Johnny Herbert has said that Aston Martin team owner Lawrence Stroll may have to have a hard conversation with his son Lance, if the Canadian driver isn't able to find form soon.
Stroll has scored two points in 2022, courtesy of two 10th place finishes at the Emilia Romagna and Miami Grands Prix, but has paled beside Sebastian Vettel in recent races as the four-time World Champion has found form.
At last weekend's Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Vettel raced to sixth place, which might have been fifth had he not made a mistake at Turn 3 midway through the race, while Stroll failed to trouble the points scorers before a late-race retirement - his tough race coming after crashing twice in quick succession during Q1.
Herbert: Lawrence has to have a tough chat
Given Aston Martin's current situation, in which the former Racing Point team find themselves in ninth place in the Constructors' Championship after eight races, Herbert believes it may be time for Stroll to make a tough call and replace his son to maximise the team's opportunities.
"Lance has had a bit of a difficult time of late," the former F1 driver turned broadcaster said on the F1 Nation podcast.
sometimes think there is a certain time that, if it doesn't quite
happen, Lawrence has got to go 'son, I've given you a chance. It isn't
quite working out. And I've got to do what's right for the team'.
"I think there will be a point that's going to happen.
"I don't exactly know when that will be, but it's down to Lance actually to do the job that he needs to do and consistently do that job. At the moment, it's a little bit scrappy."
Herbert suggests Gasly as a replacement
Herbert suggested that Pierre Gasly should make enquiries of Aston Martin, given that the Red Bull door has been firmly shut after Sergio Perez's contract extension.
"I think he should be straight, straight there already," he said.
As reported recently by RacingNews365.com, it's understood that Gasly has a clause in his contract to leave AlphaTauri - provided the team calling upon him is higher placed in the Constructors' Championship. At this point in time, Aston Martin don't meet that criteria.
But Herbert reckons Gasly should still be putting the feelers out.
"I think he should already be making inquiries about exactly what they want to do and say 'yeah, I'm ready, and I'm willing to come on board'," he said.
"I think that's where drivers sometimes have to make those harsh decisions, if you call it that. But, from a career perspective, it'd be the right thing for him to do."
F1 Podcast: How worried should Ferrari be by their mechanical woes?
RacingNews365.com F1 journalists Dieter Rencken and Michael Butterworth are joined by Julien Simon-Chautemps as they question how concerned Ferrari should be after the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.