'Underrated' Stroll not in F1 because of his father - Aston Martin chief

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Lance Stroll is "underrated" and not just in Formula 1 because of his father, Aston Martin chief Mike Krack says.

The young Canadian starts his seventh season on the grid this year and has rarely shown the potential of a driver that could progress towards the front of the grid.

Yet, regardless of his underwhelming performances, Lance's place in F1 is almost seen as guaranteed as, since 2019, he has driven for the team owned by his billionaire father Lawrence Stroll.

But Krack believes that perception is wrong.

“It is easy to put someone like that into a drawer and say ‘this is someone that is there because his father allowed him’, but that is not true,” he explained on the Beyond the Grid podcast.

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To prove his point, the Aston Martin chief pointed to Stroll's stand-out moments, when he has shone in mixed conditions.

“It’s very difficult to say,” Krack added on where the 24-year-old sits in the pecking order of F1's current crop of drivers.

“Lance, we must not forget, has never had a winning car so far in his career, but he has done exceptional things when conditions allowed – Istanbul, for example, in the wet.

“For me, Lance is one of the drivers that is very underrated. He is much, much better than people think. He also works much, much harder than people think.

“He’s very fit and also, he’s a very polite person, which a lot of people do not know because they do not spend the time or invest the time to get to know him.”

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After two years alongside four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, Stroll faces arguably an even sterner teammate in Fernando Alonso at Aston Martin from 2023.

“I watched [Fernando] on TV in 2004, 2005, 2006 – when he won his titles and was fighting against [Michael] Schumacher,” he recalled.

“I was a fan of Schumacher. [Alonso] was the bad guy in my eyes! I was six years old and he was the bad guy, like in the movies.

"But he was always super-exciting to watch and he still is. He’s one of the best drivers. He’s still very lively in his 40's!”