Lawrence Stroll on what convinced him to buy Force India

Lawrence Stroll has detailed the story which led to him completing a takeover of the cash-strapped Force India team.

Force India came out of administration in August 2018 when Stroll led a consortium of investors and initially re-launched the team as Racing Point Force India.

The team was renamed to just Racing Point ahead of the 2019 campaign as the team continued to be moulded around Stroll’s leadership and vision.

And the final stage of the process came in January 2020 when Stroll led another consortium to take an initial 16.7% stake in Aston Martin, who made their return to Formula 1 as a fully-fledged team in 2021.

But, with the off-season winter period well and truly set in, there is time for Stroll to take us all the way back to the beginning of the story.

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“I had several meetings with. Chase [Carey, CEO of F1] at the time,” Stroll told GP Racing magazine, as quoted by Motorsport.com

“And that was a very, very important part of my decision process to buy the company or not. He had a great influence on the decision. If there hadn’t been spending limits, I wouldn’t have done it.

“People – human capital – are a very important factor. I would never have bought a team that was between ninth and tenth position.”

What tempted Stroll even further was Force India’s channelling of the underdog spirit as they performed above expectations compared to what was one of the smaller operating budgets in Formula 1.

He continued: “What impressed me, and the reason for the purchase, was that it was a team that operated on a budget of £90 million and only 400 employees (at the time, Mercedes was spending £332 million a year, and had 900 employees in Brackley alone), but two years in a row it was fourth in the championship, and it would have been three years without the administration.

“All this with a third of the budget and less than half of the staff of the competitors who were above.

“There was already a core of 400 very passionate people here, that famous expression, who punch above their weight.

“They did more with fewer employees than other teams, so it was an incredible opportunity to build on an already strong foundation. We didn’t start from scratch.”

 

The final piece of the puzzle came together when Stroll wanted to stay true to the team’s British roots given its long-standing association with Silverstone.

“When the company (Force India) went into bankruptcy, there was no plan at the time,” he explained.

“After getting the asset, yes, I had a very clear vision that this is an automotive company. And I had a dream that, being based at Silverstone for almost three decades, it had to be a British brand.

“And for me there is only one British brand that justifies being on the pedestal of F1. And that was Aston Martin. It was a kind of dream come true.”

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