Some say that children must be tanned, and surely that explains why Lawrence Stroll, the Canadian businessman whose fortune is estimated at more than 2,000 million dollars (about 1,800 million euros) and who owns the largest share package in Aston Martin , decided to sign Fernando Alonso as a teammate of his son, Lance. Above all, if we rewind and recover several of the episodes that have been sewing the story of the Asturian since he debuted in Formula 1 with Minardi, more than twenty years ago. So far there have been 12 neighbors with whom he has cohabited, finishing ahead of them on eight occasions.
Lewis Hamilton tied with him on points (109) in that volcanic year (2007), in which both coexisted at McLaren, but the Briton surpassed him in the table by number of second places (five to four). The same thing happened with the Brazilian Tarso Marques in 2001, at his premiere. The only two times that the two-time world champion (2005 and 2006) accumulated fewer points than the tenant on the other side of his garage were with Jenson Button, at McLaren (2015); and in the last World Cup, in which Esteban Ocon took 11 points from him after 22 stops on the calendar. It so happens that, in the eyes of the majority, that Alonso clad in Alpine’s overalls was very close to the best version of him, although the confidence of his car was not at the same level.
The relationship with the French followed the same pattern last year as with those who preceded him. After a first stage of friendship and respect, tension took over the box of the Enstone structure (Great Britain), whose executives would decide to intervene on more than one occasion so that the scuffle did not get out of hand. Before that, the spat with Hamilton over the Tewin boy’s christening stands as one of the most recorded conflicts of the modern era. Felipe Massa, for his part, does not miss the opportunity to underline the extremely individualistic nature of the man from Oviedo, with whom he met at Ferrari. And the mutual ignorance that was dispensed with Kimi Raikkonen did not make the Spaniard hold back from throwing sticks at him whenever he had the opportunity. “It always squeezes you,” he said Iceman of the. This course – the season begins on March 5 in Bahrain –, at Aston Martin, Alonso’s mirror will be Stroll, the son of the owner of the shed, a boy who, at 24, has barely traveled on commercial planes. He moves with his father’s fleet.
The boy’s seventh season will be Montreal in the championship. If we look at his most recent statements, no one would swear that he loses six to one when compared to his teammates. Only in 2018 was he able to finish the course ahead of Sergey Sirotkin, when they both met at Williams. After beating the Russian and signing for Racing Point, where his father took control of the team, Checo Pérez left him in evidence, both in 2019 – he took him five places overall and scored more than twice as many points as he –, as in 2020 –seven positions and 50 points in favor of the Mexican–. The metamorphosis to Aston Martin –Lawrence Stroll bought 16.7% of the British company for 216 million euros and became the new executive president– and that of Sebastian Vettel did not change that trend either, so that the four-time German champion faded with better records than him.
“There’s no fun in just driving around with no pressure on you. What you want in a partner is one of the best. That means that, when you manage to be ahead of him, you are reaching your peak, and vice versa”, acknowledged the Quebec driver, just a few days ago, in an interview with Autosport in which he was asked about his new workshop colleague. . It is not very clear, therefore, if the Strolls, the father and the son, know exactly who Alonso is, that he has already made the occasional visit to the factory in his new house, just opposite the Silverstone circuit. In the last stretch of last year, after Dan Fallows, a renowned aerodynamicist who left Red Bull, disembarked at Aston Martin, Vettel did not make too much of a fuss when they denied him some new elements of the car that they did install on Stroll’s prototype. It is hard for him to imagine the Spaniard biting his tongue in the event that a similar scenario is repeated, even though the owner’s son is on the other side.
You can follow EL PAÍS Sports on Facebook and Twitteror sign up here to receive our weekly newsletter.