The Pink Panthers become Green Monsters in 2021, as Racing Point becomes Aston Martin.
The ability to have a fresh start isn’t limited just to the team itself, but extends to their two drivers as well.
Lance Stroll stays on with the team owned by his father, Lawrence Stroll, lining up alongside Sebastian Vettel, who joins the team from Ferrari.
Both Stroll and Vettel have a point to prove, for different reasons.
There is no doubt that both drivers are capable of delivering good results for Aston Martin, who have set themselves a target of finishing third in the constructors’ championship this season, with Mercedes and Red Bull too far away for them to mount a legitimate challenge just yet.
I feel Vettel should be able to bounce back this season after what was a strange season for him in 2020 from an outsider’s perspective.
Ferrari’s unceremonious dumping of the four-time world champion last May set the tone for a frustrating season, which was Vettel’s worst ever full-time campaign, ending it placing in a lowly 13th in the championship.
All of that is in the past for the German now, and with Vettel not the kind of guy who moulds his answers to be PR-friendly, you can sense real excitement in his move to Aston Martin.
And, for sure, the excitement is justified, with Aston Martin team principal, Otmar Szafnauer, clearly setting out the stall of working towards being a championship contender in three to five years’ time.
This is the prime opportunity for Vettel to show us that he’s got plenty left in the tank, because that is something he definitely has.
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While Vettel is about to enter what could be his twilight years in Formula 1, Lance Stroll enters his fifth season in the sport where he has divided opinion.
This writer is on the side that is more critical of the 22-year-old Canadian, whose F1 career has been a series of hits and misses.
With more hits and fewer misses, Stroll has the potential to put together a string of decent performances, and the early signs are that his Aston Martin will give him the ability to do just that.
It’s not exactly make or break time for Stroll, but he needs to shake off the tag of only being in the sport because his dad owns the team.
Yes, we know pay drivers are a perennial thing in our sport, but there’s the kind of pay driver who delivers on his talent, and the kind of pay driver whose time in F1 is rarely anything but a disappointment.
Stroll currently veers towards the latter, and even though I have been critical of him on multiple occasions, that is because I want to see him do well as he is capable of doing well.
It’s time to grab the bull by the horns.