Lawrence Stroll secretly knows how to run an F1 team

Lawrence Stroll secretly knows how to run an F1 team

2023-05-25 08:00:00
Team Crow

If you buy an F1 team as the father of an F1 driver, it still creates a lot of crooked faces. Although Lance Stroll still hasn’t been able to shake off the ‘paid driver’ image, Lawrence Stroll shows that he doesn’t just care about his son. The Canadian billionaire was already very successful in business and is also a very smart person in F1.

The Fall of Indian Power

Halfway through 2018, Force India is on the brink when team owner Vijay Mallya can no longer cough up money and is running into trouble with the authorities in India. Under the leadership of Sergio Perez, the team ends up in receivership and Lawrence Stroll can buy the team with a group of investors. Where he saves this team from ruin, is about buying your son an F1 team.

Of course, Stroll junior will be given Esteban Ocon’s seat in 2019 at the team that has been changed to Racing Point, but of the two drivers Sergio Perez will continue to be the better of the two. The 2018 junior season looks to be a harbinger for the upcoming season. Although investors can pour a lot of money into the team, the team cannot achieve the historic performance from 2016 and 2017 (fourth in the Constructors’ Championship) in its first year. It will be the seventh in 2019.

Stroll demands more from the team and technical director Andrew Green and his team see a solution. The Mercedes championship car is about to be rebuilt, to make a big competitive debut in 2020. The pink Mercedes is viewed with suspicion by the competition and eventually punished. Despite the reduction in points and fines, Racing Point is fourth among constructors in 2020.

Star driver with Lance

Stroll’s senior will show his ambitions for the first time at the end of 2020. Where everyone expects that he wants a driver instead of his son who can be beaten by Lance, Perez is shown the door despite a contract extension when it turns out that Sebastian Vettel is a possibility. Under the new name of Aston Martin, Stroll has a good story for Vettel to lure the four-time world champion as his team’s signature.

Stroll will also show the same when Vettel leaves at the end of 2022. Stroll junior, who will start his seventh season in F1 in 2023, could also be seen as a leader. It is still father Lawrence who feels his chance to have two-time world champion Fernando Alonso and bring the Spaniard as a big man. A multi-year contract for the tenacious driver, who leaves nothing unturned with Stroll in the first race.

Lawrence knows what it takes to get to the top. He demonstrated this in business by investing in brands such as Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors and Asprey & Garrard. A huge investment that, together with the income from his company Sportswear Holdings, is estimated by Forbes to be worth 3.6 billion dollars in 2023.

Still, there were fears that Lawrence would be blind in F1 to his son. He has, apparently, a life seat with the team because his father is the owner. However, Lance cannot carry the team and his father is honest enough to see that. First there was Perez, then Vettel and now Alonso. Drivers who didn’t allow Stroll to get out well, but made the team better.

The right choice for Aston Martin

In addition to the driving range, the 63-year-old businessman also shows that he knows what an F1 team needs. He invested no less than 200 million pounds in the new factory, which he hopes to compete with Red Bull Racing, Mercedes and Ferrari in the long term. The property will be completed in the 2023 F1 season.

You can’t get there with just a building, because people are probably more important. Stroll has also made good progress there. Otmar Szafnauer didn’t last long with his boss, but Mike Krack is doing well as a team boss. He lined up and ousted Dan Fallows from Red Bull Racing as technical director. Whether it is a copy of Red Bull or not, the arrival of Fallows has greatly helped Aston Martin in its performance. Add in the many other engineers coming from Red Bull and Mercedes and you see what they are doing at Aston Martin.

Stroll struck the final and most impressive blow with Honda, however. The Japanese have handed over the gold by terminating the deal with Red Bull Racing. Ford is now in the front row for less money in 2026, while Honda had to find a new partner now it wants to return. Based on the name, the link with McLaren would be more obvious, but it is Aston Martin that starts with the initiative.

It is precisely this program that shows how Stroll understands F1. Having bought a team for his son, Lawrence has looked at the formula for success: a factory through and through, a unique engine program, a technical chief to develop the car and a top driver as well as a second man. The strong businessman does not care that his son is the second man in this story. He wants to be successful in F1 and his son must work hard to get the title himself.

The deal with Honda is a perfect example and the final piece of the puzzle. Maybe because Honda starts later on the engine, it will not be perfect from 2026, but it will ensure that Aston Martin becomes a work team. Only in this way can you compete with Mercedes, Red Bull, Ferrari, Alpine and Audi. They are sleeping at McLaren and while Mercedes’ client will never come close to the name, Aston Martin has all the pieces of the puzzle. Now it’s just a matter of time and talent before it all comes to fruition. In any case, one thing is clear: Lawrence Stroll is secretly a smart guy.

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