In early 2020, Lawrence Stroll bought a controlling stake in the struggling British car manufacturer Aston Martin. It was only natural from there that the Canadian businessman would merge both endeavors and rename the Racing Point team Aston Martin Racing for the upcoming season.
RacingNews365 caught up with the billionaire and asked him about his plans for the team in the coming years.
“First, to bring the Aston Martin name back to Formula 1," he stated. "The return is the biggest event in Formula 1 in the last decades. It is not just any small new team, it is a car manufacturer with 107 years of history, which is recognized worldwide as one of the leaders in luxury and high-performance vehicles.
"The history of the company, the DNA of this car manufacturer, it's all about racing. The team raced 107 years ago, that's how far back it goes. In 1959 they won at Le Mans and the roots of this company, the DNA, everything revolves around racing here.”
"It makes me proud to bring Aston Martin back to Formula 1."
From a business point of view, Stroll is clear about the direction he wants to follow.
“I made my plans and ambitions clear from day one when I became the chairman of Aston Martin," he added. "Since I started in April 2020, I have already transformed the car manufacturer in a monumental way and you can also say that the Formula 1 team last year years such a transformation has also continued.
"We finished the season fourth, while in my opinion we had earned third place. We had some bad luck, with some crashing engines during the last races. Despite that, we have proven that we are a team that can take on the big boys. Thanks to the deal with our new title sponsor Cognizant, we can compete even harder."
Stroll pointed out how it was natural for him to rebrand the Racing Point team.
“First, Formula 1 is a great marketing platform," he stated. "For us as a car manufacturer, it was a no brainer. Every other company I have owned, I acquired it in order to win. Winning has multiple meanings in Formula 1, however. Last season was a victory for us, although unfortunately we finished fourth and not third, but when you see where we came from, it was just like a win."
So what are his expectations for 2021? Stroll made it clear he wants the team to continue to climb up the grid, with regular podium finishes a real target.
“We want to be on the podium regularly starting this year and win a few races," he continued. "Last year we saw that we can do that. We want to knock on the door of second place and be a strong third team.
"Last season we already found ourselves in that position a bit. However, we had some bad luck, but that is of course part of racing. We will come back even stronger next season than last year when we already made a big leap forward.
"I can't put into words how motivated the 500 people in the factory are now that we are Aston Martin. Simple things like changing the name at the entrance and handing out new corporate clothing. Everyone talks about the new colours and everyone has found a higher gear. It is really motivating, you just feel it."
So is Stroll expecting to upset the established order in 2021?
“Certainly not next year, we are very realistic about that," he concluded. "But due to the new rules that will be introduced in 2022, the field must be closer together. Whether that will really be the case, we have yet to see. However, if it turns out as they hope, then I think we can make it difficult for Mercedes, Red Bull, and Ferrari.”