Aug.25 (GMM) Eyebrows were raised in the Zandvoort paddock on Thursday when Lance Stroll bowed out of his media duties.
A Le Journal de Montreal correspondent spotted the Canadian with a bandage beneath his ear, as Aston Martin explained that Stroll skipped speaking to the press because he is “recovering from an infection”.
“He is fit and well and will compete at this weekend’s Dutch GP,” the team added.
But writing for Auto Bild, correspondent Bianca Garloff said Aston Martin’s statement was “badly timed” because it coincided with Stroll, 24, “dashing full of energy into the paddock on a scooter for the technical briefing”.
Some wondered if Stroll was merely being offered a favour by the team owned by his billionaire father Lawrence amid sensational rumours he may be considering a switch to tennis.
Technical boss Dan Fallows defended 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 said.
Stroll has been completely overshadowed by team newcomer and 42-year-old two-time champion Fernando Alonso in 2023 so far.
“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 driver Ralf Schumacher told formel1.de.
Elsewhere in the Zandvoort paddock, Alonso was asked about his recent claim that Formula 1 is not the most “pure” form of motorsport.
“I think here is a little bit different than elsewhere,” he said. “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.”