Currently reading: New Aston Martin chairman Lawrence Stroll on rescue deal and F1
Aston Martin is confirmed as rebranded Racing Point Formula 1 team for 2021 and team boss and chairman explains what it means
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4 mins read
1 April 2020

Aston Martin's path to Formula 1 was officially secured on 30 March under new shareholder investment, including from a consortium lead by new executive chairman Lawrence Stroll. 

The 2021 F1 season will see Aston return to the grid as a works F1 team operating from the team's base in Silverstone. The move is effectively a rebrand of Stroll's existing Racing Point team. 

Aston Martin Lagonda approved a £536 million fundraising round on Monday, underpinned by an injection of £260m of new capital from Yew Tree Consortium - a group of investors led by Stroll.  

The current Racing Point team today released a statement detailing the importance of a Formula 1 to the Aston brand.

"There is no better way to build the Aston Martin brand globally, and to engage with its customer base, than to have a successful works team in Formula 1. The sport demands excellence in design and engineering, and relentless innovation, much of which will be shared with the engineering and development teams at Gaydon and will progressively be incorporated into the future generations of cars, particularly the planned range of mid-engine cars."

The statement confirms work has begun "to lay the foundations for the success of the team, the development of the cars and the building of the brand globally". This is despite the whole sport coming to a halt during the coronavirus pandemic, allowing a number of teams to join the effort to develop and build hospital ventilators.

Racing Point released a Q&A with Lawrence Stroll discussing the Aston deal and its future in F1.

Q&A with Lawrence Stroll

Events have developed quickly over the last few months, but you must be delighted to have officially completed the process.

“The process of investing in this wonderful car brand has required all of my attention and energy for a number of months. There were certainly some sleepless nights. At the same time, it has been one of the most exciting deals in which I’ve ever been involved. Cars are my passion, a huge part of my life, and Aston Martin has always had a special place in my heart.

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"To stand here today and announce that the agreement is finalised is a huge privilege and one of the proudest moments of my career. With all the paperwork completed, I can focus my attention on implementing the strategy to make this fantastic brand even more successful in the years ahead.”

Formula 1 is an important part of the strategy and you have confirmed the Racing Point team will be known as Aston Martin F1 Team from 2021.

“A brand with the pedigree and history of Aston Martin needs to be competing at the highest level of motorsport. 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.”

You’re also keen to leverage the technology of F1 competition for the Aston Martin road cars.

“This is another important part of the strategy. Not only does Formula 1 help elevate the brand, it opens up the opportunity for technology cross-over. I’m incredibly excited to see what technology can filter down from the racing programme into the road cars. This will be particularly relevant for the mid-engine road cars that will be launched in the future. There will be a genuine collaboration to ensure that our road cars share the DNA of our success on the track as well.”

What is likely to change at Silverstone over the coming 12 months?

“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. 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.”

The coronavirus pandemic presents difficult times for the whole world. How is this impacting on 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.

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"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.”

READ MORE

Aston seals funds for DBX production but issues long-term warning 

Mercedes to discuss Formula 1 withdrawal, potentially triggering sensational Aston Martin buyout 

Billionaire Stroll takes major stake in Aston Martin

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Comments
14

1 April 2020

This is where we'll have to see what Lawrence is up to.   If he continues with business as usual then he's a dreamer.   If he starts reforming management then he may save Aston.

 

Step one.   Fire Marek Reichman and find a new designer to refresh the range.

 

1 April 2020

The engines are reportedly sound, as are the chassis - if not quite up to the very best in class.  The interiors, however, are not quite there.  I think they should take the $$$ that would be wasted on a F1 team and put it into finer materials and more hand finishing of the interiors.

2 April 2020
Symanski wrote:

This is where we'll have to see what Lawrence is up to.   If he continues with business as usual then he's a dreamer.   If he starts reforming management then he may save Aston.

Step one.   Fire Marek Reichman and find a new designer to refresh the range.

While I agree about designs, I wouldn't call that step one!

Step one should be Stroll withdraw his bid and AM beg Geeley to come back to the table on hands and knees!

Stroll simply does not have pockets deep enough. All he's interested in is a better badge on his F1 team apparently, and with where the top runners are - there is zero possibility of the Racing Point (Now AM) cars being competitive, not even best of the rest.

