News Aston Martin plans F1 move
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.”