Aston Martin’s multi-million-dollar return to Formula 1 is paying absolute dividends, both on and off the track, Aston Martin part-owner and executive chairman Lawrence Stroll recently revealed.
When the Aston Martin name first rejoined the Formula 1 grid in 2021, fans and commentators were equally hopeful and doubtful. Despite having big money behind them and four-time Driver’s Champion Sebastian Vettel as one of their two drivers, the former Racing Point outfit had a rather average 2021 and 2022 season, far below new owner Lawrence Stroll’s expectations.
Yet patience is a virtue. Now, in the 2023 Formula 1 World Championship, Aston Martin has defied the odds to become a proper front-running team. As of publishing, Aston Martin is, unbelievably to some, coming second in the Constructor’s Championship – ahead of top teams Ferrari and Mercedes.
Their new star driver, two-time World Champion Fernando Alonso, is currently third in the Driver’s Championship, only behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Sergio “Checo” Pérez. Alonso’s form has been remarkable, and he looks imminently poised to secure Aston Martin’s first win.
That’s despite the fact that Aston Martin is a customer team running a Mercedes engine and that Aston was 7th in the Constructor’s Championship for its first two years of existence. It’s a pretty remarkable turnaround; one that should particularly embarrass Mercedes.
Yet it’s not just on the track that Aston Martin is cleaning up. The ‘halo effect’ of Aston Martin’s success in F1 is rubbing off on Aston Martin’s road cars, too, Stroll recently revealed during a Financial Times event.
WATCH our short film sharing a close-up look at the Aston Martin DBS below.
Appearing as a guest speaker at FT’s The Future Of The Car Summit, Stroll told the audience that 70% of Aston Martin’s $1.75 billion USD in annual sales can be attributed to the F1 team – a bold claim, but an impressive one if true.
On top of that, Stroll has revealed that the company has sold over 300 Vantage F1 Edition cars (worth $60 million USD) thanks to the Vantage becoming the new F1 safety car – a duty it shares with Mercedes’ AMG GT. The Aston Martin DBX707 is also the sole official medical car for the 2023 season.
Clearly, the investment Stroll’s made into the F1 team and the success it’s now enjoying has had a very clear positive impact on the road car side of the business. F1 is, of course, a sport – but it’s also a potent marketing vehicle. Stroll, a notoriously ruthless and clever businessman, understands this intimately.
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Who is Lawrence Stroll?
Lawrence Stroll is an enigmatic and somewhat controversial figure. The 62-year-old Canadian billionaire has long been a presence in the F1 paddock as the father (and sponsor, naturally) of current driver Lance Stroll, who currently races for Aston Martin.
Stroll made his fortune in the fashion business, having brought the Ralph Lauren brand to Europe and helped make Tommy Hilfiger and Michael Kors globally successful brands. He’s also long been passionate about motorsports, having previously owned the Circuit Mont-Tremblant in Québec, Canada as well as Québec’s Ferrari dealership.
When Force India was put into administration as a result of financial and legal troubles in 2018, a consortium led by Stroll purchased the team, renaming it Racing Point for the 2019 and 2020 seasons, with Stroll then rebranding the team as Aston Martin after he became the lead shareholder in the famous English performance car brand.
Between the F1 team and the road car business, Stroll has reportedly invested well over $300 million USD into Aston Martin. Now, it seems, that investment is paying off…
The future looks bright for Aston Martin
Both Aston Martin’s road car business and the F1 team both look like they’re on very healthy trajectories.
Stroll also revealed at the summit that Aston Martin plans to unveil eight new road car models over the next 24 months, and is also on track to launch its first electric car in 2025.
Earlier this week, Aston Martin unveiled their latest model, the DB12: a luxurious grand tourer that Aston is calling “the world’s first super tourer”, with the brand trying to carve out a new category of sports car.
The Aston Martin F1 team also had very big news this week, with the team confirming a new works engine partnership with Honda in time for the new engine regulations coming into effect in 2026.
It’s a widely held belief in modern F1 that you can’t win a championship without a works engine partnership. Aston Martin’s deal with Honda solves that problem.
“Aston Martin Formula 1 is the fastest-growing team in the sport,” said Lawrence Stroll at the Honda partnership announcement, adding that “And on social media [too], tripling our fanbase just over the last two years.”
“The partnership with Honda is the final piece in the jigsaw to establish Aston Martin as a top team, capable of winning world titles… We are giving the team all the tools it needs to win.”Lawrence Stroll
Stroll’s deal with Honda is another example of the man’s ruthlessness. Honda, of course, was Red Bull’s engine supplier from 2019 to 2021, with the Japanese manufacturer withdrawing from Formula One at the end of the 2021 season, citing their need to focus resources on developing electric cars.
Of course, Max Verstappen went on to win the 2021 World Championship… As well as the 2022 title, with an engine that although maintained by the new Red Bull Powertrains company that Red Bull set up in the aftermath of Honda’s departure, is very much still a Honda engine.
Honda’s done yet another course correction and wants to be back in F1, no doubt feeling immensely regretful that they abandoned their Red Bull partnership, having done all the hard work only to miss out on much of the glory. However, with Aston Martin, Stroll is giving them a chance at success once more they desperately want.
Seeing how good the Honda engines are in those Red Bulls right now, Aston Martin might also have some rocketships in 2026…