In this series, I will look at the ownership and funding of the teams in F1 and maybe uncover a dark secret or two.

Part 9: Racing point

Racing point is owned by a consortium of investors after the 2018 purchase of the Force India team for $115 million. The major shareholder is Lawrence Stroll, a Canadian billionaire businessman and collector of vintage Ferraris.

Lawrence is the father of Lance Stroll one of the team’s drivers after having moved from Williams were Stroll Snr spent an eye-watering $80m to secure the drive for his son.

The consortium goes by the name of Yew Tree Investments and includes Canadian entrepreneur Andre Desmarais, Jonathan Dudman of Monaco Sports and Management, fashion business leader John Idol, telecommunications investor John McCaw Jr, financial expert Michael de Picciotto, and Stroll's business partner Silas Chou.

Lawrence and his chums have committed to the building of a new £25 million state-of-the-art factory on a green field site alongside its existing Silverstone base. It is expected to be operational by August 2021.

Owner says Racing Point targeting victory

Lawrence Stroll

Also, the consortium has purchased a controlling stake in the luxury car maker Aston Martin. Stroll and partners initially injected £55 million and due to the Covid-19 crisis a further £20 million in emergency funding. There is an old saying, “in for a penny in for a pound” so I think this applies to Stroll and his consortium with their deep pockets.

Although they have an accumulated wealth of billions with Chou and Stroll the wealthiest at approximately $2billion apiece, they all lacked any manufacturing expertise required for the successful management of a car manufacturer.
So, Stroll the ultimate deal maker requiring additional expertise and much needed financial clout persuaded another investor to join the party.

Step forward yes, another billionaire but fitting for an iconic British brand, not another Canadian but a lord of the realm one Anthony Paul Bamford, Baron Bamford, chairman of the construction manufacturer JCB famous for their yellow diggers. His wealth is estimated at $4.9 billion making him wealthier than Stroll and Chou combined.

JCB is a sponsor of Racing Point and in further developments Stroll has announced Aston Martin will invest up to £200m in his Formula 1 team over the next five years.

It would seem Stroll has no skeletons in the cupboard, and he made his fortune in fashion by bringing Pierre Cardin fashionwear and Ralph Lauren clothing to Canada. Stroll also invested in clothing designer Tommy Hilfiger and Michael Kors.

So, what of his title sponsor?

The team is sponsored by BWT (Best Water Technology) an Austrian company which has a wide range of sponsorship deals with various motorsport teams, such as Mucke Motorsport in DTM, Forze Hydrogen Electric Racing, a student racing team from the Delft University of Technology, making race cars on hydrogen, ADAC-GT Masters and Formula 4 and Walter Lechner Racing in the high profile Porsche Carrera Cup Germany and the Porsche Supercup.

The racing point car has been nicknamed the Pink Mercedes due to the resemblance to the actual Mercedes car and of course the pink corporate colours of BWT.

After the Aston Martin takeover it was announced Racing Point would be renamed Aston Martin from 2021 onwards. This is not the first name change as the team
initially was called “Force India” then “Racing Point Force India” then “Racing Point” and eventually evolved into “SportPesa Racing Point F1 Team.”

Confused on the name well you are not alone. Kimi Raikkonen at the 2019 practice session in Monaco ranted over the radio, “I have that Force India or whatever the f*ck it’s called blocking me”.

Garry Sloan is the author of “In the pit lane - F1 exposed” details at inthepitlane.com

Copyright ©2020 Garry Sloan


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