Lawrence Stroll has lofty ambitions for his Force India team.
The Canadian billionaire purchased the team during the summer of 2018, saving it from administration in the process. His son Lance will join as one of its two drivers next season alongside the long-serving Sergio Perez.
In recent seasons Force India has been one of the strongest performers in the midfield pack despite limited resources compared to its nearest rivals. While there has been a big gap between the top three — Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull — in recent years, Stroll wants to see Force India close that gap before the next regulation change in 2021.
« Short-term, we want to stay fighting where we are, » Stroll told Formula One’s official website. « Medium-term, we want to try and fight for third, instead of fourth.
« Long term, when all the rules change, hopefully we will be one of the greatest teams in the paddock. »
Previous owner Vijay Mallya took a hands-off approach to running the team but Stroll wants to have a different role.
« I will be very involved. The plan is, number one – ‘Nothing is broke here so you don’t need to fix it’. It already has great leadership and management in the team. They have been doing this for a long time and doing a great job. So it’s about supporting them.
« Number two – it’s about putting financial stability in place ».
Force India may operate under a different name in 2019. The team officially competed as ‘Racing Point Force India’ after Stroll’s takeover last year, when it was effectively rebooted and accepted as a brand new entry.
The provisional entry list for 2019 listed the team as ‘Racing Point’, having dropped Force India completely, but plans to confirm a new permanent name ahead of the upcoming season.