Lawrence Stroll is simply “burning money” with a Formula 1 project that “won’t work”.
That is the scathing prediction of Colin Kolles, who once ran the Silverstone based team prior to its ownership by the Canadian fashion billionaire.
Now called Aston Martin, the team is languishing on the 2022 grid despite the injection of millions in resources. There are even rumours that Sebastian Vettel only used covid as an excuse to skip Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
“I don’t think he wants to drive at all,” Kolles told Sport1. “He just doesn’t want to do that to himself.
“It’s certainly a very daring thesis but I’m sure that he thinks a lot about whether he should still be doing what he’s doing.”
Kolles thinks Stroll took on Aston Martin as a vanity project to give his son Lance a permanent home in pitlane.
“It won’t work,” he insisted. “Why? They have a team owner who thinks he is the team leader.
“He knows best about everything and puts his son at the centre with all of his power. That’s the completely wrong approach for me,” Kolles said.
“If you take a million in any currency and throw it on a fire, the money will burn up just as quickly as it will in Formula 1 if you don’t know what you’re doing.
“That’s what we are seeing at Aston Martin.”
He said a clear misstep for Stroll was ordering the team to essentially ‘copy’ Mercedes’ car – until the teams revolted and the rules were tightened.
“The mood in the team is really bad when you take parts from somewhere else. Because then you know that the owner doesn’t trust you,” said Kolles.
As for the still-absent Vettel, who is nonetheless tipped to return in Australia, he thinks Aston Martin now runs the risk of losing the quadruple world champion.
“Sebastian Vettel is older now, he’s earned a lot of money and has a family. He’s changed in the mind and now knows exactly what’s going on.
“He knows that the fish always stinks from the head,” Kolles added. “I see the team going nowhere.
“As long as Mr Whitmarsh is in charge and Mr Stroll doesn’t realise that he needs to stay at home, set the budget and let the people who know what they’re doing get the people they need to lead the team, it’s never going to work.”
Ralf Schumacher even goes a step further, arguing that Aston Martin should keep Nico Hulkenberg in the car for Australia rather than reverting to post-covid Vettel.
“There are really only two possibilities,” the former F1 driver told Sky Deutschland. “Either Nico has been underestimated for years, or the current regular drivers need to be reconsidered.”