone.” “Behind us and looking towards Miami.”

Just: This didn't work. Stroll doesn't apologize, it's always someone else's fault.

Or more clearly: If Aston Martin had had two Alonsos cars in 2023, they would have finished second in the World Championship with 412 points – undeniable calculations. Counting Stroll's points twice would have resulted in just 148 points. And fifth place.

Like a reluctant ice skating princess

It hurts your heart to see how the constantly angry Canadian blocked one of Formula 1's 20 cockpits from other drivers for years. To me, Stroll looks like an angry ice-skating princess, forced by her ambitious mother to train so she can one day become an Olympic champion.

It might have been smarter if Lance had simply become a ski or tennis coach. However, he doesn't enjoy Formula 1. And if he does, he does a really good job of keeping it as secret as possible.

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At press conferences he usually looks more at his cell phone than at reporters, and on our editorial team his media tours are usually not written about because he answers angrily and rarely says anything interesting. Emails from colleagues who listened to his audio recordings contained comments such as: “Typical Lance. He doesn't say anything. He doesn't deserve it.”

Doesn't anyone dare say anything against the president's son?

Mike Crack and the rest of Aston Martin management find themselves in a difficult position. You must defend the indefensible. If you don't, you may piss off your boss. “Big Boss” in this case. And I'd rather not make him angry either! Perhaps this is what prevents honesty and self-reflection in the team.

Don't get me wrong: Lawrence Stroll wants what's best for his son. He bought him a GP2 team, and now he's also bought him a Formula 1 team. A lot of people would probably do this if they had the money. This is not illegal in itself. The only question is: Aren't eight years enough to realize that Lance doesn't have what it takes to be a world champion?

Maybe Lance will quit and become a ski coach, and maybe Lawrence will sell his most expensive toy again. So someone else can finally play with it.

The person who slept better than Lance Stroll last night was Lando Norris. My colleague Fredrik Hackbarth wrote why in our sister column Chinese Grand Prix, which you can now read here.

for you

notice: In the nature of things, this column reflects my personal perception. If anyone has a different opinion, I welcome you to discuss it with me On my Facebook page “Formula 1 Inside with Christian Nimmervoll”. There are not primarily 'breaking news' from the Grand Prix circus, but rather completely subjective and sometimes very scathing rankings of the most important behind-the-scenes developments in Formula 1.