Aston Martin Team Principal Mike Krack has defended Lance Stroll’s form throughout the 2023 Formula 1 season, arguing only the team “know what really happens”.
Stroll recovered from missing pre-season testing after breaking both his wrists in a cycling accident to score an impressive sixth place at the opening round in Bahrain.
However, he has only managed to beat new team-mate Fernando Alonso twice in qualifying and once in race trim this year, while also failing to score a podium finish compared to the Spaniard’s six.
Consequently, the Canadian is trailing the two-time World Champion by 102 points in the Drivers’ standings – the second largest deficit between team-mates.
But in an interview published on the Aston Martin website, Krack has shielded Stroll from criticism by stating the championship table only tells one side of the story.
When asked for his highlight of the season so far, Krack said: “It’s not necessarily the podiums. For me, Lance’s comeback from injury and Fernando’s special approach in Monaco are what stand out.
“Lance showed what a fighter he is when he jumped back in the car with broken wrists and a broken toe. The heart it took to do that lifted everyone and got us going in a really positive frame of mind.
“Lance hasn’t had a lot of luck this year: aside from his broken bones, a few things have gone against him that really weren’t his fault.
“The championship table tells a story, but inside the team we know what really happens.”
Stroll’s struggles mean he has only contributed 47 points for the side sat third in the Constructors’ Championship, prompting Sky F1 commentator David Croft to believe he will exit the sport soon.
Despite being set to turn only 25 in October, Stroll is currently competing in his seventh season in F1, having debuted as a 17-year-old with the Williams team in 2017.
The Canadian is therefore one of the most experienced drivers in the field, but he is still waiting to out-score a team-mate over an entire F1 campaign for the first time.
Stroll has been usurped in the standings by Felipe Massa, Sergio Perez and Sebastian Vettel previously, with Alonso set to inflict the most damaging defeat yet.
However, the Aston Martin driver is unlikely to come under considerable pressure when it comes to his place on the grid due to his father’s ownership of the Silverstone squad.