Lawrence Stroll’s take on the potential Andretti entry is downright comical, given who he puts in one of his Aston Martin Formula 1 cars.
Michael Andretti’s Andretti Global entry has officially been granted approval from the FIA to become an 11th Formula 1 team in 2026 with Cadillac. But there are still a number of hurdles that remain before the entry itself becomes official, and one such hurdle has to do with the stance of the current teams.
Several teams have made it known that they do not want an 11th team on the grid, regardless of who it is, even though Formula 1 had 11 teams not too long ago.
Even a last name such as Andretti can’t get them to change their minds on adding what would be the sport’s first new team since 2016, with the almighty dollar (or euro) being the primary focus of the objections, even though the monetary benefits of having such a name and team on the grid are obvious over the long haul.
One such team owner with objections is Aston Martin’s Lawrence Stroll, who claimed to Sky Sports that “if it ain’t broke you don’t need to fix it”.
“I think F1 at the moment, the business is on fire, the sport has never been in a better place, and I believe if it ain’t broke you don’t need to fix it, so I’m a strong believer that it’s working really well with 10 teams right now and believe that’s the way it should stay.
“As I said the sport and the business is on fire. There’s never been more fans or spectators, the audience is the highest it has ever been. I continue to see substantial growth, particularly in the United States which is the largest consumer market in the world. As you know we now have three races in the States – we’re in our second year in Miami, we’re going to Las Vegas in November, so I see tremendous growth possibilities going forward.”
But do you know what Formula 1 really doesn’t need?
A billionaire businessman forking over hundreds of millions of dollars so that he can live out his own dream through his son, who runs about 16th at any given point during a weekend, throws his steering wheel and shoves his trainer because signatures on checks haven’t managed to magically convert him into anything close to resembling a top Formula 1 driver, and has never even really shown that much interest in racing, can be in a race car.
That is what the sport doesn’t need.
Andretti is a hard no, but spending upwards of $80 million for your boy on a Williams seat and then literally buying a team (which, to his credit, effectively saved the organization — both from being lost and from being “bought” by the infamous Rich Energy — at the time) just to see your son continue to be mid (at best) is totally okay.
In fairness to the younger Stroll, he has not performed all that terribly (relatively speaking) against some of his teammates over the years, and current teammate Fernando Alonso is a 32-time race winner and a two-time world champion. So Alonso coming out ahead of Lance was expected.
But Alonso is a 42-year-old ex-retired driver who spent more than two years out of the sport, and in his first season with what has been a resurgent Aston Martin team, he has blown Stroll out of the water, nearly quadrupling his point total through 16 rounds and scoring all seven of the team’s podium finishes.
So the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” stance is an interesting one from the elder Stroll, considering what keeping Lance in one of the cars has cost the team in what has been their most competitive season.
They could literally end up finishing as many as three places lower than their actual pace in the constructor standings because of Lance’s lack of pace.
While Aston Martin have definitely struggled as of late, the fact that Alonso has only just lost his position as top non-Red Bull driver in the standings to Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton indicates that Aston Martin should be in third place at worst in the constructor standings. Yet they sit in fourth, and at risk of dropping to fifth behind McLaren, thanks to Stroll continuing to ride around.
That’s quite a bit of reward money gone — perhaps even more than Lawrence thinks Aston Martin would lose by splitting the pie 11 ways instead of 10.
Lance can be as frustrated as he wants to be, as he was after yet another Q1 exit in Qatar when he appeared to physically shove his trainer and then went on to disrespect a Sky Sports reporter with three snarky (and in one case, NSFW) remarks.
But you can only dwell on that emotion for so long. You can only blame adrenaline for so long. The fact is, he is only in his position because of his father’s money.
While there are those who have given him the benefit of the doubt — myself included — since his Formula 1 career began in 2017, we have reached a point where nobody feels bad for him simply because he lacks talent and throws a tantrum.
And for his father to object to another team due to money is blatant hypocrisy — borderline comedy.
All things considered, why is anybody even taking this individual’s opinion into consideration when it comes to whether or not there should be support behind what Michael Andretti, who has been around and successful in racing his whole life, is doing?
It’s no surprise to hear that multi-time world championship-winning drivers Max Verstappen supports the Andretti entry, given the fact that they know what it takes to come into the sport, how to compete at a high level, and how to have sustained success.
To some, it’s not just about money.
It is also worth mentioning that Lawrence has recently been rumored to be in talks about potentially selling the Aston Martin team, and part of that is reportedly down to both Lance’s attitude and his struggles, rendering the billionaire increasingly less willing to fund his son’s career.
And without his son in the sport, it’s almost like he doesn’t really care all that much about Formula 1 or the Aston Martin brand.
But yes, let’s reject Andretti.
Three words: money, money, money.
I can guarantee you that Michael isn’t joining Formula 1 just to put Marco in a car.