latifi stroll f1

Inside Line: Latifi and Stroll time to go reality check

latifi stroll f1

There come times in life when normal folk take a look at themselves in the mirror and face the harsh reality, the truth, of a situation; its time that Nicholas Latiifi and Lance Stroll did just that and realise they simply are not cut out for Formula 1.

“Team Canada” as our man Kevin Melro refers to his fellow countrymen who, these days, more often than not are at the wrong end of the grid, nowhere in the race and, Latifi more than Stroll, pranging far too often, into each other too and too often getting in the way of others.

Example. Carlos Sainz might’ve won the Monaco Grand Prix, he says, had Latifi’s Williams not baulked him on his in lap, the kid crashes every race weekend just about. And Abu Dhabi 2021…

As if Karma is not throwing the Latifi’s enough messages, Nicholas crashing, under safety car conditions, into the Monaco barriers surely must ring alarm bells. He prangs at low speed, he prangs at high speed, and does not know why. Folks reel in your boy before there are serious tears. As a Dad that’s what I would do.

Long ago we realised that Latifi was never F1 material, many of us knew it before he sat in a Williams, only thanks to his billionaire Dad’s extreme wealth. But credit to Papa he believes in his son and spent a small fortune proving that he is a Grand Prix winner, yes that is (or should be) a vital ambition for any driver wanting to ‘play’ at the Pinnacle of the Sport.

Michael Latifi is worth anything between $2-billion and $5-billion according to Forbes. Like all good Dads he backed his son’s motor racing dream and, as I would, spared no expense getting his son to F1. As I would.

Young Nicholas climbed the traditional ladder to F1 without winning much. He spent four and a half years in the F1 feeder series’ including a year and a bit in GP2 and three years in F2, his final year 2020 finishing second.

Then to Williams. Full stop. The catalogue of gaffes and mistakes and bent metal is a testament to a driver who is simply not deserving to be at the Pinnacle of the Sport; F1 need only look at the rich pool of castaway talent that has had to find refuge in the irrelevance of Formula E – at least 50% of drivers on that grid is better than Latifi will ever be.

TeamTalk: Stroll Latifi qualifying crash WTF? | GRAND PRIX 247

Lance Stroll is a similar story but in my book a better driver but I have lost faith

We used to have a joke here at GP247, Paul Velasco is President of the Lance Stroll Fan Club; ‘fan’ club being the operative word, as I was supposedly his only fan.

But I am in love with the storyline: Billionaire Dad Does Everything I Would Do To Get Son Into Formula 1.

My boy was a smart karter, with the right investment he would be as good as any of the lads he raced against six years ago who continued today and are thriving in UAE and international motorsport. But money and life did not have that scripted for us. But I do relate and root for the concept of father and son living a motorsport dream at the highest of levels. All petrolhead fathers do, even for their daughters thankfully.

On the other hand, Lucky Lance squirted from the right set of balls and Papa Lawrence went on to pay for his racing dream to become a reality. And boy was that a diamond-encrusted ladder to the top or what? More like a luxury elevator!

Even before he stepped into F1, Lance had intensive private testing sessions with Williams at the time. Whatever Lance needed Lance got. No expense was spared to make Lance win in the junior series.

And, unlike Latifi, credit to Stroll junior who was champion in everything he entered and had the financial luxury of being able to skip a season or two of F2, first because he was F3 Champion and secondly with Dad’s money he could, and did with Williams.

In a nutshell, since his 2017 F1 debut, he was an ordinary rookie, no great shakes. With a horrible Williams the next year, he was dreadful which, history shows, prompted his Dad to take his son’s dream to the next level, and as he did in the junior categories, bought an F1 team for the lucky lad.

Force India became Racing Point, then that vanity project or childhood dream went ballistic, poof: Aston Martin became a thing all because Lawrence’s boy wanted to race cars. Had Little Lance wanted to be a soccer player maybe Stroll senior would buy Real Madrid or Manchester United so his lad could catch a game at the pinnacle of that ball game?

Granted, there were flashes of brilliance from Lance when Racing Point was briefly a force, again big thanks to Papa forking out to copy the Mercedes, which cost him another small fortune in fines and points.

But since then with crap cars, Lance has been crap too. The kid is good, but only when things are perfect around him. And they are not now or for the foreseeable future despite the truckloads of money Papa is forking out. And, sadly, he is not better than a Sebastian Vettel who is long past his best and was destroyed by Charles Leclerc at Ferrari before teaming up with Lance.

If he were the real deal – a Max, a Charles, a George, a Lando – he would have owned Seb last year and this year. But he hasn’t and in fact, the 23-year-old is not getting any better, and his spoilt Rich Kid demeanour over the team radio is a disgrace for a guy who has been handed everything on a silver spoon. No wonder he has no fans!

