Has Lawrence Stroll just bought Force India?

ยฉ XPB 

Reports out of Germany are alleging that billionaire Lawrence Stroll - the father of Williams driver Lance Stroll - has acquired a majority stake in the Sahara Force India team.

On the back of co-owner Vijay Mallya's own financial woes, the Silverstone-based outfit's future has appeared uncertain, with F1 rife with rumors of the outfit's impending sale.

Mallya himself dispelled the gossip recently but acknowledged however that any offer put on the table and deemed credible would get his attention and consideration.

According to Germany's Auto Bild, that offer has materialized, with fashion mogul Lawrence Stroll stepping up to take over Force India.

"It is unclear whether he has secured a majority stake or if the team now belongs completely to him," wrote Auto Bild said correspondent Ralf Bach.

If the story of Stroll's involvement is true - and many believe it is not, the change in ownership would likely go a long way towards alleviating Force India's financial concerns, its lack of resources set to take their toll on the team's crucial development pace, according to COO Otmar Szafnauer.

"It's a development race," Szafnauer told Motorsport.com as the pink outfit attempts to hold its own in F1's fierce midfield battle.

"I've always said that that's what it is, and it continues to be so.

"We're nowhere near the asymptote of performance on these cars, people are learning all the time. To win a development race you need the resources to be able to develop.

"We are suffering, truth be told. If we had more resources, both financial and internal manufacturing, we'd have parts on the car quicker. And in a development race, that hurts you."

Stroll's alleged takeover of Force India would obviously offer a new home to his 19-year-old son, Lance, and hopefully give fresh impetus to his burgeoning career following this year's struggles with Williams.

The thesis leads to a few questions however about the future of Force India's current drivers, Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon.

In Hockenheim, the hottest tip swirling around the paddock was the latter's "done deal" with Renault, where Ocon would replace a McLaren-bound Carlos Sainz.

The week ahead or the summer break should confirm or infirm the various plots and intrigue, and tell us who will be "pretty in pink" in 2019โ€ฆ

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