German newspaper Auto Bild claims Lawrence Stroll has bought shares in Force India, almost guaranteeing that Lance Stroll will drive for the team in 2019.
It remains unclear whether a majority share or the entire Force India F1 team has been bought.
The paper claims that Lawrence Stroll, the father of Williams driver Lance Stroll, made the purchase because Force India has shown stronger performance in 2018 than Williams, who currently lie last in the Constructors Championship.
Auto Bild Journalist Tobi Gruner said on Twitter yesterday that Force India faced going into administration as early as this week.
Force India COO Otmar Szhafnauer told Motorsport.com after the German Grand Prix that monetary constraints had limited the team’s most recent developments.
News of the purchase could also shake up the 2019 Formula 1 Driver Market over the next weeks.
If the report is true, the most likely outcome will be Williams driver Lance Stroll moving to Force India where he’ll replace Esteban Ocon, who, according to Auto Bild, will make a move to Renault.
Ocon’s move to Renault would see him replace the on-loan Carlos Sainz, who, according to the same report, would kick Stoffel Vandoorne out at McLaren, giving the Woking team an all Spaniard driver line up.
Auto Bild says Ocon’s last race for Force India could be this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix and he’ll switch to Renault over the summer break.
The paper claims Mercedes Junior Driver George Russell would then inherit the vacated Force India seat until Lance Stroll makes his move to the team at the start of 2019.
The English-translation of the article said Sergio Perez “may” stay at Force India during a takeover by Stroll.
Reports of Lance Stroll’s move were made over the German Grand Prix, reported chiefly by Journalist Roberto Chinchero, who was the first person to reveal the Charles Leclerc to Ferrari story earlier this year.
“I don’t know yet what I’m doing or where my future is going,” Stroll said in Germany.
None of the ownership changes has been officially confirmed, but Force India has been approached for comment by Green Flag F1.