It’s an open secret that Lawrence Stroll, father of Racing Point driver Lance Stroll, is looking to buy a 20% stake in British automaker, Aston Martin.
For Stroll, the decision to do so would have far-reaching effects that would not only be felt by Racing Point, the team he owns, but also the greater Formula 1. Why? Because Aston Martin has very close ties with more than one team.
Stroll’s first (public) involvement in F1 came when, a few years ago, he backed his son financially into the sport. Stroll Jnr raced for Williams between 2017 and ’18, and in the process registered one or two notable results for the team. In 2018, ‘Big’ Stroll, and a consortium of investors, bought Force India and renamed it Racing Point. Stroll Jnr, subsequently, moved to his father’s team in 2019 to partner Sergio Perez.
While Racing Point scraped together a few good results last year, the team finished in the bottom half of the log.
Why Aston Martin?
Lawrence Stroll made his billions through a variety of avenues over the years, which is why he was able to pursue the purchase of Force India. And now the billionaire is interested in Aston Martin, of which he wants to attain a 20% stake. At £200-million (R 3.767-billion, est.), nogal!
Should the purchase be successful, Stroll will be able to tap into Aston Martin’s racing heritage and pedigree, and use that to his team’s advantage. A possible name-change for the team will also be on the cards, and the value attached to the Aston Martin brand will be near-invaluable. Add to this the fact that Aston Martin has very close ties to Mercedes-AMG, who, coincidentally, is also the engine supplier to Racing Point.
A purchase like this will allow Stroll more significant insights to the development of the engine his team uses, and for him and the engineers and managers to better understand the evolution of Racing Point’s race cars.
Aston Martin said in a statement: “We remain in discussion with potential strategic investors in relation to building longer term relationships, which may or may not involve an equity investment."
And Red Bull?
Aston Martin is a major sponsor of the Red Bull Racing team. So much so that the team’s official name is Aston Martin Red Bull Racing. If Stroll’s purchase does go through, Aston Martin would have a difficult choice to make. Either split from Red Bull and support, what effectively will be, their F1 team. Or, share their interest with both Racing Point and Red Bull Racing.
The latter will not be uncommon, though. In 2011, two teams were competing under the Lotus name and shared the same Renault engine. And as we know, Renault eventually bought into Lotus and became a fully-fledged factory team (again).
Whichever way this plays out, Lawrence Stroll positioned himself in a favourable position to become one of the big role players in F1’s modern age. His acquisition of Force India in 2018 and now the possible acquiring of Aston Martin, may well ensure that, perhaps not in 2020, his team could fight for race victories when 2021 comes around.
We’ll keep you updated on Stroll’s plans for purchasing Aston Martin.