Stroll: It would be ‘definitely tempting’ to sign Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton

Lawrence Stroll said that it would be “definitely tempting” to try and sign Lewis Hamilton for Aston Martin should he decide to leave Mercedes at the end of 2021.

Hamilton signed a one-year contract extension earlier this month, but his long-term future remains very much in doubt.

Asked whether Stroll would make a move for the seven-time world champion if that became a possibility, he told the PA news agency: “It is definitely tempting. Lewis in any car is great, and I am sure everyone would say yes because he is a seven-time world champion.

“But right now, I am extremely focused on getting started this year.”

Stroll enters the 2021 season at the start of a new chapter for the Silverstone-based team of which he is now the part-owner, with them undergoing a rebranding over the summer to become Aston Martin Formula 1 Team.

It is the first time that the iconic brand has been on the grid as a constructor since the 1960s and Stroll explained that re-entering F1 was a big part of their strategy moving forward.

“Formula 1is a hugely powerful platform that will play a key part in the overall Aston Martin strategy as we seek to take the company forward,” he said. “It is a truly global sport with a huge audience that we believe can help reignite the brand and further increase its desirability all over the world. We have already begun to see the results of our hard work with the exciting announcement of Cognizant as title partner, which will play a key role in our digital transformation.

“Motorsport has always been an important part of the Aston Martin story, right from its early days, and we’re all proud to be adding to that legacy. The return of Aston Martin to Formula 1 after more than 60 years away is also a landmark moment in the history of the sport. This is the arena where many of the world’s biggest and best automotive manufacturers have competed and had success, so it’s a hugely exciting challenge for everyone involved as we aim to get this iconic British sports car brand amongst those names.”

A key change that brought in over the off-season was the budget cap, which starts at $145 million, before reducing to $140 million in 2022 and $135 million in 2023.

The cap includes key exceptions but is part of an attempt to level the playing field in F1 going forward.

Asked for his thoughts on the new cost restrictions, Stroll added: “From a competitive point of view, the budget cap changes the sport dramatically.

“The big three teams were significantly outspending everyone and probably had 400-500 more staff. All of that has now gone.

“Here, we are building a brand new state-of-the-art facility. It will be the most modern facility in Formula One.

“This team has punched above its weight with significantly less resources, and I sincerely believe with the same amount of people and the same budget, there is no reason why world championships are not very much on the cards. It is very realistic to think that.”