Feb.13 - Aston Martin has no plans to shuffle Lance Stroll towards the exit door.

It is well known that, after Lewis Hamilton fired up the early 'silly season' with his 2025 Ferrari news, Fernando Alonso is a key contender to replace him at Mercedes.

"The transfer season started much earlier than we expected," admits Aston Martin team boss Mike Krack. "We knew that 2024 would be an exciting year with a lot of speculation.

"As for us, it's simple - we love Fernando and have a very good relationship with him. He is an integral part of this team.

"We have a relationship based on trust and openness. We would honestly be happy if we could work with Fernando in 2025 and beyond."

But what about Stroll? While still only 25, 2024 will be his eighth consecutive season in Formula 1 - but he was obliterated by Alonso last year.

"Stroll's future is in his hands - or, rather, the hands of his father," Marco Bruckner, a F1 journalist, wrote in Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Indeed, Stroll's F1 career has been bankrolled and protected by billionaire Lawrence Stroll, who owns Silverstone based Aston Martin.

Bruckner, however, said: "Only Lance can know whether he can find the hunger and speed to fight with his teammate.

"He often makes blunders, sometimes due to a lack of determination and attention rather than a poor technical value as a driver. Not having the anxiety of having to earn a place on the grid every year is certainly an advantage, but perhaps also a limitation.

"If you are not highly motivated and competitive, you risk falling into laziness. So while his place is not at risk, how long will he be content to fight for a few points per year?"

Indeed, while many insiders think it might be time for Stroll to move on, the Canadian clearly retains the support of the Krack-run Aston Martin team.

"We have two great drivers in Fernando and Lance," he said on Monday.

"To be honest, they are so integrated into the team now that we will do everything we can to keep them. We are very confident that we can achieve what we want – namely to continue with both drivers in 2025 and beyond," Krack added.

As for Stroll, he admits he needs to up his game in 2024.

"Last year I lacked speed, that's for sure," he is quoted by Le Journal de Montreal newspaper. "Fernando was simply faster.

"So I have some ideas to work on, things I want to improve on in that regard, for sure."

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