Aston Martin reckons they’re equal replacement for Ferrari

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I’ve been curious as to the amount of communication and commentary that Aston Martin has had in the unfolding story and proposed regulations changes that Formula 1 and the FIA would like to achieve for 2021.

I certainly understand they were involved in discussions over the proposed 2021 engine regulation changes and formula early on and they also have entered F1 through a sponsorship deal with Red Bull Racing so they are orbital to F1’s possible changes. That is clear but what isn’t as clear for me is the amount of opinion and commentary they seem to have about the direction F1 is taking and overall political landscape.

The interesting thing, as a sponsor of a team that also makes cars, Aston Martin (AM) felt compelled to engage in the delicate Formula 1 negotiations over the new regulations for 2021. Ostensibly this is because they have been toying with the idea of entering as a engine supplier if the formula is made more affordable to produce…meaning less complex and costly such as the hybrid power units F1 currently have.

AM feels it could be a negotiating piece in F1’s arsenal against the threats made by Ferrari to leave the sport should the new regulations go backwards from the tech that is currently employed. AM’s CEO, Andy Palmer said:

“Liberty obviously want a new engine [for 2021]. They want to move the sport on,” Palmer said.

“The incumbent teams don’t want to change the engine very much.

“In the old world, they would have won, wouldn’t they? Red Bull at one moment were left out in the open.

“But now they’ve got someone sitting behind them saying, ‘If you write the rules like this, we might be interested in providing an engine’. Now there’s an alternative.

“Now, when Ferrari threaten to leave the sport, Liberty can go, ‘well, Aston and Ferrari, same kind of space, same kind of customer type, maybe it’s not such a bad thing if you want to leave’.”

You don’t have to press me very hard to lavish AM with praise as I love their cars, but I’d be hard pressed to lump them and their brand as the equivalent of Ferrari. Ferrari are one of the most iconic brands in the world and they produce a product that backs that brand up. It also helps that they’ve been involved in F1 for over 50 years. There is no other car company with that pedigree that can easily fill the void should Ferrari leave and certainly not as just an engine supplier. Palmer feels F1 needs a change:

“Right now, what does F1 need? F1 needs a good kick up the arse and to remember what it’s there for,” Palmer added.

“It’s not about an ever-greater arms race. At its heart, it’s about entertaining, appealing to petrolheads and about pushing technology.

“The way that we’re acting and behaving right now, we’re upsetting the establishment.

“We’ve got people talking. And even if at the end we’re not there, maybe we helped in the process of improving the sport.”

There is a lot I can agree with in this statement but even so, Aston Martin is a fantastic car but they aren’t offering to field a works team, just an engine supply. That’s galaxies away from what Ferrari are doing or the kind of investment they have made in the sport for 50 years.

I’m doubtful Sergio Marchionne feels that even Aston’s initial presence in meetings about possibly entering the sport should cost-caps and affordable engine be chosen has had any impact on his decision matrix.

Hat Tip: Autosport

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Matt Guss

I don’t know but it seems like Aston Martin is blowing smoke up everyone’s ass. They don’t make and engine for F!: they might make an engine. That’s a far cry from Ferrari and even mentioning them in the same sentence seems laughable. Honda had/has a ton more credibility in the engine department than AM and look at their story for the past 3 years. Ferrari might decide to take their ball and go home but the idea that AM could fill those shoes is a pipe dream at this point. Aston Martin is not the Little Engine That Could

Camilo

I agree with you. It seems they are taking advantage to promote themselves, but they need more than a logo in RB to build an F1 engine. It is clear to me that RBR know this, so they are supporting Honda as back-up plan. We must remember the rumors about VW group and Porsche. The political forces are so fragile that if an scandal pops out everything will fall. I hope Liberty prefer the feedback from the current grid, than the opinions of companies that only are interested. If the product in 2021 works, I’m sure the big companies will… Read more »

jakobusvdl

Like you say AM don’t make an F1 engine, in fact they barely make a road engine either. Their V12 is a carry over from when they were owned by Ford (two V6 Mondeo engines joined up) and they’ve just started putting Mercedes-AMG V8’s in their cars, because it was too costly to develop their own engine to replace the previous V8 that was based on a Ford era Jaguar V8. They also have no KERS, ERS or hybrid experience, or even an engine design team. Besides that, its in the process of replacing its range of cars, and building… Read more »

sunny stivala

Andy Palmer has really lost the plot this time. Talking of wanting to fill FERRARI’S place in F1 by wanting to supply an F1 engine.

Teddydub

Hahahahaha (ad lib). Delusions of grandeur… That was a good laugh!

Jojo

I like AM but I mean, really? Do they even remotely think they can compare to Ferrari? The only performance car they produced was not even street legal. Their road cars have relatively under powered engines compared to other manufacturers and weigh a tonne more! Ferrari is all about lightweight, power, handling, performance and design. AM is luxury and power (kinda). No match whatsoever. One other thing: Do they think that joining F1 and for the first time ever building engines to F1 spec will be a simple 1-2-3? Look at Honda with mch more experience and still they are… Read more »

jakobusvdl

Does anyone remember when Danny Bahr took over as Chief Exec at Lotus cars?
They had a five year plan to take over the world, F1, new models, etc, etc.
I think Andy Palmer went to the same School of Diluted

sunny stivala

maxthreesixty had another sudden spike of power today.
one of the prettiest FERRARI ever made fitted with a 5th wheel for all to see. “FERRARI 250lm primotipo” first photo from right as raced in Australia and as snapped by Dick Simpson In nineteen sixty eight. n

sunny stivala

PS, click on photo JAKO and then go to “visit”.

subcritical71

Its clear that AM and Ferrari are not equal in terms of F1 history or type of road car they produce. I also agree with everything that has been said so far. I however read the AM statement a little differently. For the Ferrari-AM relationship, I took that to mean they have the same customer base. Ones that can afford to dish out 100K++ for a car they drive a few times a year. This is reinforced by them playing to LM who, in the end, want a very successful sport which is equally commercially successful. AM even acknowledge, while… Read more »

photogcw

My nomination for the Matt Bishop bravado award goes to Aston Martin.

Matt

Indeed, it’s easy to talk a good game, cough McLaren, cough Toyota, cough Craig Pollock to name a few.

I bet the Aston Martin F1 department is smaller than the Ferrari catering arm at the circuit.

Tom Firth

He sure likes using bravado in speeches… Audi and Porsche didn’t get crushed by Nissan and Aston Martin will never replace Ferrari.

Nigel

If what all the experts are saying about self-driving cars is true, there won’t be a Ferrari or Aston Martin in a few years anyways.

meine

Smirk. Okeeh..

Another big ego with no content