While racing-wise Stroll is a far better driver than Latifi, with a solid case for a crack at F1, but now with over 100 Grand Prix starts later (Jackie Stewart won three world titles in 99 starts) it is clear that Lawrence’s son has not got it, and big surprise (to me as a father) is that Lawrence does not realise it yet.

Ditto Michael Latifi with his lad. Can he not see how his boy is unsuited for F1? He is a danger to himself and perhaps others?

TeamTalk: Does Latifi deserve to be in Formula 1?

For the sake of this piece, we will ‘Mirror, Mirror, Mirror on the wall…’ parody and I will be Mr Mirror…

Nicholas: Mirror, Mirror on the wall who is the fairest driver of us all?

Mirror: Not you. In fact, you are not even in the top 100 race drivers in the world. Everyone (except your folks) thinks you are not good enough for F1. You crash too often, worse of all you have no clue why you crash. That is scary. And this past weekend, you even shunted behind the safety car. And after 46 Grand Prix starts you have not got any better.

Nicholas: But where am I in the pecking order of drivers?

Mirror: George destroyed you big time. If you had been close you would have been very good, But you were on another planet compared to him and that’s why he is getting paid money to drive Mercedes and you paying big money to drive a shitbox. And then along comes Alex Albon, deconstructed by Max, spat out for a year by Red Bull and comes back to blow you away like you are a rookie.

Nicholas: So Mirror, what to do?

Just quit F1. Check out what Marcus did at Indy 500; sportscars; go into the food business. Whatever but please free up your F1 seat for someone deserving.

Nicholas: Wow Mirror, you’re a bitch!

lance-stroll-baku-crash-001

In another bathroom, probably in another land, or yacht or wherever Billionaire boys go after a shit weekend at the office:

Lance: Mirror, Mirror on the wall who is the fairest driver of us all?

Mirror: Not you. You have had sparks of ‘it’ in you, occasional flashes of brilliance in your 107 F1 starts but the consistency lacking, the Prima Donna Rich Kid BS does you no favours and has no place at the Pinnacle of the Sport. On your rare good days, you are ok for top 50 in a driver global pecking order, with top 20 attainable with more hard graft and commitment however, on your too many bad days, you are just bad.

Lance: So what to do Mr Mirror?

Mirror: First of all, stop chewing those limes (?) that make you look like you are constantly pissed off; ungrateful-spoilt-brat springs to mind for many of us whose sons watch you and feel the same. You forget you have the best job in the world, a drive with one of the most formidable F1 projects in history, with a slew of top drivers more than capable of doing a better job at Aston Martin. So appreciate it, it’s a privilege not your right and give it 110% all the time, not once or twice a year. And if you can’t do that, take a bow and admit that you don’t have that extra bit that is required to be at the Pinnacle of the Sport… any sport for that matter. And smile all the time because you have one of the best lives on this planet.

Lance: I am gonna tell my Dad to get rid of you, Mr Mirror. I don’t like you!

End of parody.

Latifi asserts he wasn't to blame for crash behind Safety Car – Motorsport Week

The problem and very harsh reality is Nicholas and Lance could be in F1 for another ten years

No matter, even performing at low levels, as long as they have the money to pay for their seat on the F1 grid they can hang out until they like because there are no consequences for poor performance which afflicts paid drivers.

Daniel Ricciardo is a case in point, he is still fine driver but has lost his way when measured up to the prodigious Lando Norris. The Aussie is in a hole looking for his Big Smile and set to lose his seat at McLaren. F1 is merciless in that way.

But not for Latifi and Stroll. Neither will ever be the talent of Ricciardo, but the eight-time Grand Prix winner is facing the boot! Yet the two Billionaire Boys shall remain. Something is wrong with this pay driver system, more so now than ever before, because unbelievable strides have been made in F1 safety making big shunts survivable, like respawning in a video game.

But one day, there will be a very big prang. And maybe they won’t respawn, god-forbid.

Or put it this way, had this been the seventies and eighties, the Lance and Nicholas problem, would not be a problem… if you know what I mean. If you don’t, here goes – the elephant in the room of our deadly sport – they would not be with us anymore.

Playing the billionaire Dad with Nicholas, honestly, if I were Micahel I would pull him out now, with immediate effect and give Nyck de Vries the seat; Latifi can be Williams reserve. He needs to reset, reflect before he does more damage.

As for Stroll, if I were his Papa it would be: “Get in there and prove you are the real deal, deliver consistently weekend-in and weekend-out, starting in Baku next up until the end of the season. We will decide then son, but you have to raise your game and improve that attitude, as your Mr Mirror says.”

In closing, I will argue that F1 is not the Pinnacle of the Sport with Lance and Nicholas on the current F1 grid (along with several others and some teams included) and thus cannot continue to sell itself in that vein. It’s false advertising.