Aston Martin has put an end to speculation by officially confirming their new technical partnership with Red Bull Racing, leaving Force India still on the lookout for a partner.
After months of discussions talking place between Aston Martin and both Red Bull Racing and Force India, the new technology partnership brings the historic brands name back into Formula One. Talks began midway through last year, however with Red Bull failing to lock in an engine partnership with Mercedes, talks began to slow as Aston Martin turned their attention to Force India, whom have been running Mercedes Engines since 2009.
Rumours were circulating that Force India were likely to confirm a partnership, until the announcement was made that they would be partnering with Red Bull racing instead, a partnership which will involve collaboration between Red Bull and Aston Martin to develop an Adrian Newey-penned ‘hyper-car’.
Christian Horner, team boss at Red Bull Racing said: “This is a very exciting project for everyone at Red BullRacing, through this innovation partnership, the iconic Aston Martin logo will return to grand prix racing for the first time since 1960.
“It’s an incredible project and also realises a dream and vision long held by Adrian to design a road car, we are very much looking forward to what I’m certain will be a successful partnership.”
Speaking with motorport.com, Aston Martin’s chief executive officer, Andy Palmer, outlined that the company was never really impressed with the offer put on the table by Force India.
“We are really good at secrets,” he said. “It comes in our heritage. A little subterfuge and a few red herrings here or there…
“But we are all about authenticity. So you get in an Aston, what looks like leather is leather, what looks like wood is wood. What looks like carbon is carbon. What sounds like a V12 engine is a V12 engine, and it doesn’t have any hype on it.
“So authenticity was our number one concern here, and simply putting sticker on the side of an F1 car was never going to cut it for us. 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.
Possibility for an engine partnership?
The rumours now start to shift towards whether or not this partnership may lead to a future engine branding partnership between the two brands. With the refusal of Mercedes to provide engines to Red Bull racing in 2016, RBR were forced to run Tag Heuer branded engines, but this partnership may go a long way in cementing the relationships with Mercedes and opening the door to a future engine partnership with the german manufacturer.
Regarding the engine possibilities, Horner added: “Everything is possible, this is just the start. It is great for the Aston brand to be back in F1.
“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.”