Lawrence Stroll, Lance Stroll, Williams, Circuit de Catalunya, 2017

Strolls ‘thwarted plan for Kubica test at Suzuka’

F1 Fanatic Round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

In the round-up: Lance Stroll’s family denied a chance for Robert Kubica to test a Williams at Suzuka as the teams considers possible alternatives to Felipe Massa for 2018.

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84 comments on “Strolls ‘thwarted plan for Kubica test at Suzuka’”

  1. So basically the Strolls and Martini rule Williams. Frank, Claire and the lot have no influence on the team whatsoever…

    Also, I don’t like the idea of a racing driver training on an old car around the world as the season goes on. He should’ve been more prepared if he feels he’s not totally up to it or needs the whole team to be behind him moving stuff around the planet and wasting resources (which are paid by his family, but still).

    It doesn’t seem like an efficient way to work, regardless of the results.

    1. Pretty sad isn’t it? Spoiled brat that doesn’t deserve to be in F1. Maybe they should rename the team to Stroll-Martini…

    2. “It doesn’t seem like an efficient way to work, regardless of the results”

      Not a rule that applies to billionaires who bankroll their relatively average kids to the F1 Podium.

    3. Sundar Srinivas Harish
      26th September 2017, 1:22

      Read the entire article, not just the headline (which is a little clickbait-y). Lawrence Stroll is paying for the tests out of his pocket, not the team’s account. Everything, from shipping of the vehicles to the accommodation of the team for the duration of the test is paid for by papa Stroll. So it is unsurprising that he would want his son to take full advantage of the test that he has bought for him instead of another guy.

      PS: Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that Kubica doesn’t deserve a shot, I’m just saying that he should find a way to do it on the account of his own sponsors, not Lance Stroll’s sponsor.

      1. Sundar Srinivas Harish, it is a rather “click bait” description – furthermore, it seems that Kubica himself has been rather dismissive of some of the claims appearing recently in the press. This has been his recent comment about some of the reports in the press recently:

        “We’re simply working and trying to find the best solution for me for the next year. We’re trying to do it clinically and with calmness. We’ll see what the work brings us.”

        “People who make these decisions probably don’t read people’s and websites’ fabrications and speculations. Some of these ‘inventions’ meet my ear but it’s just a part of this game.”

        “It’s normal when there isn’t much information but there’s so much speculation that when writing articles everyone’s trying to make some analysis that shouldn’t be a thing,” before adding. “That’s pointless. Everyone has their job to do, though. Media do their job, I do mine.”

        That would suggest to me that some of the claims which are being made in that article about the influence of the Stroll family should perhaps be treated with caution if Kubica is suggesting that some of the recent articles about his return are rather speculative. Unfortunately, because it fits with the popular desire to hate Stroll, I expect that most will happily run with that accusation whether it is true or not.

      2. Sundar

        I’m just saying that he should find a way to do it on the account of his own sponsors, not Lance Stroll’s sponsor.

        Why on earth should he?? ANY way is good. And the less you spend of your own money the better!
        That’s business, kid.

        The only possible downside of using sb else’s money, would be them demanding sth in return.

    4. …Obviously it’s not exactly like that, Ferno65 it’s journalism.

    5. @fer-no65 Hold your horses there. Stroll OWNS the cars and the testing infrastructure and presumably can do what he likes with it. Quite how Kubica got involved with a private test escapes me or even thought he was entitled. Another thing, there is no way a There seem to be a lot of holes in this story..

      Another thing. There is no way that they could run these cars without Mercedes direct involvement. It’s all very messy and on the fringes of legality in my opinion.

      1. Well I did jump in with both feet before reading everything so ok Stroll RENTS the cars and such, but no difference to my conclusion that who gets to use the cars is down to the name on the rental document. As for the morality of this kind of in-season coaching, I’ll leave that for the peanut gallery. You can’t tell me that Williams & Mercedes aren’t getting a lot of data out of this too so that’s another question mark. Last question: just how much is this costing Stroll? My dad hated giving me 10 shillings pocket money. This is on another level entirely.

    6. When you pay the bills, who is going to say no.

    7. Well the team makes agreements with people. In this case Stroll. You can’t just back out of those agreements because you feel like doing something else all of a sudden.

