Lawrence Stroll held discussions with both the Venturi and DS Techeetah Formula E teams about becoming a potential future investor, The Race can reveal.
The talks, which began at the end of 2019, explored the possibility of a buy-in with each team but took a break in order for Stroll to complete his purchase of Aston Martin Lagonda in January 2020.
Venturi is known to be open to a potential new investor, with majority stakeholder Gildo Pastor believed to have made it known he would be amenable to some of his interest being acquired.
The team would not provide comment when approached recently about that matter but team principal and minority shareholder Susie Wolff told The Race in August that Venturi would be receptive to a new investor and securing a fresh stakeholder was being seriously considered for the future in the right circumstances.
“Would we consider [new partners] in the future? If it would bring advantages to us as a team, there’s always a possibility,” she said.
Wolff made the point at the time that any restructure of the team “would only be if it was the right thing for the mid- to long-term future of the team because Gildo and myself are absolutely committed to this project.”
Wolff is believed to have been given a 30% stake in Venturi when she became team principal in 2018, leaving Venturi Automobiles owner Pastor as the majority holder on 70%.
Reigning champion team DS Techeetah is also understood to have been on the look-out for future investors and did hold talks with Stroll at the end of 2019.
SECA, the owner of the Techeetah name, has been seeking investors for its Formula E project since the start of last year.
It firmed up its deal with DS Automobiles in 2017 before that was announced officially a year later. The agreement between the two companies was initially contracted until the summer of 2021 but has been extended to at least the end of the Gen2 rules-set in 2022.
The talks with Stroll ultimately came to nothing and the reigning champion team is understood to have entered into discussions with other parties about additional investment. These are believed to be ongoing.
News of Stroll’s previous interest in Formula E is likely to encourage long-held rumours that Aston Martin Lagonda will eventually be attracted to what is now a world championship in the near future.
Aston Martin’s luxury electric division Lagonda has been put on hold until 2025 for a full launch but is believed to have a long term strategy to promote its future models through motorsport marketing.
Additionally, Aston Martin confirmed in March that the all-electric Aston Martin Rapide E has been “paused pending a review.”
This car was launched in 2019 and demonstrated at the Monaco E-Prix by long-time Aston Martin factory driver Darren Turner.
“Rapide E was all about learning, because electrification is so different to reciprocating engine technology,” Aston Martin Lagonda executive vice-president and chief creative officer Marek Reichman told the Australian goauto.com website earlier this year.
“I think that’s an important factor of why Rapide E was important for us internally to learn how to electrify for the first time. You take all that learning, and you put it into the next product.
“[The delay] is more to do with the learning curve, and the actual time you then need to develop properly of an electrical system, a battery system etc, so it’s not as easy in terms of the plug-and-play nature of what we know how to do. That’s why we have the delay.”