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Formula 1 Italian GP

Aston Martin: No doubts about Stroll's F1 future at the team

Aston Martin Formula 1 team principal Mike Krack has insisted there are no doubts about the future of Lance Stroll and that he will race for the team in 2024.

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin F1 Team

Stroll has struggled all season to match the form of team-mate Fernando Alonso, although circumstances have also often hampered his weekends, such as the team's decision to keep him out on slicks during the wet early laps in the Dutch GP.

Paddock gossip has suggested that Stroll might be considering his future as an F1 driver, although he has laughed off the idea that he might move into tennis. 

It is understood that Aston Martin Group CEO Martin Whitmarsh has been sounding out frontrunning drivers, adding to question marks over Stroll's longer-term future in the camp, although it would be logical for any team to be looking at the driver market for 2025 and beyond.

However, Krack insisted Stroll will be alongside Alonso in 2024.

"It's Monza, it's driver silly season and it's a bit boring at the moment," said Krack. "I think we don't have any such debate at the moment. We will be fine next year with the two drivers."

Asked by Autosport about Stroll's commitment, he said: "I think we have seen over the last week a very hard-working driver, trying to analyse every little detail where he can improve, being in the simulator, driving a lot, so I think there's nothing that goes in that direction."

Krack stressed the margin between Alonso and Stroll is not as big as their results might suggest.

"There is not a marked gap in performance, there is a marked gap in points," he said. "And then it's important to separate between the two. We as a team are analysing the season, from both perspectives, from both drivers.

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin F1 Team

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin F1 Team

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

"And I think we, as a team, need to do a much, much better job on that side of the garage, on race strategy, but also we had reliability issues, and it was always hitting that car. So that is something we need to do much, much better."

Krack cited the Dutch GP as an example of the team making Stroll's life more difficult: "We have to look back at the strategy that we have adopted in Zandvoort. I think Lance had a strong weekend up until then.

"But as a team, we have to take responsibility for a call that was just not decisive enough, which ruined his race.

"And we need to get better in such situations. Obviously, it doesn't help him, but as a team, we should have done a better job there."

Asked if there was a characteristic of the AMR23 that Stroll doesn't like, he said: "I think when you look at the last qualifying sessions, Q1 in Zandvoort for example, there was nothing between them.

"So I don't think that there is any particular characteristic that will be different for him than for Fernando."

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR23, Nico Hulkenberg, Haas VF-23

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR23, Nico Hulkenberg, Haas VF-23

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Krack also said the team doesn't regard Alonso differently because he's a world champion.

"That was the same before," he said. "We had a four-time world champion [Sebastian Vettel]. So we don't look at it like you do, in terms of who has won how many championships.

"We brought a driver of that class to take steps as a team. And I think we all learned from having Fernando, and the same goes for Lance.

"So from that point of view, it's all normal, and we need to also learn from that experience, and that is something that we do on the driver side and on the team side."

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He added: "I think in general between drivers there is a certain gap that you would say is not normal, but circumstantial. Sometimes you have a bit of traffic, sometimes one has a glitch in one corner.

"But normally I think the drivers are within three tenths."

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