      Not everybody is called Monisha Kaltenborn

  2. COTD forgot to mention that Mercedes-AMG make the engines for Aston Martin road cars.

    1. Ironically Daimler (the company that owns Mercedes) owns 5% of Aston Martin. But even more ironically, Renault / Nissan own 3% of Daimler.

      If I didn’t already have a headache…

      1. I can’t see Aston Martin ever being able to produce any type of f1 engine, even a simple n/a engine.

        1. Agreed. They don’t have resources to do it. This is just cheap branding exercise. The cheapest they can get.

      2. Ferrari even has ‘Alfa Romeo’ decals on its livery.

        (Alfa Romeo is an investor in Ferrari via FIAT, as is Renault in Aston Martin via Mercedes)

    2. Wasn’t aware of that! What a mess indeed…

    3. If you read Joe Seward’s excellent blog article it gets even more interesting with AM/RB rumoured to looking at working with McLaren and Cosworth to develop an independent PU for 2021.

  3. So, are the Strolls as the big money partner for Williams calling the shots on driver choices for 2018?

    It feels like Massa will probably retire out. Would the Strolls rather have Lance race against a likely faster Robert Kubica (if healthy enough for an F1 season) or against a likely slower (than Kubica) Paul Di Resta? It seems the only benefit Di Resta could add to Williams as a full time driver would be that Lance has a chance to beat him. (At least in the earlier part of the season being more familiar with the current car at that point.)

    1. @bullmello Neither Lance or his Family have any say in who’s in the other car.

      The only thing that has any influence over who’s in the cars is the issue with Martini not been able to use drivers under the age of 25 in there promotional material.

      With regards to Kubica, As I said a few weeks ago having spoken to somebody from Renault certain issues came up during Robert’s test with the 2017 car that put them off signing him for 2018. If they had felt he was fast enough & able enough he was there 1st choice for 2018. During his test they felt his one lap pace was ‘good’ but that his long run pace was lacking as was his ability to manage the car over a race distance. That is why Renault took the decision to go after Carlos Sainz.

      1. That is just utter nonsence. Kubica only did long runs up to anout 15 laps and his times on those were super consistent and faster than renault drivers in hungary race. everyone knows money decided his renault fate when a better deal came up.

        1. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
          26th September 2017, 7:55

          kpcart, I read that he was slower than Hulkenberg but faster than Palmer, hardly a glowing endorsement – and Robert himself said that he wasn’t entirely satisfied with his performance. Had Kubica performed really well Renault would have swapped him with Palmer, or at least scheduled another test for him – they did neither.

          Williams ought to be able to do better than Kubica or Di Resta, but perhaps they expect to get Bottas back in 2019?

          1. I read that he was slower than Hulkenberg but faster than Palmer, hardly a glowing endorsement

            If that is actually true, then it is indeed a glowing endorsement. People seem to forget how hard acclimatization to an unknown car is, even for active drivers. Just look at Badoer and Fisico in ’09.

      2. @gt-racer – Sadly the Martini issue is rather restrictive, but does make sense.
        The news from Renault on Kubica is not a huge surprise, but a downer for sure. Especially for him. I keep hoping they could try him and keep Di Resta in reserve. Settling on Di Resta seems not much better than retaining Massa. I know some rate him well, I just don’t see it. Not too many other options at this point I suppose.

        1. I wouldn’t mind Paul getting the Williams drive, but only in addition to his SKY F1 duties. Watching him reviewing his own quali laps on the Sky Pad would make the tradeoff of tolerating Ted’s drivel & Crofty’s faux-drama feasible.

          If it means Paul has to give up his on-air duties, then I’m not so keen. Williams must at least keep the com channel open at all times during the race so Ted can ask Paul his usual inane questions while Paul is doing 200mph. Paul can respond with his best Scottish brogue Kimi impersonations.

      3. weird, he made 140 laps and still he lacked ability to manage the car over a race distance ?! how many other drivers did that on one day? I’d call that “excuses” for politic décisions …

    2. @bullmello With respect to your first post, I doubt this is about the Strolls trying to arrange for a teammate that would be easier for Lance to race ‘against.’ Not only would that be pure speculation at this point as to how the drivers will do in the next Williams, but they need two drivers who will race ‘with’ each other to try to advance the car that has obviously been lacking this season. If I’m Williams it is not about a driver rivalry, it is about advancing the car and finding Lance a teammate that will help him and the whole team do that. Let’s get that Williams regularly into the points before we worry about anything else.

