“It’s not a clothing brand or a watch brand”
Former F1 driver Jacques Villeneuve has criticized the team management methods of Aston Martin F1 team owner Lawrence Stroll. The Canadian champion also felt that Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll had unusual incidents throughout the weekend.
Explaining the Aston Martin team owner’s situation in his blog, Villeneuve said:
“Running a Formula 1 team takes more than heaps of money, as Lawrence Stroll is currently discovering with Aston Martin. It’s not a clothing brand or a watch brand, it’s much more complicated. Especially if you’re leading a team for your son, finding solutions becomes that much more complicated.
According to the 1997 F1 champion, Stroll senior probably realized the complications of running a team for his son. Villeneuve’s advice to the Canadian billionaire was that running an F1 team requires more than lavish funding. There has also been speculation that Stroll will be in talks with Audi for a strategic partnership in 2026.
Commenting on the performances of the Aston Martin drivers in Melbourne, Villeneuve said:
“Watching this weekend you saw that Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll kept getting in trouble. Stroll’s incident with Latifi in qualifying was just embarrassing. He also blamed the track for the “accident, which is arguably the weirdest explanation for an accident. And during the race, we saw that Stroll certainly uses his mirrors, given his zigzag tactics. His teammate Vettel is clearly not having fun not at all, I think he would prefer to be at home. Granted, he also made mistakes at Ferrari, but his mistakes this weekend did not match his stature.
The former Williams driver believes the two drivers had multiple incidents throughout the weekend, of which Stroll’s clash with Latifi in qualifying was the highlight of the weekend. Villeneuve found Stroll’s explanation for the bizarre incident and believes the Canadian driver must have used his mirrors correctly. As for Vettel’s performance, the champion Williams believes the German preferred to be at home than driving this weekend.
Jacques Villeneuve questions how Aston Martin team owner runs the team
The 1997 world champion questioned Lawrence Stroll’s team running and management style. According to Villeneuve, Stroll senior will have to manage his drivers unlike his companies, or verbal exchanges will be complicated. The Canadian driver further felt that the team sponsors would question the damage caused by the crashes and that the difficult weekend did not paint a pretty picture from a PR perspective.
Asking about the ramifications of the crashes, the F1 champion said:
“While nothing major – no chassis was lost – from a PR point of view it all adds up. The sponsors don’t like it – on top of the damage it also costs money because of missed points.The question now is, what will big boss Lawrence Stroll do?If he runs his drivers like he does business, these won’t be pleasant conversations.
Empathizing with the atmosphere at Silverstone, Villeneuve said:
“The atmosphere in the factory must also be on the razor’s edge, I don’t think we feel welcome there at the moment. In the long term, this will not be an easy situation to resolve; they built a car comparable to a Williams or a Haas, but these teams managed to build their own on a lower budget.
Although Villeneuve compares the Aston Martin challenger to Williams and Haas, the latter two teams have managed to score points since the start of the season. Haas has 12 points and is seventh in the standings and Williams scored his first point. Aston Martin is however at the bottom of the standings with zero points. Stroll also earned some reprimands over the Australian weekend, picking up 8 points on his license in 12 months, bringing him one step closer to a racing ban if the trend continues.