In 2016 the Aston Martin name returned to F1 for the first time since 1960 when it signed up with Red Bull as an ‘innovation partner’.
The collaboration has seen the production of the extreme Aston Martin Valkyrie, an Adrian Newey-designed hypercar which could well be as fast as an F1 car when the first prototypes are built at the end of the year.
The collaboration has inevitably led to rumours that the British marque could look to enter F1 as an engine manufacturer when the new regs come into play in 2021, especially now that Renault is going to stop supplying engines to Red Bull at the end of 2018.
Those rumours are only going to grow now following the news that Aston Martin is going to be a full-on title sponsor of the team from next year. The famous Aston Martin wings are going to be displayed much more prominently on the car, probably not dissimilar to when Infiniti sponsored the team.
Unsurprisingly, Red Bull boss Christian Horner was pretty happy with the news, and also confirmed that the partnership is creating a load new jobs:
“Our innovation partnership with Aston Martin has been a pioneering project from day one. Having conceived and created the remarkably successful Aston Martin Valkyrie together in 2016, we extended our relationship this year and are now delighted to further strengthen the Partnership and see the team competing as Aston Martin Red Bull Racing in 2018.
“In addition, more than 100 Aston Martin staff will service the new Advanced Performance Centre on our campus here in Milton Keynes and it will allow us to collaborate further with Aston Martin on special, equally innovative, new projects.”
A whole new building at the Red Bull factory for Aston Martin-based projects? That’s definitely going to get tongues wagging about Aston Martin designing its own F1 engine!
Aston CEO Andy Palmer remained cautious about the prospects though saying the company would only do so if the new engine formula has a cost-control aspect.
“Title partnership is the next logical step for our ‘innovation partnership’ with Red Bull Racing. We are enjoying the global brand awareness that a revitalised Formula 1 provides.
“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.”
2021 is a definite possibility, then, but Aston entering in 2019 appears to be a no-go, leaving some question marks over what engine is going to power the Red Bull cars. The Toro Rosso-Honda deal better work out well…
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