What does that day about Aston Martins?

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Aston have now stated Stroll's rescue deal isn't enough cash to last them 12 months and they need to borrow additional funds.

They are banking on the DBX - however we are now in a recession.

While it's true, wealthy people have plenty of money to spend - they won't be spending it while the markets are seeing so much turmoil.

Yes, they have a strong order book - but so did the XJ220 back in the 90's and look how that turned out....

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Curtains for Aston Martin? - A crying shame.

If only they'd seen past Chinese prejudice to Geeley's track record of turning around ailing car companies.

2 April 2020
CarNut170 wrote:

Step one should be Stroll withdraw his bid and AM beg Geeley to come back to the table on hands and knees!

 

They are banking on the DBX - however we are now in a recession.

 

Curtains for Aston Martin? - A crying shame.

If only they'd seen past Chinese prejudice to Geeley's track record of turning around ailing car companies.

DBX they claim has over 2,000 orders, but they also reported in corporate results at that time they had 1,800 and only 1,200 were customer specified.   The others must have been dealers.   Or the "CEO's Special Reserve" as they had done previously with the Valhalla.

 

Yes, Geely would have the automotive experience to back them and turn the company around.   Aston has done well from having Ford as a bigger brother looking after them, and needs something like that again.   Not the old hand-me-downs from Mercedes, but the very latest technologies.

 

I want to see Aston Martin saved.   I'm not convinced Stroll is that saviour.

 

1 April 2020

I fear time may be against AM, despite the cash injection. With the DBX still not in production, and all car sales, never mind high end ones, likely to be depressed for the remainder of the year, I think it could be touch and  go for the company. Having a "Passion for Cars" isn't the same as being a successful producer of them, sometimes it's quite the opposite. And as for putting money into F1, I can't see that as being a priority at all, rather a very expensive distraction that won't do too much for sales. Stroll may be a successful entrepreneur, but sadly, I fear this could end the way so many other passion led vanity automotive projects have - in tears.

1 April 2020

I admire their commitment to Aston Martin and wish them luck.

 

But I see no appeal in the F1 connnection.  There is literally nothing on a current F1 car that I would want to see on any road car, let alone an Aston Martin.

1 April 2020
eseaton wrote:

But I see no appeal in the F1 connnection.  There is literally nothing on a current F1 car that I would want to see on any road car, let alone an Aston Martin.

Absolutely no connection from F1 to road cars. That's a gimmick that F1 tries to play but is complete nonsense. If anything the current crop are borrowing more from regular hybrid cars and from research papers already published in to combustion technologies.

 

And nobody was fooled by Aston Martin's branding of Red Bull, and nobody will be fooled again even though they will now share a common engine partner.   And remember that Aston are going to stop using the V8 Mercedes in favour of their own V6 soon too. 

 

1 April 2020

Presumably this change cements Mercedes Benz as an engine supplier to both the car and F1 divisions and leaves Red Bull looking for a new sponsor. Next job is to find a better driver line up. I experienced driver one younger with potential - 2031 Bottas and Russell. Mercedes need to start looking for a younger driver who has the potential to succeed Hamilton. 

1 April 2020

Blah blah blah branding blah blah blah marketing blah blah blah strategy, basically. Will people be more likely to buy Aston Martins if they win an F1 world title? - I'm doubtful. Would people buy more Aston Martins if the rest of the range looked like the DBS Superleggera? - almost certainly

1 April 2020
sonicmarmalade wrote:

Would people buy more Aston Martins if the rest of the range looked like the DBS Superleggera? - almost certainly

They're not buying in to the DBS as it is so it's unlikely that copying that look across the range would help in any way.   Yes, some like it, and that's ok, but it isn't bringing enough people in to the showrooms, neither is the Vantage nor DB11.   And the DBX isn't doing the numbers either.

 

The engineering has never been better, but this isn't a marketing exercise.   F1 is a waste of money for Aston Martin when most people buy because they look amazing.   This is where you need to bring beautiful back to Aston and that means finding a new and competent designer.

 

You can complain that some people have identified where Aston have gone wrong all you like, but that's not going to help them, is it?   Why not come up with some solutions?   How would you make Aston Martin more desireable?   And I bet most of their customers don't care for F1...

 

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