Aston Martin’s return to Formula 1 has been confirmed after investment from a Lawrence Stroll-led consortium was approved.
The iconic British sports car brand last entered an F1 race in 1960, but never scored a point in six attempts as a constructor. This week, the shareholders of Aston Martin Lagonda approved a £536 million ($664m) fundraising — including £260m ($322m) of new capital from Stroll’s Yew Tree Consortium — that will result in the Canadian billionaire becoming executive chairman of Aston Martin and turn Racing Point into its works team next season.
“A brand with the pedigree and history of Aston Martin needs to be competing at the highest level of motorsport,” Stroll said. “I think it’s the most exciting thing that’s happened in recent memory in Formula 1 and it’s incredibly exciting for all stakeholders in the sport, especially the fans. I can’t think of a better name for a Formula 1 team.
“Our investment strategy places Formula 1 as a central pillar of the global marketing strategy, and it makes perfect sense to rebrand Racing Point for this purpose. Aston Martin has been competing very successfully in various classes of motorsport throughout its history, but we now have an opportunity to create a works team in Formula 1.
“The global spotlight of Formula 1 is second to none and we will leverage this reach to showcase the Aston Martin brand in our key markets.”
While the team remains Racing Point this year and the technical regulations will be unchanged in 2021, Stroll says he expects the team to be fighting near the front from its debut season as Aston Martin.
“The group of men and women at Silverstone are true racers and their determination and spirit is one of the main reasons I invested in the Formula 1 team. After 30 years, they deserve this opportunity to represent this legendary brand,” he added. “We are continuing to invest in the team to give everybody the resources required and we will see the benefit of those efforts this year as Racing Point.
“With the Aston name comes more pressure and expectation. We will need to be competitive from the outset. But I have no doubt the team at Silverstone will rise to the challenge and do the Aston Martin name proud.”
While the coronavirus pandemic has led to many countries entering a state of lockdown and both sport and businesses being impacted, Stroll says the situation does not deter him from the plans for 2021.
“I don’t think there is any area of life or business that hasn’t been touched by this devastating pandemic and the racing community is certainly adapting as best it can. Of course, as racers, we are all very frustrated not to be competing, but we all understand the bigger picture in this global fight and so we stay at home. The team is also supporting Project Pitlane to help accelerate the production of ventilators.
“In the meantime, we can rely on video conferences to keep our plans for 2020 and 2021 moving forward. I am committed to Formula 1 with a long-term vision and this is just a temporary pause in the journey.”