Aston Martin F1 Still On For 2021, Despite Financial Concerns
Racing Point owner Lawrence Stroll has confirmed that despite the current coronavirus situation, and even though question marks hang over both the 2020 Formula 1 season and the British marque’s financial stability, Aston Martin will return to F1 as a works outfit for the 2021 season.
Back in January, a consortium led by Stroll bought a 16.7 per cent stake in Aston Martin for £182 million (around $239 million USD), and announced that Racing Point F1 would be rebranded as the ‘Aston Martin F1 Team’ for the 2021 season and beyond. Following concerns that Aston’s purse could run dry within a year –the brand has ordered a temporary suspension of all manufacturing operations at its UK plants in an effort to quell the spread of COVID-19 – the British marque recently received an injection of funds worth up to £536 million (around $663 million USD) from shareholders. Of this, Stroll’s Yew Tree consortium will provide £262 million (a little over $324 million USD), and £171 million / $211.5m of that – feeling poor yet?! – will be through a private placement of shares with Yew Tree.
The fundraising means Aston Martin’s planned production of the DBX SUV at its new St Athan facility can now proceed. The new deal also means that, come 20 April, Lawrence Stroll will take over as the company’s new executive chairman.
Asked about, what he called, “the most exciting thing that’s happened in recent memory in Formula 1,” Stroll admitted that the deal with Aston Martin had caused “some sleepless nights”, but that his commitment to the program was unwavering.
“The process of investing in this wonderful car brand has required all of my attention and energy for a number of months,” Stroll explained in an official Racing Point F1 statement. “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. To stand here today and announce that the agreement is finalised is a huge privilege and one of the proudest moments of my career.
“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.”
As confirmed in January, Aston Martin’s existing partnership with Red Bull Racing will continue until the end of 2020 season. Their collaborative efforts on the Aston Martin Valkyrie hypercar are unaffected.
The return of the Aston Martin works team after a 60-year hiatus (just one of five things you may have forgotten about the marque’s original F1 run) means that the Silverstone-based team will morph into its sixth iteration in 2021. Having debuted as Jordan Grand Prix in 1991, the future ‘Aston Martin F1 Team’ was bought by Midland in 2005, re-branded as Spyker halfway through 2006 and sold once again to Force India in October 2007. Financial woes led to the ‘Racing Point’ consortium taking ownership of the team, and re-branding, ahead of the 2018 Belgian Grand Prix.
*Images courtesy of Racing Point F1, Aston Martin, and Red Bull Content Pool