News As­ton Mar­tin plans F1 move

Nuneaton Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE -

WAR­WICK­SHIRE car maker As­ton Mar­tin is set to be­come part of the glam­orous world of For­mula 1.

The Gay­don-based firm has teamed up with Red Bull to be­come its ti­tle spon­sor and in­no­va­tion part­ner.

The tie-up ce­ments an ex­ist­ing part­ner­ship with Mil­ton Key­nes­based Red Bull Rac­ing.

It will also cre­ate around 100 new jobs, though these will be based in Mil­ton Keynes rather than War­wick­shire.

The team will com­pete as As­ton Mar­tin Red Bull Rac­ing in the 2018 sea­son, build­ing on the com­pa­nies’ ex­ist­ing part­ner­ship which al­ready pro­duced the sold-out As­ton Mar­tin Valkyrie hy­per­car.

It will yield fu­ture prod­ucts and a new Ad­vanced Per­for­mance Cen­tre that will open on the Red Bull Rac­ing cam­pus in Mil­ton Keynes later this year.

As­ton Mar­tin said it would also look at the op­por­tu­nity to be in­volved in the team’s power unit from 2021 af­ter be­ing asked by the sport’s gov­ern­ing body the FIA to join dis­cus­sions on fu­ture en­gines.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Andy Palmer said: “Ti­tle part­ner­ship is the next log­i­cal step for our in­no­va­tion part­ner­ship with Red Bull Rac­ing.

“We are en­joy­ing the global brand aware­ness that a re­vi­tal­ized 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.”

The re­la­tion­ship be­tween As­ton Mar­tin, Red Bull Rac­ing and US mo­tor­sports team AF Rac­ing be­gan last year af­ter the com­pa­nies com­bined F1 tech­nol­ogy and As­ton Mar­tin’s sports car de­sign to pro­duce the Valkyrie hy­per­car.

Chris­tian Horner, team prin­ci­pal of Red Bull Rac­ing, added: “Our in­no­va­tion part­ner­ship with As­ton Mar­tin has been a pi­o­neer­ing project from day one.

“Hav­ing con­ceived and cre­ated the re­mark­ably suc­cess­ful 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 in Mil­ton Keynes and it will al­low us to col­lab­o­rate fur­ther with As­ton Mar­tin on spe­cial, equally in­no­va­tive, new projects.”

As­ton Mar­tin has also ex­pressed an in­ter­est in be­com­ing a For­mula 1 en­gine sup­plier, if new reg­u­la­tions that will come into ef­fect from 2021 prove at­trac­tive.

Mr Palmer said the prospect of the car maker be­com­ing an in­de­pen­dent en­gine sup­plier was de­pen­dent on the cost of power units de­creas­ing with the new reg­u­la­tions.

I’m ne­go­ti­at­ing what we look like in the sport for next year but it’s some­what pred­i­cated on what the 2021 en­gine reg­u­la­tions look like,” he said. “If we can get more the­atre back into the sport, and if we can re­duce the cost of the en­gine, then As­ton might be in­ter­ested in pro­duc­ing an in­de­pen­dent en­gine.”

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