column honda world champion without lance stroll at aston martin

Honda world champions with Aston Martin? Then one person must go!

14 April at 19:00
  • Ludo van Denderen

The Japanese are very honourable people. If things do not go as desired, they - usually quietly - step up their game. An example? After Honda's failed adventure with McLaren, they worked even harder at the factory and Red Bull Racing are currently reaping the benefits. If it is up to Honda, the success will continue from 2026 with Aston Martin. There is one complicating factor at that team at the moment, though, that makes the constructors' World Championship title impossible. His name is Lance Stroll.

The Japanese are also generally reserved in their statements. When HRC president Koji Watanabe indicates that the world title in 2026 is the goal, it is remarkable. Sure, Fernando Alonso has (at this point in his career, but who knows what that's like at 44?) the qualities to be a race winner, maybe even a world champion again with the right equipment.

Honda wants the constructor world title

But for Honda, the world title in constructors is probably even more important than the championship in drivers. By being the best in constructors, you show that you really have the best equipment in Formula 1. Unfortunately for Honda, that title is out of reach in 2026, unless Aston Martin make a rigorous decision. Lance Stroll must leave in that case.

If any other F1 driver had submitted Stroll junior's results to Aston Martin, the team would have long since pushed him aside. Only Lance is the son of team owner Lawrence Stroll. As long as Lance feels the need to compete in F1, then Dad will let him—apparently, even if it is at the expense of results.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by (@gpblog_com)

Lawrence Stroll faces a decision

Of course, Lance has speed; you don't get a pole or a podium spot if you really can't do anything. But the last time Stroll Jr. was allowed to pick up a trophy was after the Sakhir Grand Prix in 2020. Fellow Alonso was on the podium eight times last season alone. In short, the distance between Stroll and Alonso is far too great. To become world champion among constructors - and thus make Honda's dream come true - two top drivers are needed. With only Alonso, Aston Martin will not make it.

So Lawrence Stroll is at a turning point: will he let Lance muddle through beyond 2025, or - looking at his own ambition and Honda's - will he make a painful decision within the family after all? In Formula 1, with so much money around and the stakes so high, there is really only one way to answer that question.