As we reported back in July, Aston Martin was rumored to be seeking a return to Formula 1 with Red Bull Racing. While that report fell a bit flat as it’s not with Red Bull Racing, I am happy to report that Aston Martin is very close to reaching a partnership with Force India. With this news, the Force India Team will be re-branded Aston Martin Racing. Johnny Walker is also involved in the deal and as a result cars will get a new Blue and Gold livery. The partnership is more than just a branding exercise, as Aston will be able to transfer relevant technology on the race cars to their road going models. Mercedes, who currently supplies Force India with Power Units and owns 5% of the team, has reportedly given their blessing to the deal.
Nothing is set in stone and both parties are being tight lipped on the subject, but it is believed to be a matter of time before the two sides reach an official agreement. Force India has plateaued as competitor in F1’s 2nd tier of constructors, behind the likes of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull Racing. To move up, they need additional financial support. Enter Aston Martin, who wants a presence in F1 to match the likes of Ferrari and McLaren.
The deal is great news for all parties involved. Force India has a lot of good pieces; reigning 24 hours of Le Mans overall winner Nico Hülkenberg is one of their drivers. They have also showed glimpses of engineering promise. Aston Martin gets a much needed technological boost in addition to increased exposure. F1 gains more exposure as another premier brand enters the series. It remains to be seen when this partnership will happen, but all I can say is I’m excited to see AM back in F1 as soon as possible.