Given the mire currently submerging Aston Martin, it can sometimes be forgotten how exciting (and ambitious) its product plans were - and hopefully remain. As well as the mid-engined supercars and the vision for future Lagonda EV luxury, there was - of course - the Valkyrie hypercar. And, with first deliveries scheduled for later in 2020, development is continuing apace.
Two new verifications prototype (VP) cars have now been built, a range of Valkyries that will eventually extend to eight. Aston says each of the octet "is subjected to a variety of intense testing programmes designed to develop and validate specific attributes that contribute to achieving the performance of the world's fastest ever road-going hypercar."
Part of that will presumably be track assessment, which is where Silverstone and the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing F1 drivers come in. Both Alex Albon and Max Verstappen drove VP1, the Valkyrie first seen last year, with the new prototypes driven either by Chris Goodwin or one of the WEC drivers - Alex Lynn or Darren Turner. Goodwin stated that having the three cars driving "will see the rate of physical development for this exceptional hypercar increase exponentially."
As for the Grand Prix drivers, they were understandably effusive about the new Aston: "Obviously there's still some development to do, but already it feels very good, especially the balance between the corners. It's light; it feels sharp. Sure, compared to an F1 car, you're missing the outright downforce, but you still feel the Gs in the corners and it definitely reacts closer to an F1 car than a normal road car", said Albon. Verstappen added that the downforce was "incredible", describing the drive as "a lot of fun".
Alright, so the verdict was hardly likely to be any different from the racing drivers, though it's nice to be reminded of what an awe-inspiring prospect the Valkyrie stands to be. Expect to see more from the development programme as those additional five VP cars are built - the rest of 2020 can hardly come soon enough.