Former F1 team boss Colin Kolles believes that a big part of Aston Martin’s struggles comes from the leadership of owner Lawrence Stroll, under whom he feels the team is going “nowhere”.
Kolles went one further in suggesting that Sebastian Vettel doesn’t even want to race for Stroll this season.
Stroll had bought Aston Martin back in 2018 and had an ambitious plan in place to make the team one of the best in the grid.
The result at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix meant it was the first time that the team failed to record a single point in four successive races since 2019.
Kolles, who spent several seasons with the team, has put the blame solely on the management style of Stroll.
“It won’t work anymore,” Kolles told SPORT1.
“You have a team owner who thinks he is the team boss, who knows everything better and thinks he should put his son up front with all his might.
“For me, that is the completely wrong approach.
“The fish always stinks from the head. I can see the racing team going nowhere.
“As long as Mr. Whitmarsh is in charge and Mr. Stroll doesn’t see that he should be staying at home and only giving budgetary guidelines and letting people work who know their stuff and get the right people to lead the team, it will never work in life.”
Stroll’s lack of patience disrupting team balance?
There might be some weight to what Kolles is saying, especially given the fact that former team boss Otmar Szafnauer left the team in January citing difficulties with Stroll as one of the reasons for his decision.
Kolles thinks that Stroll’s lack of patience is getting the way of the team’s success.
“If someone thinks they’ll get into Formula 1 and be in the front ranks overnight, then it won’t work that quickly,” Kolles said.
“You have to have a plan. You could have had the plan that new rules would come in 2022 and work on them. However, Mr. Stroll decided a few years ago that it should now be done quickly, no matter what the cost.”
Kolles said that although Stroll isn’t short of money and has invested significantly in the team, a good owner needs to do more than just provide financial muscle.
“There have been many investors who have tried to tell me that they know how business works.
“Then I said that may be, but I think Formula 1 is a bit different.
“I used to tell them if you take a million of any currency and throw it on a fire, the money will burn up just as quickly as in Formula 1 if you don’t know what you’re doing.
“And that is the case that is happening at Aston Martin.”
Vettel no longer interested in racing for Aston Martin?
Kolles argued that the current situation is such that star driver Vettel is no longer interested in lining up for the team.
Although the formal reason for Vettel to miss the first two races was a positive COVID-19 test, Kolles believes there might be other factors in play too.
“I don’t think he wants to drive at all. He just doesn’t want to do that to himself.
“That’s certainly a very daring thesis, but I’m sure that he thinks a lot about whether he’s still going to do it.”
Vettel’s contract with Aston Martin runs till the end of the season. He has already made it clear that he will decide on his future based on how he performs this year.
Do you think there is a lack of motivation from Vettel due to the car he has been presented with this year? Let us know in the comments.