Formula 1 could have its first driver change of 2024

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin, Formula 1 (Photo by KARIM JAAFAR/AFP via Getty Images)
Lance Stroll, Aston Martin, Formula 1 (Photo by KARIM JAAFAR/AFP via Getty Images) /

As of now, no changes have been made to the Formula 1 driver lineup for the 2024 season. But even if Logan Sargeant stays at Williams, that could change.

There have not been any driver changes announced for the 2024 Formula 1 season thus far, with the only slight modification being the fact that Daniel Ricciardo, who replaced the struggling Nyck de Vries at AlphaTauri this summer, is set to enter next year as a full-time driver with the team.

The team most likely to make a change has long been viewed as Williams, given the continued struggles and multitude of crashes of rookie Logan Sargeant.

But the Grove-based team have stated that they would like to have the 22-year-old American back in 2023, and with Ricciardo injury replacement Liam Lawson having ruled out a move to Williams, a Sargeant return looks increasingly likely.

However, the 2024 Formula 1 driver lineup could still see a change.

The contract details of Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll have never been publicized, largely due to the fact that his father Lawrence owns the team. The belief is that he is competing on a year-to-year deal and can stay there for as long as he wants to.

But even before the Qatar Grand Prix weekend, when things came to a head with Stroll throwing his steering wheel out of the car, shoving his trainer, and giving a disrespectful NSFW interview to a Sky Sports reporter, there were rumblings of Stroll being replaced.

Pretty much everybody expected him to be beaten by two-time world champion Fernando Alonso in their first year as teammates, but we are talking about a 42-year-old formerly retired driver absolutely devouring his teammate. Alonso has scored 183 points to the 24-year-old Canadian’s 47, and he is responsible for all seven of the team’s podium finishes.

Alonso also only recently fell out of his spot as the top non-Red Bull driver in the standings, indicating that Aston Martin should be no lower than third place in the constructor standings. Yet because of Stroll’s struggles, they are fighting just to keep hold of fourth over McLaren, with a drop now viewed as a matter of when, not if.

Stroll’s struggles, which have undoubtedly played a role in Aston Martin’s development hinderance compared to Mercedes, Ferrari, and McLaren over the last few months, could ultimately end up costing the team three places in the constructor championship, which comes out to quite a bit of reward money.

There are rumors of Lawrence being looking to sell his shares in Aston Martin amid his son’s continued struggles, and Lance’s attitude in Qatar certainly depicted that of an individual whose frustrations go beyond simply struggling in the race car — and once again being beaten handily by his teammate, as usual.

But it goes even deeper than that.

The billionaire has long been believed to be effectively attempting to live out his own Formula 1 dream through his son, and never has that been more evident than it is now.

Jacques Villeneuve recently revealed that Lance used to take a helicopter to a go-kart track his dad built for him, despite the fact that the course was only about a mile away from his house.

Another anonymous source said that on a team factory tour, he had never seen such a gap between the interest displayed by a father and the lack of it displayed by a son.

How much does Lance really care at this point?

If Lawrence is indeed ready to be done in the sport, there is little doubt that his departure will also mean the end of Lance’s seven-year run. New Aston Martin management will likely have him replaced, either by reserve driver Felipe Drugovich or AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda, provided AlphaTauri are willing to let Tsunoda out of his contract and then bring in Lawson instead.

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Nothing is confirmed about the Stroll family’s involvement in Formula 1 beyond 2023 one way or the other. But even if Lawrence doesn’t sell the team, one has to believe that Lance’s seat isn’t completely safe.