Aston Martin can be Champions ‘without big changes’

Jon Wilde
Otmar Szafnauer, Lawrence Stroll, Aston Martin

Aston Martin may not need drastic operational changes to become World Champions, according to team owner Lawrence Stroll.

Rebranded from Racing Point and with a former four-time World Champion in Sebastian Vettel joining for 2021, Aston Martin have big ambitions to challenge Mercedes’ domination of Formula 1.

However, at present they are reliant upon Mercedes for their engine, gearbox and other parts, including aspects of the suspension, which places a greater emphasis on maximising the other resources at their disposal.

To that end, Aston Martin have signed up American computing giant Cognizant as their title sponsor and will equip the new factory, being built at the team’s Silverstone base, with the latest technology in artificial intelligence and data analysis.

Cognizant Aston Martin sponsor

Stroll, whose son Lance will partner Vettel in the driver line-up this year, wants to make sustained progress after a 2020 campaign in which Racing Point had arguably the third fastest car on the grid and achieved a famous victory through Sergio Perez in the Sakhir Grand Prix.

“My aim with this, like the other businesses I’ve owned, is to win,” said Stroll Snr during an interview with the BBC.

“F1 is a process that takes years to be successful. It’s not an overnight thing, but no business is built overnight. This will be the same. I want to continue where we finished last year, only stronger.

“We had several podiums, we had a win. I’d like this year to have several more podiums and another win or two – step by step, fighting for more and more wins.”

And ultimately the World Championship with Stroll saying 2022, when F1’s sweeping regulation changes come in, offers a real opportunity to throw down the gauntlet – along with the budget cap which will “play into our hands” as his team are unaffected by it.

Stroll revealed he had discussed with team principal Otmar Szafnauer and technical director Andrew Green whether Aston Martin could become World Champions while retaining their current dependence on Mercedes.

The 61-year-old Canadian explained: “I said ‘we have the new rules coming in for 2022, we are here to win, it’s why I’m here, it’s why we are all here, but I have the ability to give us the resources we need to win. What would we do, if anything, differently in order to become world champions?’

“And Andy said ‘my initial answer is I don’t think I would change a whole lot’.”

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