Stroll rumours swirl in Qatar paddock with quit speculation mooted

Oliver Harden
Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll.

Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll adjusts his earplugs as he prepares for the start of the 2023 Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort.

Speculation is mounting that Lawrence and Lance Stroll could be on the verge of quitting Aston Martin and F1 in light of another disastrous qualifying showing at the Qatar Grand Prix.

Stroll was eliminated in Q1 for the fourth race in succession on Friday in Lusail, with the 24-year-oldcaptured clashing with his trainer in the Aston Martin garageafter climbing out of his car.

The Canadian went on to have a tense exchange with the media, responding to questions with a series of snappy and unforthcoming answers having been left disappointed to qualify 17th, 1.1 seconds slower in Q1 than team-mate Fernando Alonso.

Lawrence and Lance set to Stroll off into the sunset?

Stroll’s struggles alongside two-time World Champion Alonso in 2023 have fuelled speculation that he could choose to walk away from F1 in the near future despite father Lawrence’s ownership of both the Aston Martin F1 team and the road car company.

Now a report by German publicationF1 Insiderclaims both father and son could both quit the sport, with Lawrence Stroll “toying with the idea” of selling the team.

With Stroll’s own mother applying pressure on him to call time on his racing career this year after a number of accidents – including a big hit in qualifying in Singapore, which forced him to miss the race – it is claimed by “reputable sources” that father Lawrence now “lacks the motivation” to finance his son’s career.

Mr. Stroll, who took charge of the Aston Martin road car company in January 2020 before rebranding the F1 team the following year, is said to be considering selling the F1 operation to a newly-founded Saudi Arabia state fund.

One of Aston Martin’s title sponsors, the Saudi oil company Aramco, is reportedly leading negotiations on behalf of the fund, which has been established to promote sport in the country. The team could be sold for an eye-watering €800million.

The report adds that while the Aston Martin team have officially denied the rumour, insisting that Mr. Stroll “has made it clear that a sale is out of the question” at a time F1 is growing in popularity and the value of individual teams is increasing, the man himself recently appeared open to the possibility.

“That is not planned at the moment,” he is quoted as saying on a potential sale. “However, we have been approached. Formula 1 is a sport and a business that burns.”

散步可以卖的建议有year in which Aston Martin have recorded worrying financial results both on and off the track.

In March it emerged that the road car company’s losses had more than doubled during 2022, with the F1 teamrecording significant losses last yeardespite an increase in income from sponsorship and prizes.

Aston Martin have enjoyed a productive season in F1, with Alonso claiming seven podium finishes in total, but have slipped behind the likes of Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes in the development race over recent months.

Earlier this year the team moved into a new state-of-the-art factory close to the Silverstone base, an ambitious £200m project funded by Stroll, and in May announced a works engine deal with Honda from the start of the 2026 season.

Stroll Jr, who arrived on the grid as an 18-year-old with Williams in 2017, has scored just 47 points compared to Alonso’s 174 in 2023 and was forced to deny rumours in August that he was considering leaving F1 to launch a professional tennis career.

On Wednesday, Aston Martinannounced plans to compete at the historic Le Mans 24 Hours event in 2025with a hypercar based on the Valkyrie model, designed by F1 tech legend Adrian Newey during the company’s arrangement with Red Bull.

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