May 18 (GMM) Lance Stroll is already signed up to remain at Racing Point – to be called Aston Martin by then – in 2021.
That is the news of Racing Point boss Otmar Szafnauer. The Silverstone based team is owned by Stroll’s father, Lawrence Stroll.
It was already known that Sergio Perez is staying put, but it was not previously announced that 21-year-old Stroll will remain his teammate beyond 2020.
“It’s crazy. The transfer season for 2021 has already started and we haven’t had a single race in 2020,” Szafnauer told Radio Canada.
He admitted he is surprised that Sebastian Vettel is leaving Ferrari.
“I am a little surprised that they could not get it together,” he said. “Sebastian is a great driver and a friend. I’ve known him for a long time and he deserves to stay in Formula 1.”
But the German will not be heading to Aston Martin, Szafnauer insisted, nor will another former champion like Fernando Alonso.
“It’s true, there are indeed drivers who have won grands prix on the market and even world champions, so it’s an interesting idea, but we prefer to get the best out of the drivers we have,” he said.
“And if we give them the equipment, they too can win races and possibly world championships.
“Our two drivers get along well and they are bound by contract for 2020 and 2021,” Szafnauer revealed.
He said Stroll had a good winter pre-season in the car that has been dubbed by some rivals as the ‘pink Mercedes’.
“If you’re fast in Barcelona, you’ll be fast pretty much everywhere,” said Szafnauer. “If we give Lance a good car, he can improve his driving skills and be even better.
“It does look like we have built a good car this year, and I think it will be easier for us in qualifying this season. If Lance is better placed on the grid, he will fight more often in the top 10.
“When he is in the top ten, he has shown that he can do good races. When you’re so far down the grid, it’s easier to get stuck and have problems.
“But I don’t think Lance will have these problems this season or the next, when we will have essentially the same car,” he added.