System 1: Towards the end of Aston Martin?

System 1: Towards the end of Aston Martin?


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Taken in 2018 by Canada Laurence Stroll, a popular brand by the F1 team of the same name risking the disappearance of a London court.

for
Luc Domenjoz

(Silverstone)

In the stock market, the storm is currently raging for the Aston Martin Lagonda stock (and not only that, for that matter). Although still worth £ 22m in February 2021, AML shares fell to less than £ 4 last week. Nothing is going well within the story line. Her boss, Laurence Stroll, got it in 2018 with a family reunion that they lost so much money that they never talked to her again.

But that’s not all: promoting Valkyrie’s main car, Aston Martin had no way of financing his very difficult development. In 2016, the brand joined the Swiss company Nebula Project SA, based in Teufen, in the Appenzell Valley. The latter received $ 100 million to develop Valkyrie, instead of a 4% commission on all Aston Martins sales (4×4 DBX exceptions).

Contract terminated

When the new boss, Laurence Stroll, found out about the deal, which he did not know at the time of buying the brand, he terminated his contract with Nebula and owned the Aston Martin business in St. Louis. -Gall, owned by Nebula, through which 80% of Aston Martins sold in Switzerland passes – a very large British brand market.

The whole case will now be heard in London, the Nebula Project is asking Aston Martin for $ 190 million for serious breach of contract about Valkyrie and $ 50 million for the closure of its sale. A case that could mean the end for a brand that no one wants to help financially.

Rent factory

Sebastian Vettel could retire at the end of the season.

Sebastian Vettel could retire at the end of the season.

Getty Pictures

Meanwhile, everything goes worse in the two Aston Martins circuits, run by Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll – both eliminated in the first minutes of qualifying for the British Grand Prix on Saturday.

In Silverstone, rumors suggest that Sebastian Vettel is fit enough to retire at the end of the season. He could be replaced by Mick Schumacher. Laurence Stroll, the team owner and father of Lance, would like to have “Schumacher” in his barn, confident that his son would beat him regularly. Which would make my father proud!

Meanwhile, the new 40,000-square-foot factory that the team is building near its current building, near the Silverstone perimeter gate, could not be funded by the bond issue if Laurence Stroll wanted it. He was forced to sell the land to another company, which is building the factory and will lease it to the team for a fixed amount of $ 16 million a year. Unless of course the Aston Martin brand has not disappeared by then.

Sanz, Leclerc and strategy

Carlos Sainz Jr. took the first step of his life on Saturday.

Carlos Sainz Jr. took the first step of his life on Saturday.

REUTERS

At the end of the qualifying round and round qualifiers, Carlos Sainz signed his first career position at F1 – after 150 attempts. The interested participant was very surprised: In the rain, I easily graduated the second half in front of everyone else. But in F1, they all have talents, and no one has that much advantage in the rain anymore. So I’m surprised to be ahead, because my thighs weren’t so good, The flight was beautiful, nothing more. »

Charles Leclerc, on another Ferrari, will start third. He hopes the team will ask Carlos Sainz to let him pass if the two of them finish leading the race – which is not in his contract. Especially since there is Max Verstappen among them on the grid. The Dutchman was forced to slow down due to yellow flags during his final round, with Lewis Hamilton recharging his battery when the track was faster.

At the end of the qualification, the Red Bull driver was booed by the crowd. He said he did not care about the behavior, which was condemned by the Mercedes driver. “We (the British) are better than that,” complained Lewis Hamilton.

Cost control involved

This year, the budget of F1 teams has been reduced to 141.2 million per year (i.e. 140 + 1.2 million to cover inflation). By their consent, it will be passed by at least four teams, and the fine is in jeopardy.

In theory, this budget should be further reduced by 5 million next year. But maybe not: next week, as part of the Austrian Grand Prix, a conference bringing together team heads, Liberty Media (which owns F1 commercial rights) and Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) will discuss another version of the reduced budget: budget which includes everything from team leaders, drivers and engines. This budget can be set at 350 million a year, which seems easier to approve than the current solution.

Today, in fact, pilots, bosses and engines are not included in the closed budget, which opens the door to several frauds, double accounting and other invoices transfer here and there. It will continue.