Aston Martin returns to Formula One


Aston Martin has today announced that it will become the title sponsor for Red Bull Racing from next year - meaning that one of Britain's most venerated brands will return to the Formula One paddock as Aston Martin Red Bull Racing in March.


For now, the deal won't result in a whole lot more than the warm and fuzzy feeling of seeing its name above the pit garage - although the manufacturer hasn't ruled out becoming involved in the car's engine from 2021, having been asked by the FIA to contribute to ongoing discussions about future powerplants for the sport.

Andy Palmer, Aston Martin's CEO, said: The power unit discussions are of interest to us but only if the circumstances are right. We are not about to enter an engine war with no restrictions in cost or dynamometer hours but we believe that if the FIA can create the right environment we would be interested in getting involved."

Of considerably greater significance to Gaydon are the commercial aspects of the relationship. The 'Innovation Partnership', signed just before the season started in 2016, has already helped produce the formidable (and sold-out) Valkyrie; now it will underpin a line of future products which seek to utilise the racing team's expertise.


To that end, Aston Martin will establish an Advanced Performance Centre at Red Bull's campus in Milton Keynes, creating 110 new jobs in the process. As well as being the hub for engineering personnel working on forthcoming models, the centre will also house the firm's second dedicated design centre (giving Adrian Newey far less distance to walk).

It is the permanent presence of Gaydon employees at Red Bull's headquarters which gives the deepening partnership a sense of credibility - a trait sorely missing from the team's previous association with Infiniti. Aston Martin's return to F1 (previously mooted under David Richards' chairmanship) has taken over half a century; expect the follow-up to the Valkyrie to arrive a good bit quicker.

   
 

 

P.H. O'meter

Join the PH rating wars with your marks out of 10 for the article (Your ratings will be shown in your profile if you have one!)

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Rate this article

Comments (51) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Fetchez la vache 25 Sep 2017

    Is it just me or does an "engine partnership" sound a bit weird when their "new" road engines are for all intents and purposes, Merc engines... ?

    Edit: Used wrong "Their". Am hiding in embarrassment as you now read this. I left my pedant badge at the door...

    Edited by Fetchez la vache on Monday 25th September 12:45

  • Ninja59 25 Sep 2017

    Fetchez la vache said:
    Is it just me or does an "engine partnership" sound a bit weird when they're "new" road engines are for all intents and purposes, Merc engines... ?
    Only the V8 though, we will ignore most of the actual electrical side...

    The V12 is still very much not Merc.

  • RC1807 25 Sep 2017

    Fetchez la vache said:
    Is it just me or does an "engine partnership" sound a bit weird when they're "new" road engines are for all intents and purposes, Merc engines... ?
    Andy Palmer said at the Singapore GP that AM were researching the future engine regulations to see what they may be able to do, i.e. develop their own F1 engine for RBR. Great branding opportunities for both AM & RBR, more than now.

    Ricciardo & Verstappen will also have very nice "company cars", I'm sure. wink

  • PhantomPH 25 Sep 2017

    Ninja59 said:
    Fetchez la vache said:
    Is it just me or does an "engine partnership" sound a bit weird when they're "new" road engines are for all intents and purposes, Merc engines... ?
    Only the V8 though, we will ignore most of the actual electrical side...

    The V12 is still very much not Merc.
    I was thinking the same thing, tbh.

    Obviously F1 engines are not based on anything that Aston currently make in that they are a V6 1.6ltr hybrid...so it's brand new tech and investment for them. Given the costs involved, I would imagine that will inevitably lead to the Vantage line at least, going down the same route in the next few years.

    Will also help them deal with the non-hybrid laws being bandied around for road cars in the UK as well. Good move for Aston if the costs add up and the tech is portable from track to road.

    <runs out and hugs the nearest NA car> biggrin

  • kith 25 Sep 2017

    I suspect any engine deal will involve re-branding an Ilmor (Merc-AMG) unit.

View all comments in the forums Make a comment