Aston Martin is on the brink of canning its ambitions to make engines for Formula 1, with new regulations set to move away from the cost-controlled formula originally proposed by F1 rule makers.
Although a final decision on the new regulations, which are expected to come into effect from 2021, is not expected to be announced until this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix, Aston boss Andy Palmer told Autocar: “It doesn’t look like the new regulations will be of interest, sadly.
“Aston was interested on the basis that costs would be controlled and that the formula would be one part of an equation that would put control back into the hands of the driver. I don’t see the costs coming down far enough with the regulations I’ve heard discussed and I do see that the opportunity to spend a fortune chasing down a tenth of a second a lap will remain.
“At Aston, we love the sport, and we’d love to be involved, but we cannot get involved in an arms race. It’s needlessly expensive and it undermines the sport, because whoever has the advantage of that tenth will win. I won’t say we’re definitely not going to do it until I see the final proposal because there are still some areas where there is not enough clarity. But if the door is left open to a spending war, then we won’t be involved.”
In October last year, the F1 governing body and teams announced the new regulations, but wranglings over the details have ensued since. The basic premise is that cars will be powered by turbocharged 1.6-litre V6 units with heavily mandated designs, including the removal or standardisation of some of the costly electrical and energy storage systems.
At the time, Aston announced that it was working with former Ferrari engine chief Luca Marmorini as a consultant on a possible engine project.
Palmer did confirm that Aston’s commitment to F1, currently as a sponsor of the Red Bull team, is long term and not influenced by the team’s switch to Honda power from next season.