Rumours are circulating in the Qatar paddock about the potential handover of the Aston Martin team.
According to Sport1, Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll might be pondering over a substantial EUR 800 million offer put forth by the Saudi Arabian state oil entity Aramco – already the team’s title sponsor.
However, the official voice from the Silverstone-based squad has countered such reports.
“Lawrence has made it clear that a sale is out of the question,” a team spokesperson clarified. “The sport is more popular than ever and the value of the teams is constantly increasing.
“Nothing like that is planned.”
Nevertheless, Stroll provided his take on the matter, stating, “That (a sale) is not planned at the moment. But we were approached.
“Formula 1 is a sport and a business that is on fire at the moment.”
Several F1 aficionados speculate if Stroll’s commitment is wavering due to his son, Lance’s, subdued presence in the arena.
Journalist Ralf Bach observed, “(Lance) Stroll’s mother Claire-Anne is said to be putting pressure on his son to end his motorsport career after a few accidents this year.”
F1 veteran, Gerhard Berger, postulated that the evident performance differential between Lance and his teammate, Fernando Alonso, might be adding fuel to such sale rumours.
“Sebastian Vettel was no longer really motivated,” he analysed. “He was already in the comfort zone and doing the bare minimum when he drove next to Stroll.
“But Alonso, like Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher, Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, is one of the few great champions who don’t need encouragement from teammates to always deliver their maximum performance.
“Lance Stroll is now feeling this,” Berger assessed, “even though he’s not a bad racing driver.”
Another source within F1, opting to remain unnamed, provided a telling anecdote, “Father and son once came to our factory to look at it,” he recollected. “I have never seen such an interested father and such a disinterested son.”
Possibly, Lawrence perceives the requirement for a more formidable racing counterpart to Alonso to usher the team to greater heights.
Rumours are also suggesting a shift from F1 to the world endurance championship for Lance, especially with the recent news of Aston Martin launching the Adrian Newey-designed Valkyrie hypercar in the WEC by 2025.
Regarding the possibility of racing at Le Mans again, but this time for Aston Martin, Alonso responded to DAZN in Qatar, “Right now I don’t have it in my head because I am concentrated on Formula 1.
“But it’s good news for the team, for the brand, to be in all the important competitions and it shows a bit of Aston Martin’s ambition also outside of F1,” the Spaniard added.