  4. The article regarding Stroll, Kubica & the William test’s ignores the biggest reason the Stroll family nixed the Kubica test……. That been that the plans for these test’s (To give Lance time on circuits he’s never driven on before) were done before Kubica became a possibility & as such things like shipping, transportation, booking hotels for the test team as well as renting the circuit & everything else required was done around a specific timetable with the cost’s already paid for.

    Too add an extra day for Kubica would have meant re-arranging all the transportation & shipping with additional cost’s, It would have meant keeping all the test team over an extra 2 days again at some cost as well as the extra cost of trying to rent the circuit & everything else for an extra day again as some extra cost.

    The Stroll family are renting the car, staff, engine, tyres, track etc.. for Lance to help him learn new circuits (Much as Williams did with Jacques Villeneuve back in 1995/96). I’d have been more surprised if they had agreed to spend a fairly significant amount of additional money in order to put somebody else in the car for an extra day. Especially when its easy enough (And probably a lot cheaper) for Williams to sort out a test for Robert in Europe.

    1. Except for the fact that a week ago it was being reported that strolls dad was willing to have kubica included in the test so that the team could try him out. That is why there are follow up articles like this now

  5. Very interesting reading about the Stroll family and Kubica. You seem to have a good idea about what you are talking about and I also don’t believe the whole story for this reason. Why would the Stroll family want negative PR regarding a decision for Kubica not to be able to test? Doesn’t make sense to me.

    1. The Strolls are taking care of their own priorities with their own resources, getting more F1 seat time for their son. In this way he will perhaps be able to become, ‘above-average’ and well positioned for a career. It has nothing whatever to do with Robert’s quest. They aren’t responsible for him.

  6. Re Cotd

    “Why is Aston Martin so keen on being connected with a team that is tied in with so many other car makers?”

    Its obvious that Aston aren’t interested in the car makers tied to RB, they are interested in being associated with the Red Bull brand. Its all about capturing the imagination of the average person. Ask anyone who isn’t really into cars about what car brand they would equate to performance, luxury, style,status etc, you’d be hard pressed to find many that wouldn’t say Ferrari. Thats the kind of publicity/brand awareness you cannot buy.

    Red Bull is one of the most visible brands in the world, while Aston Martin has always been a bit of a niche brand. Under Andy Palmer’s stewardship, the general feel appears to be of wanting to take on the big boys, hence the Valkyrie and them poking around the paddock. Alliance with Red Bull provides the perfect platform for Aston to increase their brand awareness.

    1. I’ve always seen Aston Martin as a bit of a ‘nothing’ brand. However in recent years my opinion has been changing, and I think it’s almost entirely due to their increasing presence with these sorts of activities, along with a much better road car lineup

    2. Aston Martin is something James Bond drives. I think that’s the biggest association of the brand for the general public. So, I think it’s quite a step for a car maker – from spy-suave to F1-super-fast, especially with another brand right next to them. It’s going from debonair shaken, not stirred Martini cocktail to a Red Bull energy drink can. A bit jarring, if you ask me.

      1. @zimkazimka, in general, Aston Martin has catered towards those who want “Grand Tourers” – it’s had the image of languorous luxury and devil may care rakishness rather than being especially sporty.

        I’d agree that Palmer’s tonal shift is rather jarring, and it is not the sort of image that Aston Martin has traditionally wanted to cultivate – even when they have dipped their toe into racing, it has almost always been into endurance sportscar racing, which fits more with their image, than anything else.

        1. Sundar Srinivas Harish
          26th September 2017, 15:47

          I believe that Aston’s endurance efforts have been lukewarm at best, where they have won due to the misfortune of others, or due to GTE’s BoP rules. This co-branding with RBR is still nothing but a badge job for brand visibility (look at how Merc’s sales in all categories has shot up), and I doubt that they will want to try developing an F1 car even when the updated formula is revealed.

      2. actually bond originally drive a Bentley.

    3. “Its all about capturing the imagination of the average person.”

      Precisely. If the objective of a luxury car constructor is to capture people’s imagination it shouldn’t be partnering with an energy drink constructor powered by Honda or Renault…

      Then again, I don’t know anything about marketing.

  7. Rumour has it that Williams have found a lot of time in next year’s car. Let’s hope so. It’s been far too long since we’ve seen a Williams at the front.

