Aston Martin Strolls back
INJECTION OF CASH: CANADIAN BILLIONAIRE INVESTS R3.5 BILLION FOR A 17% SHARE
Wants to ‘fulfil Lagonda’s potential’ after a 60-year absence from F1.
Rumours that Racing Point’s consortium chief Lawrence Stroll was considering investing in Aston Martin Lagonda has now become fact after the Canadian billionaire’s investment of R3.589 billion for a 17% share of the iconic British car manufacturer.
It is a move that has an interesting impact on more than just Stroll’s Formula One team,
Aston Martin Lagonda have suffered a financial downturn since 2018, including a drop in its share price.
They are now on a R9.813 billion fundraising drive, with an additional share issue from the company’s major stakeholders to generate the balance following Stroll’s investment.
The Canadian brings a wealth of expertise in the luxury brand market place.
He was reported as saying: “I and my partners firmly believe that Aston Martin is one of the great global luxury car brands.
“I believe this combination of capital and my experience of both the motor industry and building highly successful global brands will mean that, over time, we fulfil Aston Martin Lagonda’s potential.”
Aston Martin chief executive Andy Palmer commented: “We have also announced plans to leverage a new motorsports collaboration with Racing Point to enhance the execution of the plan.”
This is where Red Bull Racing comes in. After all, there has been a four-year relationship between Red Bull and Aston Martin.
The Milton Keynes team confirmed the partnership will stand until the end of the 2020 season but will not be extended.
One area that will continue is the involvement with Red Bull Advanced Technologies, so the future of the hypercar – the jointly designed and built Valkyrie – will still meet its end-of-2020 delivery date.
So what next for the Gaydon-based company and Racing Point, as one would expect it will mean a new future for both?
The last time Aston Martin graced a F1 grid was in 1960, and the 1959 and 1960 seasons produced results the company would probably rather forget.
At the end of the 2020 season, it is reported the Aston Martin name will replace the nondescript Racing Point in the F1 entry lists and this could result in an exciting era for both companies.
Aston Martin have used Mercedes AMG engines in past production models and Racing Point is currently a contracted Mercedes F1 power unit client.
It is a case of watch this space for 2021 and beyond for the new Aston Martin F1 team.
A name change is nothing new for Racing Point.
The team started in 1991 as Jordan F1 but 14 years later financial issues forced the sale to the Midlands Group and in 2006 it became Midland MF1 Racing.
Dutch company Spyker purchased the company towards the end of that same year and raced until the end of 2007 when Indian entrepreneur Vijay Mallya led a consortium that bought the team, and so Force India was created.
Following Force India’s financial demise, Stroll and his consortium purchased the team which two years ago became Racing Point.
With the growing threat of coronavirus and the recent statement from the World Health Organisation declaring it an international emergency, it comes as no surprise that the FIA has cancelled the Formula E race on 21 March at the Sanya facility in Hainan Province.
Although Sanya is some 2 000km from Shanghai, the Chinese Grand Pix – just over two weeks later – is also under threat, as is the inaugural Vietnamese race.
With the first death beyond China’s borders and the highly contagious nature of the virus, the FIA are ensuring that all involved in the sport and, of course, the spectators will not be placed in a risky situation.
On a happier note, the annual reveal of the 10 teams’ latest creations will soon begin:
11 February – Ferrari: Reggio Emilia, Italy
12 February – Renault: Paris, France
12 February – Red Bull: United Kingdom
13 February – McLaren: Woking Factory, UK
14 February – Mercedes: Silverstone, UK
14 February – Alpha Tauri: Red Bull Hanger 7, Salzburg, Austria
17 February – Racing Point: Mondsee, Austria
17 February – Williams: Grove, UK
19 February – Alfa Romeo: Barcelona Pit Lane, Spain
19 February – Haas: Barcelona Pit Lane, Spain
On 19 February, the first day of pre-season testing takes place and, for a change, there will be no hiding the new cars.
Covers and screens that are rapidly deployed when the car is stationary in the pits and garage have been deemed illegal under the new sporting regulations, so there is no place to hide.
At the end of the 2020 season the Aston Martin name will replace Racing Point in the Formula One entry lists.
RUNNING OUT. Aston Martin’s partnership with Red Bull Racing will be dissolved at the end of this year.
RUNNING IN. From next year, Racing Point will be entered under the Aston Martin umbrella, probably with Mercedes-Benz engines.