Historic British sportscar manufacturer Aston Martin will this year have a presence in Formula 1 for the first time in more than half a century, thanks to a tie-up with multiple World Championship-winning team Red Bull.
The two companies are in collaboration over a road-car project, with Red Bull Chief Technical Officer Adrian Newey, a man considered to be one of the greatest racing-car designers in the sport’s history, and Aston’s Chief Creative Officer, Marek Reichman, working closely to create a hypercar, codenamed ‘Project AM-RB 001’.
As a result of this partnership, the 2016 Red Bull F1 cars of Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat will carry Aston Martin branding, starting at this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix season opener.
‘Formula 1 offers the ultimate global stage to build wider awareness of the Aston Martin brand,’ admitted Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer. ‘However, this partnership will deliver even more than that when the hypercar that Aston Martin and Adrian Newey are in the process of developing hits the road. These are exciting times for Aston Martin and, arriving hot on the heels of our DB11 launch earlier this month, this new partnership underlines that our brand really is racing again.’
Red Bull arrived in F1 in 2005, having taken over the Jaguar team. It took its first pole position and race win on the same weekend – in China in 2009 – with star driver Sebastian Vettel going on to win four straight drivers’ titles between 2010 and 2013. The team also secured the constructors’ crown on each occasion. Its tally of wins, after just seven seasons, stands at 50, a milestone that puts it fifth in the all-time list.
Aston Martin, meanwhile, first appeared in F1 in 1959 and its two DBR4/250 contested four races – the Dutch, British, Portuguese and Italian GPs – with Roy Salvadori and Carroll Shelby on the driving strength. Briton Salvadori took a best finish of sixth place, in his home race at Aintree and in Portugal. Two DBR5/250s contested the British GP the following season, with Salvadori and Maurice Trintignant, but that was the end of the F1 dream.
The company is inextricably linked with Goodwood, having won both World Sportscar Championship-qualifying Tourist Trophies at the Motor Circuit in 1958 and ’59 with the DBR1, as well as all three 9-hour races in the early 1950s with DB3 and DB3S sports-racers.