    1. Where?

    2. Just need some rosemary, garlic and salt now then

      1. Don’t worry, this is F1 there’s plenty of salt to go around.

  8. Whelp, another reason to hate these people even more profoundly than ever.

    Not only did junior get a lot more resources to become better than any “poor” driver (hello Frijns), they’re even actively averting great drivers from the sport.


    1. I know it is difficult for some to read the article before commenting, but at least first read the comments above!

    2. @vishnusxdx – “hate” – “repulsive” so much negativity and envy

    3. F Truth (@offdutyrockstar)
      26th September 2017, 10:27

      @vishnusxdx Calm down. You don’t know the commercial and logistical aspects of this supposed ‘thwarting’ and the media love a panto story.

      In a world where the President of the worlds largest superpower keeps threatening to wipe out an entire country, I think you have to use terms like vile and repulsive in context!

      1. Yeah I sure hope he’ll be driving the wheels of that future Williams car, the bar I’m setting for him will be a lot higher now. :p

        1. F Truth (@offdutyrockstar)
          26th September 2017, 11:27

          I don’t think your bar will be the determining factor in his future in F1 but cool story bro.

        2. @vishnusxdx, some of the comments that Kubica has been making in the press recently, where he suggested a lot of the stories around his comeback seem to be based off of little more than baseless speculation, have made me doubt the way that story has been presented.

          The description seems to have been calculated to trigger individuals like yourself off given that your incensed posting is driving up the profile, and therefore clicks, on that story, and in that respect it seems to have succeeded with yourself.

    4. I find the fact that Martini are derailing Pascal Wehrlein’s career for not good reason far more repulsive than Stroll taking the opportunity to get a few more testing miles under his belt.

  9. Also on this day in F1: The inaugural Chinese GP at the Shanghai International Circuit took place on this day in 2004.

  10. Lance Stroll buys a seat, buys tens of thousands of kilometres of in-season testing and blocks Kubica from getting a similar chance to prepare.
    Lovely addition to the field, that kid.

    1. You love karting, you rent out a kart, book a track for a full day so you can drive around. Some bloke who used to set top 10 times at the circuit wants you to let him run the kart for half a day, would you want to let him?

      Kubica fan, this whole set up is for Lance to learn, why reduce that for some other driver?

    2. digitalrurouni
      26th September 2017, 8:33

      Read that article more carefully. If you were bankrolking your own f1 activities why would you pay for another driver to test?

      1. I read the article before I responded. And it still makes no sense. If you bankroll a team as financer, in this modern, professional F1 it is utterly insane to be selective as to which driver can make use of it. Stroll does tens of thousands of extra kilometres testing, because he’s filthy rich. In any other sport we call that distortion of competition.

        1. How is it any different to the thousands of extra kilometres Villeneuve did when he joined Williams? It isn’t even in a current car! It is more about learning tracks than anything else and as all of the other drivers (perhaps Gasly will be the exception) are already familiar with the remaining tracks there is no distortion of competition.

          1. I think one huge difference to the extra testing JV got was that that was provided by Williams themselves, in an atmosphere where there was much much more testing than there is now in F1. Many here seem to be very bent out of shape that Lance’s Dad has money and is having to spend it to get Lance some familiarity with tracks he’s never been on, and car time albeit in a highly different 2014 car, due to the sorry amount of on-track testing that exists anymore.

        2. @hahostolze. They are not bank-rolling Williams for Williams sake, Lawrence Stroll bought the 2014 car and then pays the team for their costs and time to run Stroll Jr, there is a difference! They have then whisked the car off to COTA for Stroll Jr. to get additional track time. I don’t see the issue here, Kubica (as much as I would like to see his return to F1) needs to find backing to pay for the time with Williams.

          Is it fair or equitable? of course not, C’est la vie.

        3. @hahostolze Couldn’t disagree with your attitude more.

  11. So, Di Resta then? He’d be great for Martini, I could see him in adverts…

    Other than that Kubica would be news, news and revenue associated with media attention.

    Throw them on few friday practices and compare.

    Di Resta is a fine bloke. Clearly as good and accoladed as Wherlein for example. But easier to like.

    Who else can Williams evem get over age 25? Any decent driver in that age is already in top team or not a spectacular talent.

