You might be thinking that Aston and F1 are unlikely bedfellows, but a tie-up wouldn’t be the first time that Aston had built and run a Grand Prix engine.
Back in 1959, it crafted the full package – a chassis and motor – to take on the established marques in F1. The DBR4, powered by Aston’s 2.5-litre in-line six-cylinder unit, appeared in 1959, tackling four races that year – in Holland, Britain, Portugal and Italy – and one, at Silverstone, in 1960 before the team was disbanded. Two sixth places for Roy Salvadori at Silverstone (after starting on the front row) and Monsanto in year one showed promise but it wasn’t enough to persuade David Brown to continue.
And that got us thinking: what about some of the other unlikely names that have put their name to an F1 engine, some successfully, some much less so?
Here, then, are five that spring to mind – from another luxury British car builder, a brace of exotic Italian marques, and two Japanese firms, one associated with rallying and another with, er, motorcycles.
The British sportscar icon competed in Formula 1 from 2000 to 2004 after taking over Jackie Stewart’s eponymous team. But its cars were powered by Ford engines during that five-year, politically-charged and largely unsuccessful campaign.
You’ll have to go back all the way to 1950 to find a real Jaguar engine. In that year’s Italian Grand Prix at Monza, sportscar ace Clemente Biondetti ran a Ferrari-bodied clone (some reckon it was a Maserati chassis) with a 3.4-litre Jaguar lump from an XK120 in the front. He qualified 25th of the 27 starters but the engine broke after 17 laps. Few would believe you if you told them a Ferrari-Jaguar ran in the inaugural World Championship Italian GP, but it did (see car #22 in the pic)!