Aston Martin is returning to the Formula 1 grid after an absence of over sixty years. Will it be a more successful attempt than the last?
History …. It was Short.
Aston Martin is a brand that is connected to many things, prestige, Sportscars, James Bond. One thing that it is not connected with is Formula 1, until now.
It was back in the late 1950’s when Aston Martin last appeared on the Formula 1 grid, the goal to challenge the front running Ferrari, Maserati and Mercedes.
Aston Martin was developing both a Sportscar and a Formula 1 car at the same time, the pressure of both projects led to the Formula 1 car being deferred.
Aston Martin entered the 1959 season with the DBR4, unfortunately for Aston the car was outdated, Formula 1 was beginning to realise the importance of the rear-engine car.
With the car being outdated the team managed a lowly 6th best finish at the Portuguese and British Grand Prix. Vanwall became the first British Constructor Champion, with Jack Brabham claiming the first of his Three Championships.
The following season did not show much improvement, the DBR5 was a re-work of the DBR4 and not an all-new rear engine car that was required. The team would start just one Championship race, the British Grand Prix was the last race for the Aston Martin team, Maurice Trintignant would finish 11th, with the second car, driven by Roy Salvadori retiring with steering issues. That was the last time that Aston Martin would appear in Formula 1 for 61 years.
61 years …. Out with the old in with a Stroll
Not long after Laurance Stroll bought the Force India Racing team, he bought into Aston Martin, in a deal worth in the region of $300million. It was announced soon after that the now called Racing Point Formula 1 team would become Aston Martin F1 team.
The return of a famous brand to Formula 1, will they be more successful that the first attempt?
A new bright (racing green) future.
With Aston Martin launching the AMR21, alongside Lance Stroll and their new signing Sebastian Vettel, there is some expectation for the Formula 1 community to perform and regain the top three in the constructor.
the AMR21 takes inspiration from the Mercedes, looking closer at the car it is noticeable that the car is more Aston Martin than Mercedes, although the car is based on the Mercedes, it clear that they have been heading in a different direction with the car.
Aston Martin were able to use a loophole in the regulations to take the Mercedes rear suspension free of charge. This allowed the team to spend their tokens on a new survival cell for the AMR21.
Champ or Chump?
Aston Martin signalled their intent with the signing of 4-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel to a multi-year deal, Can the team support Seb after such a horrible last season in the Ferrari? They will have to find a way as with all drivers, a happy Vettel is a fast Vettel.
Sebastian’s last season Ferrari was a disaster, Vettel could not get to grips with the twitchy nature of the SF1000, which was also compounded by a lack of horsepower in the Power Unit. If Aston Martin can provide Sebastian with a car that has a more planted rear-end, we could see Vettel back at the front-end of the grid.
Lance Stroll is in the other Aston Martin car, this could be an unpopular opinion, but Lance deserves a Formula 1 seat, he might not be a standout talent but has shown that he can drive a Formula 1 car and drive it well.
Lance needs to be more consistent, so many times he has been reported missing during a race. Even though his father owns the team, Lance is now in one of the top teams, if he can show consistency throughout the season then he could be a regular podium visitor.
Wings of Success?
One thing is for sure Aston Martin Racing Are now in a great position to challenge the front of the midfield, then go for the front of the Formula 1 grid, they are financially stable, investment that some teams can only dream of and a four-time world champion in the car.
Laurance Stroll is a formidable businessman, he has worked hard to gain his wealth, he is also very astute and will push the team towards the front, his expectations and passion can only be a positive for the team.
Its not just Redbull that gives you wings ….