Billionaire Stroll Plans Formula 1 Makeover Akin to Aston Reboot
(Bloomberg) -- After kicking off the reboot of supercar maker Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings Plc, billionaire Lawrence Stroll has similar ambitions to scale up his Formula 1 racing team.
Stroll bought the team, now called Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One, out of administration for 90 million pounds ($124 million) in 2018. He’s building a new wind tunnel and a factory at Silverstone, allowing 100% of the racing car to be built in-house, he said in an interview.
The Canadian billionaire took over as executive chairman of Aston Martin Lagonda in 2020 after leading a rescue of the beleaguered automaker. His consortium is currently the largest shareholder. As part of the rescue, Stroll’s Formula 1 team was rebranded with the carmaker’s name, but is otherwise independent of it.
The wind tunnel will help the team create more aerodynamic cars as well as provide a revenue stream when it’s not in use. The team is considering whether to build its own racing engine for the 2026 season, Stroll said. It currently sources engines from Mercedes-Benz.
“The advantage the factory will give us will be tremendous,” said Stroll, whose son Lance drives for the team. “We are making this investment to make the cars go faster. Having the newest, latest and greatest wind tunnel will be a major breakthrough.”
Stroll’s team will finance its construction plans with a 250 million-pound bond sale launched this month that he hopes will attract individual and institutional investors.
Stroll plans to fold the Formula 1 team into a larger entity called Aston Martin Performance Technologies, led by former McLaren veteran Martin Whitmarsh. Aston Martin Performance will offer consulting and services to other companies, as well as to Aston Martin Lagonda, Stroll said.
The racing team began in 1991 and has since had a series of owners, including embattled Indian tycoon Vijay Mallya. Stroll plans to increase staffing for the team to 1,000 people, from 600 currently.
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