Big news just prior to the start of the season as Aston Martin will now enter Formula 1 as partner to Red Bull Racing. The British car manufacturer was in talks with other team with Force India as the frontrunner for some time but that deal fell through.
I had speculated at the time that perhaps Force India were looking for a little more money than Aston Martin were willing to spend but admittedly, given this news, that may not really have been the case in full. A deal with Red Bull is a very high profile partnership for Aston and a good move for Red Bull.
Red Bull are entering the season with a Renault engine badged as a TAG and have suggested several times that they have big plans for serious engine development over the course of the season along with Ilmor as a partner but interestingly, Aston Martin uses Mercedes engines for their road cars and the AUTOSPORT article on this matter suggests that the deal is really in conjunction with a road car project between the two entities.
A few months ago it was reported that Red Bull design genius, Adrian Newey, was working with Aston Martin on a project and one would presume this is a continuation of that relationship.
In scope, it could be a very similar relationship that Red Bull had with Infiniti with branding on the car and a relationship called a technical partnership. It will be interesting to see how this relationship develops but as the article suggests, Aston Martin are keen to fight their rivals, McLaren and Ferrari, in F1 but if they aren’t making a chassis or providing an engine, it’s hardly a fight against their road car rivals is it? So let’s see how this plays out.
What’s intriguing for me is that the Force India tie-up would have made sense for Aston Martin given their Mercedes engine supply deal and a relatively good way to enter F1 without starting from scratch. Very much like Haas but getting a complete and competitive team ready to build on. A 5th place team with existing ties to Mercedes. As a 5th place team, I was assuming Force India may be asking quite a lot for their team and perhaps that had something to do with Aston Martin backing away from the table. That’s speculation on my part.
Getting on the Red Bull bus seem more complicated but I am assuming that bigger plans are at work here and perhaps the scope is more centered on the road car than it is the F1 car.
Hat Tip: AUTOSPORT