There was a flurry of surprise in the Zandvoort circuit on Thursday as Lance Stroll sidestepped his media obligations.
A journalist from Le Journal de Montreal noted the Canadian sporting a bandage below his ear. Meanwhile, Aston Martin clarified that Stroll refrained from press interactions due to his “recovering from an infection”.
“He is fit and well and will compete at this weekend’s Dutch GP,” the team confirmed.
However, Auto Bild reporter Bianca Garloff found the timing of Aston Martin’s comment peculiar, especially since Stroll, 24, was seen “dashing full of energy into the paddock on a scooter for the technical briefing”.
Speculation was rife about whether Stroll was simply getting a pass, especially since his billionaire dad, Lawrence Stroll, owns the team. Whispers grew louder suggesting a potential switch to tennis for Lance.
Aston Martin’s Technical Chief, Dan Fallows, stood by Lance.
“Taking into consideration the injuries Lance suffered during his preseason cycling accident and his recovery, he has performed very well alongside a great teammate,” he commented.
However, 2023 has seen Stroll overshadowed by team rookie and esteemed two-time champion, Fernando Alonso, who’s 42.
“I think if Stroll continues like this, at some point his father will not be able to avoid having to worry about the second cockpit,” former F1 racer Ralf Schumacher voiced to formel1.de.
Elsewhere in Zandvoort, Alonso reflected on his earlier statement about Formula 1 not being the purest form of racing.
“I think here is a little bit different than elsewhere,” he shared. “A little bit more politics involved, obviously the importance of the package and the car and the input from a driver is a little bit limited, things like that.”