Monday, June 24, 2024

Could Fernando Alonso’s Indian summer create tension between Lawrence and Lance Stroll?

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Jillian Castillo
Jillian Castillo
"Proud thinker. Tv fanatic. Communicator. Evil student. Food junkie. Passionate coffee geek. Award-winning alcohol advocate."

Whenever any Formula One team is owned by a man who employs his own son to drive, allegations of nepotism will invariably arise. This has been Lance Stroll’s reality after his father, Lawrence, bought Aston Martin in 2021. Ever since then, the challenge for Stroll has been to prove to the world that he is talented enough to occupy a place on the F1 grid.

Alonso’s brilliance is set to make life uncomfortable for Stroll

That was a task that got significantly harder when Aston Martin offered Fernando Alonso a multi-year deal in the summer of 2022. The Spaniard agreed to the terms and this meant that he would begin driving for the team in 2023 and in doing so, would become Stroll’s new teammate.

First and foremost, a driver is judged by how they compare to their teammate before anyone else, and unfortunately for Stroll, Alonso’s start in 2023 has been nothing short of sensational. So much so that the best sportsbooks online in Ontario, a province in Stroll’s native country, have unanimously backed Alonso to beat their countryman this season. If ever there was a brutal summary of the current dynamics at Aston Villa, it is this one. In particular, Bet365, which is on the aforementioned list of the best sportsbooks in Ontario in 2023, has priced Alonso at just -2500 to win more points than Stroll in their Season Match Bet market. Meanwhile, BetVictor, another of the best betting sites in Ontario, has given Alonso odds of +1100 to win the overall championship, while Stroll is at a long price of +25000. You probably get the point by now but the expectation in Stroll’s homeland is that he will be soundly beaten by a man who is 17 years his senior.

With a tough season being predicted for the 24-year-old Canadian in 2023, how will his relationship with his father fare? At least, with a serial winner now in the other Aston Martin seat and the car, the surprise package of the season, the second fastest on the grid as of late March, this is a golden opportunity for the team to finally leave their mark on F1. If Stroll, however, isn’t able to match the team’s ambitions, could his father do the unthinkable and replace his son?

Lawrence’s priorities will be tested

The answer will come down to how much money Lawrence Stroll wants to make in the sport or whether his purchase of Aston Martin is being treated as an expensive hobby. Having invested hundreds of millions of dollars so far and with a net worth of just over three billion, there is reason to believe that Stroll intends to make a return on the money he has put in.

Needless to say, the higher a team finishes in the constructors’ championship, the more money they receive. Here is where it gets interesting given that if Aston Martin were able to hold onto the second place in the overall team standings that they currently occupy after back-to-back podiums for Alonso, they would receive over $100 million in prize money at the end of the season.

As you can see, there are decisions for Aston Martin’s new owner to make as he weighs up what he truly wants to get out of F1. Having built a car over the winter that can beat the majority of the grid, Stroll now has a headache that he may have never expected.

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