Aston Martin wants to be a part of F1. A while back we reported that they might do so with Force India, a deal that never happened. Turns out Aston Martin had a backup plan, which was their original plan. Let me explain. Back when Red Bull was off looking for a Power Unit for 2016 they were approached by Aston Martin with the possibility of running Mercedes Power Units re-branded under the Aston Martin name. Makes sense, Aston Martin and AMG have a partnership for Aston’s new road cars. Mercedes’ greatest strength is their Power Unit and Red Bull is one of their chief rivals, neither of which are great secrets. Mercedes didn’t want to give Red Bull a boost by providing them with the best Power Unit in F1. All of this forced Aston Martin to look elsewhere to find a way into F1. It is worth noting that Mercedes denied these talks ever took place. However, in the tight lipped covert world that is F1 it is difficult to take anyone’s word at face value. Most of the time teams will lie straight to your face in order to protect any competitive advantage they think they have. Case and point, Andy Palmer, Aston Martin’s chief executive officer told Motorsport.com, “We are really good at secrets,” he said. “It comes in our heritage. A little subterfuge and a few red herrings here or there.” Either way, this lead Aston to Force India, and as we all know, that partnership failed to materialize.
Turns out Aston never actually stopped talking to Red Bull which makes sense as chief designer Adrian Newey has been working on a road car project for Aston Martin. What exactly that is, we don’t know at this time. Point being, there is an existing relationship and a Red Bull/Aston Martin F1 partnership would mean more tech transfer between the race team and the road car. It all makes logical sense. No word was given on the Power Unit situation. Currently Red Bull runs a Renault Power Unit under the Tag Heuer brand.
The partnership will absolutely see a greater tech transfer between race and road cars and Aston will get to place its branding on the Red Bull car. In the interview with Motorsport, Palmer classified the partnership as, “This relationship and our relationship goes back quite a long time. It is authentic and what you see coming out of it in the first instance is the hyper-car… But hopefully other technologies will come out of it as well and we can proudly put the stickers on the car and say it is more than just a marketing scam.”
Palmer would not give any detail on the possibility of Aston building their own Power Unit in the future. He didn’t rule it out though. When asked if the deal limits Red Bull’s engine options in the future Team Boss Christian Horner said, “We are out of contract at the end of this year as you know. And the choices in F1 are somewhere limited. Unfortunately Aston don’t have an engine that we can use in F1. A V12 would be nice!! Our engine discussions are separate to this, but obviously in an ideal situation we will find something that will work in harmony and unison.” Imagine that, a V12 back on the grid for F1, under the current rules it wont happen. However, I think with your help we can shame F1 into letting more interesting engines back into the sport.