Aston Martin is set to produce more high-performance models in the spirit of the Valkyrie hypercar after strengthening its partnership with Red Bull Racing – and is seriously considering a Formula 1 engine programme for 2021.
The British firm has sponsored Red Bull’s F1 squad since 2016 as part of a tie-up that involved Red Bull designer Adrian Newey penning the Valkyrie. This relationship has now been expanded in a deal that will involve the two firms collaborating on more products and Aston Martin serving as the F1 team’s title sponsor.
No details have been disclosed about what products Aston Martin and Red Bull will collaborate on, but Aston Martin referred to the Valkyrie as the “first in a line of incredible products” resulting from the agreement, suggesting similar limited-run machines could eventually follow.
A new Aston Martin Advanced Performance Centre will open later this year at Red Bull Racing’s Milton Keynes HQ. It will be a base for engineers working on sports cars and a design centre and employ around 110 Aston Martin staff.
Although the F1 team will be known as Aston Martin Red Bull Racing next year, it will still use Renault engines, which are currently branded as TAG Heuer units. However, Aston CEO Andy Palmer has confirmed an interest in entering the sport as an engine manufacturer in 2021, when new technical rules are set to be introduced. Aston Martin has been in talks with other manufacturers and F1’s governing body about the new rules.
Palmer said any Aston entry was dependent on firm cost controls being put in place. He said: “We are not about to enter an engine war with no restrictions in cost or dynamometer hours, but if the FIA can create the right environment, we would be interested in getting involved.”
Strengthening the links with Red Bull would also give Aston Martin an opportunity in F1 supplying engines to one of the top teams on the grid. Red Bull has used Renault engines since 2007, and claimed four drivers’ titles with Sebastian Vettel from 2010-2013. But there has been ongoing tension between the two firms, with Renault feeling it didn’t receive enough credit for its contribution to those titles.
That has led to Red Bull’s Renault units being badged as TAG Heuers through a sponsorship deal. Renault recently secured a deal to supply engines to McLaren from 2018 onwards.