Lawrence Stroll does not make small plans

Lawrence Stroll, owner of the Formula 1 Aston Martin team, is a man on a mission. Three years ago, Stroll, a Canadian billionaire, with...


Lawrence Stroll, owner of the Formula 1 Aston Martin team, is a man on a mission.

Three years ago, Stroll, a Canadian billionaire, with his “closest and dearest friends and associates,” bought Force India team and saved him from administration. It was renamed Racing Point, which finished fourth in the team championship in 2020.

In January 2020, Stroll and his consortium also acquired 16.7% of the automaker itself. That stake was increased to 25 percent a few weeks later, and Stroll became executive chairman of Aston Martin a few months later.

Under the agreement, Racing Point this year became the Aston Martin team, which returned to Formula 1 for the first time since 1960. Stroll wants to win the world title in “four, five, six”, a- he declared.

“As with every other business I own, my goal is to win,” said Stroll, who previously held stakes in Tommy Hilfiger and Michael Kors. “In this case, winning in Formula 1 means world championships, and that is ultimately what we are aiming for, what I am experiencing.

“Of course we all know that success in Formula 1, or any other business for that matter, doesn’t come overnight. It takes years to put in place the right people, the right tools, the right process. “

The team will move to a new factory, adjacent to its headquarters on the Silverstone track in north-west London, in early 2023.

At “great expense,” Stroll said, they have decided to build a wind tunnel, which they hope to operate before the start of the 2023 season.

Since the end of 2019, the team has rented time in a wind tunnel owned by Mercedes, which supplies its engines. He uses a 60% scale model of a Formula 1 car to study how the air moves over it.

When Stroll took over, Force India had 400 employees. That number has risen to 500, but a major recruitment drive is underway, with plans “to increase that number to around 800 people,” Stroll said.

New hires include Dan Fallows, chief aerodynamicist at Red Bull, as technical director; former Red Bull designer Andrew Alessi in charge of technical operations; and Alfa Romeo chief designer Luca Furbatto as director of engineering.

The team’s most important rookie, quadruple champion Sebastian Vettel, was recruited last September. Stroll said Vettel was “the team’s dearest employee.”

Ferrari announced before the start of last season that 2020 would be Vettel’s sixth and final year with the team and replaced him with Carlos Sainz. Son of Balade, Spear, who has finished on the podium three times, is the other Aston Martin driver.

Team manager Otmar Szafnauer said Vettel rediscovered his love for Formula 1 after a difficult last year with Ferrari.

“At the start, before Seb came here, he said, ‘Look, the reason I want to come is that I want to enjoy the race again,” “Szafnauer said in an interview.

“If you ask him, which I do a lot, he’s now at a point where he likes to run again, which is good. This is exactly what he wanted.

The goal of becoming world champion has only just begun for Szafnauer.

“It’s exciting to build something in the next four or five years where we hopefully win world championships,” he said. “But at the same time, it will be hard work.”

Stroll said that for his team to win, four things are needed: the tools, which they will have with the factory and the wind tunnel; people, because the team doubles its staff; processes, he cites as “discipline, management and winning culture, something that I have been able to instill fairly well in my previous organizations.”

“Finally, you need the financial strength and power to be able to fund points 1, 2 and 3,” he said. “So we tick all the boxes in the way we are moving forward, and with a very clear vision.

“I haven’t invested significantly in this business so as not to fight for the world championships, so we’re going to do whatever it takes, within the rules of course.”

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