RACE DEBRIEF

    Billionaire Lawrence Stroll says it will realistically take four or five years before his Aston Martin Formula 1 team are in a position to fight for the Formula 1 World Championship.

    Stroll rebranded his Racing Point team Aston Martin, complete with a new green livery, for this season as he continues to invest heavily in the F1 operation in a bid to make them title contenders.

    READ MORE: Aston Martin plan to tweak green livery to make it ‘pop’ – but won’t go back to pink

    The team are building a new factory and wind tunnel and are in the midst of an aggressive recruitment drive – Dan Fallows is set to join as Technical Director from Red Bull – with the staff set to rise from 500 to around 800 in the coming years.

    Hopes of a big year in 2021 were high after Stroll claimed his first win as a team owner with Sergio Perez in Bahrain last year, but they have struggled to kick on and currently sit sixth out of 10 teams in the constructors’ standings.

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    Sergio Perez took a podium for Racing Point in the 2020 Sakhir GP

    And while 2022 – which brings sweeping new technical regulations – offers the chance of a big step, Stroll is under no illusions it will take time to get Aston Martin to the sharp end.

    "We’re currently in a good place,” said Stroll. “We share Mercedes’ wind tunnel, so we’re in one of the best wind tunnels. It’s not as good as having your own, but it’s not like we’re sacrificing by being in a poor wind tunnel.

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    "Facilities-wise, we’ve definitely outgrown our facilities. We’re putting up a lot of temporary facilities around our site in order to accommodate all these new hires. I think we’ll be in the new place in 18 months, call it 20 months, the end of next year.

    "We’re not really compromising on anything. Formula 1, like any other business, I don’t think you could realistically plan on winning before four or five years. I think that’s realistically what it takes."

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    Aston Martin sit 12 points ahead of Alpine in the standings

    He added: "My track record, pretty much as with every other business I own, is to win. In this case, winning in Formula 1 means obviously world championships, and ultimately that's what we are striving for, what I am striving for.

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    "Of course, we all know that success in Formula 1 - or any other business for that matter - doesn't come overnight. It takes years to put the right people, the right tools, the right processes in place.

    "But we are building and investing in our team, with the ambition of moving up the grid year by year, and our ultimate ambition is to win world championships."

    Mark White Aston Martin
    Aston Martin's latest hire, Mark White

    Meanwhile, Aston Martin announced on Wednesday their latest senior technical hire, following the recruitment of Fallows, Andrew Alessi – also from Red Bull – and Luca Furbatto, from Alfa Romeo.

    Mark White will join the team as Operations Director on 1st September 2021. White, who has over 25 years of motor industry experience behind him, including time spent with Honda, will take overall responsibility for production control, quality assurance and manufacturing.

    Otmar Szafnauer, CEO and Team Principal said: “Mark’s experience of the automotive world will be especially relevant as the cost cap comes into force with greater emphasis on containing manufacturing expenses.

    “He will also continue our push to improve quality and efficiency in our production and manufacturing systems. It is yet another demonstration of our desire to strengthen the team in all areas with another experienced senior leader.”

    White added: “I am hugely proud to be joining the talented men and women at Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team this September.

    “I have been extremely impressed by the passion and desire of the leadership team, and I believe the roadmap ahead, including the new factory build, will allow the team to be truly competitive in the years to come. I will do all I can to contribute towards the team’s journey to the front of the grid.”