    1. Di Resta is pretty good, but I bet Kubica could beat him with one hand tied behind his back. ;)

      1. Well that’s handy

  12. Lance Stroll is currently 12th in the championship, Max Verstappen finished 12th in his first season, Stroll is on target to score in the same order of total points at the end of the calendar.

    Stroll has had some noteworthy performances, typically when conditions are at their most tricky. He has also learnt rapidly how to avoid being in face-palm style incidents. He has also largely been polite and courteous with team and media and a good advert for the sport as have been his family at the races.

    Why on earth should his father, who presumably worked hard for his fortune, compromise his son’s future for another driver? F1 is so competitive, every little thing counts, and Lance has repaid his father’s investment with an attitude that certainly doesn’t scream spoiled brat, no matter how much some would like to paint it so.

    Life is a competitive thing, you make of it what you can, I don’t see Kubica complaining, he knows how it is and will continue to do his best also, good luck to him also.

    1. This aswell.

      What also further highlights all this is that inseason testing should be avaliable for the teams, how can they properly asses drivers?

      1. asses

        [childish laugh]

    2. If this was Verstappen, people would be complaining about the unfair advantage he was given because of his father (being a former F1 driver, for instance). It’s so weird how Lance Stroll gets the benefit of the doubt constantly.

      1. Don’t know where you’ve been. ‘People’ did complain a great deal when Max entered F1. And Lance has usually not gotten the benefit of the doubt, most people claiming he isn’t ready for F1 and is only there due to family money.

        1. Well…..he is

    3. Agree with your comment and that Lance seems a level-headed, likeable young guy we’ll see how he develops. We are on the verge of a new generation of talented F1 drivers, going to be fascinating to see how he compares in the coming years!

    4. Honestly I look at how vettel behaved this year and Hamilton in 2016 it like they’re the 18 year old schildren but also retarded with “Mercedes is sabotaging me” and “he braketested me” so let’s hit he’s car like an angry 5 year old would do.

  13. What a mess! Why is Aston Martin so keen on being connected with a team that is tied in with so many other car makers?

    Didn’t think of this yesterday but…at least they wouldn’t be alone?

  14. Surely no one under 52 drinks Martini. In which case: Mansell !

    1. An excellent point Tony!

    2. F Truth (@offdutyrockstar)
      26th September 2017, 10:34

      haha, yes please.

  15. Please, enough of Kubica. HE seems to be a nice guy and a good driver. But that’s enough – he is not coming back.

    1. I don’t think he’s much of a nice guy either.

      At some point he was doing marginally better than Heidfeld when the season before Heidfeld had done a lot better than him. The only reason Kubica was ahead of Heidfeld was because Heidfeld was struggling with the car for qualifying. He was doing better in the races.

      So the team had two equally skilled drivers (Heidfeld probably the better of the two actually) and they tried to get the car to also work for Heidfeld. Then Kubica commented that they should stop doing that and focus all their efforts on him (Kubica) instead.

      So not a nice guy at all and really on par with Heidfeld at best.

  16. Di Resta would do no better job than Massa for Williams.

  17. Lance and his dad don’t rum Williams. Click bait much?

  18. I really can’t understand why people think Di Resta would be faster than Massa. He never achieved anything in his F1 career. Massa maybe is not what he was one day, but he still is the guy that fought for a championship and did win many races, any team that want to be running ahead needs a driver that’s a champion or the closest to it.

  19. Hamilton is not American so, he should keep his mouth shut about being unpatriotic in a country he doesn’t live in. My grandfather and father didn’t fight in WW2 and Korea to give the country to a bunch of unappreciative people who play ball for millions a dollars a year.

    1. That’s not how freedom of speech works.

      1. I support the peaceful protest. It is not unpatriotic to want for equality and justice in a free country for which many died to ensure that freedom. Trump is the true offender with his choice to push divisiveness with his crudeness and his playing to the lowest common denominators of the country, the base that elected him. The protesters love and honour their country and their flag…they must or they wouldn’t care to see their country healed. They kneel to continue awareness of an issue that is not getting fixed fast enough, nor will if Trump has anything to do with it. He’s a vile poison.

  20. Still struggling to see why Oliver Rowland can’t join Williams as a loan option from Renault. With Sainz and Hulk locked down, and with Rowland being 25 years old this year which ties in with Martini’s age requirements, can’t see why he wouldn’t be a viable and fast option for the team

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