Reports putting Juan Pablo Montoya in the Barcelona paddock wearing Racing Point team wear this past weekend have prompted speculation that the former Formula 1 driver is on hand to provide mental coaching for Lance Stroll.
Lawrence Stroll saved the faltering Force India operation in the nick of time last year and immediately set to transform the struggling team, starting by investing plentifully into infrastructure and taking it to the next level in terms of bling with a $5-million motorhome which broke cover in Spain.
But on track his son Lance is struggling, not only have Racing Point produced a lemon of a car which even Sergio Perez struggles with and, as a result, Stroll is in the wilderness, accident-prone and struggling to match his teammate.
If anyone needs a mental coach it is the 20-year-old who was perhaps fast-tracked into F1 a tad too hastily. Nevertheless to a rock of a father who is clearly intent on throwing whatever it takes to make his son happiness a reality.
Step in Mr Montoya, the burly Colombian, a seven-time Grand Prix winner, is a no-nonsense bloke which has endeared him to fans. Furthermore, he was not shy to slug it out on track with the best, many times coming out tops. His credibility and vast experience in all levels of the sport makes him good mentor material.
Should this Juan-Pablo-to-coach-Lance tale be true, it will interesting to see how Stroll absorbs the coaching and evolves because it is clear that he has kept his seat in F1 only because of his father’s money.
If any other consortium had morphed from the Force India wreckage and sought a driver on merit, it is sure that Esteban Ocon would be in the car today and not Stroll junior.
However, there is a ( diminishing) school of thought, obviously headed by his billionaire father, that in a decent piece of kit the Canadian youngster can do the business in the top flight.
It is not known if coaching was happening between the pair in Spain, but what we do know is that Lance crashed twice during the course of the weekend, was two-tenths down on Perez in qualifying and before he crashed out he had spent the race behind his teammate.
Big Question: Will a mental coach help Lance?