Formula 1 | F1, a ‘billionaires’ club’? Lawrence Stroll proves Hamilton right
« For me, personally, we live in a time when it’s [la F1] became a club of little billionaire boys” launched Lewis Hamilton last May.
“If I were to go back, from my background coming from a working-class family, it would be impossible for me to be here today. Because the other children would have a lot more money. We must work to change this and make the sport accessible, for the wealthy as well as for people from a more modest background. »
The Mercedes driver did not give any names at the time, but he was undoubtedly thinking of three drivers in particular: Nikita Mazepin, Nicholas Latifi, and Lance Stroll (not counting the father of Lando Norris who is himself a millionaire).
Lawrence Stroll, the father of the Aston Martin F1 driver, who went even further by buying the team in which his son races, today responded to these criticisms of the British driver.
And he accepts the observation made by Lewis Hamilton: yes, F1 is today a sport for the rich. Why deny the contrary?
“Motor racing is definitely expensive, starting with karting, there’s no doubt about that. »
“It is much cheaper to play golf or tennis, but F1 is an expensive sport, there are machines. There are many people operating the machines. »
But Stroll father then diverts the criticism to speak, not of the pilots, which Lewis Hamilton did, but rather of the functioning of a team in general.
« You have to be a very wealthy individual or a very big company to be able to afford to be in Formula 1. »
« I don’t know what Lewis’ comment was referring to, but it’s a sport, F1, which requires a lot of capital. If you look at, for example, the construction of a new building or a new wind tunnel, that’s well over $150 million. »
“Formula 1 is a very expensive sport, that’s undeniable. »
Stroll’s Five-Year Plan
Being a billionaire is very useful in F1: it is with part of his personal money that Lawrence Stroll will grow Aston Martin F1, doubling the number of employees and building a new factory in Silverstone.
When does Stroll think his team will be able to fight for and win a world title?
“I think it will be in four, five or six years. »
“We are currently in a good position. We share Mercedes’ wind tunnel, but it’s not as good as having your own wind tunnel. »
“In terms of infrastructure, we have definitely outgrown our current site. We are setting up a lot of temporary facilities to accommodate all these new employees. But when it comes to future plans, like most other businesses I own, it’s all about winning. In this case, winning and Formula 1 obviously means winning world championships. Ultimately, that’s what we’re looking for. That’s what I’m looking to do. »
“We all know very well that success in Formula 1 or any other endeavor does not come overnight. It takes years to put in place the right people, the right tools, the right processes. »
“But we are building and investing in our team with the ambition to progress on the grid year after year. And our ultimate ambition is to win world championships. »