Sergio Perez, Racing Point, Hockenheimring, 2019

Aston Martin intends to become ‘one of the top F1 teams’ following Racing Point takeover

2020 F1 season

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Racing Point CEO and team principal Otmar Szafnauer said Aston Martin’s plan to take over the team next year has provided “a real injection of energy” for the team’s staff.

The future of the team looked uncertain a year and a half ago when it had to be rescued from administration. But following a takeover led by billionaire Lawrence Stroll, who also bought into Aston Martin last month, the team will become the luxury road car manufacturer’s works F1 operation next year.

“It’s significant news for Aston Martin and for Formula 1 itself,” said Szafnauer. “As one of the most iconic sports car brands in the world, Aston Martin needed a presence on the F1 grid and this solution delivers a fully-fledged works Aston Martin F1 Team from 2021 onwards.

“It’s news that will excite fans around the world and will shine a spotlight on a brand that is widely regarded as Britain’s finest luxury sports car manufacturer.”

Szafnauer said Aston Martin’s road cars will benefit from Formula 1 technology.

Lawrence Stroll, Racing Point, Suzuka, 2019
Stroll’s deal will see Racing Point become Aston Martin
“Creating a works F1 team achieves a number of objectives for Aston Martin,” he said. “It delivers a high-profile marketing platform for the road car division, which will enhance commercial appeal in all areas of the business.

“There is also the obvious technical collaboration between the F1 programme and the road cars, with F1 technology filtering through to the products Aston Martin launches in the years ahead. This is particularly relevant to the mid-engine philosophy that is just around the corner. The competitive environment of racing is a rich avenue for innovation and the opportunity for technology cross-over is incredibly exciting.”

Following the confirmation of the Aston Martin deal, first revealed by RaceFans in December, Stroll spoke to the team’s 465 staff at its base. Szafnauer said they are “more than ready to become a manufacturer team”.

[smr2020test]”Lawrence spoke to the staff last week and set out the clear objective to establish Aston Martin as one of the top teams in the sport,” he said. “Everyone is proud to represent a legendary car manufacturer returning to the pinnacle of motorsport.”

The transition to the new identity will not begin until the end of this season, Szafnauer confirmed.

“There’s no immediate impact on our current campaign and we will continue to compete as Racing Point until the rebrand takes place at the start of the 2021 season,” he said. “From then we will be known simply as ‘Aston Martin F1 Team’ – so the Racing Point name will disappear.

“It’s exciting to transition into a manufacturer team and we’ve got the best part of a year to make all those changes – much of which will be happening behind-the-scenes. It’s important we don’t take our eyes off the main task for 2020, which is to be competitive on the racetrack with the RP20.”

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28 comments on “Aston Martin intends to become ‘one of the top F1 teams’ following Racing Point takeover”

  1. But they’re not a manufacturer team are they? They’re still going to be using Mercedes customer power, unless Aston Martin are delivering engines now? It’s a brand, an advertising thing. The team will have more money to spend but they’ll have no greater control over the engine than any other Mercedes customer does and under the ‘mask’ they’re still Force India/Racing Point, and will be for a while before that money starts doing something. I guess I’m saying piling on expectation now seems a bad idea as ‘brands’ tend to get cold feet when success takes time.

    1. As far as I understand Aston Martin – the car manufacturer – will continue to rely on Daimler Benz for it’s engines, that is one of the reasons Mercedes has a stake in Aston Martin, they cooperate. So the F1 team will go the same route @rocketpanda.

    2. Well, they will be using an engine from the same location as the Aston Martin road cars do @rocketpanda, so as much as Aston is actually a car manufacturer, they will be a manufacturer team – similar to McLaren (though not with Merc, or Renault engine, as that’s not what’s in their road cars either) – can only the Mercedes, Honda, Renault, and from historic peculiarity that they still build engines, Ferrari, be real manufacturers?

      And their peers, in principle, like VW, Ford, Toyota, Hyundai, Mazda; but is Nissan still one (when alliance w. Renault is gone?) can Porche/Audi/Skoda/Lamborghini/Alfa Romeo be ‘real’, and which ones of the PSA brands would be, and which aren’t?

      I mean, with groups of car manufacturers working together on developing platforms for their future cars, because of the ever increasing costs of doing that (and the lack of advantage in competing on that), which ones, will be true manufacturers and developers of every (or even just the major) components in their cars, and thus eligible to potentially get a manufacturer team?

  2. Well – they’re not going to say “we plan to be bang average and make no progress” are they?

    Joking aside, I wish them luck – as a scrapping midfield team they were one I always liked to see do well, so lets hope they can push on.

    1. Well Renault were saying for years that their climb back to the top rungs of the sport was going to take years and come in small steps (little did we know that’ll include some small steps backwards…).

      Also, if they are that serious about being real podium contenders, let alone challenging the likes of Mercedes, Ferrari and RBR for an actual championship, then they are going to have to take some of that investment and attract a championship winning-level driver or 2. Perez is consistent, but him and Stroll aren’t going to mount any serious challenge to the line-ups of McLaren and Renault.

  3. Wasn’t it a works team before under the guise of Spyker with the same story and objectives?
    I believe it can be more successful this time, but nothing is guaranteed.

    1. Yep, it was, though with a lot less capital behind it @coldfly, which probably changes both the ambition and the possibilities, so indeed, no guarantees, just in a bigger way.

    2. Yes, but Aston Martin has the advantage that it makes more then three cars a year…

  4. Aston Martin does sound nice for a team name.

  5. Thought you needed to make your own engines to be a works team?

    1. Why? That’s not what it means. A works team is one backed by a factory – the works – and a big business, rather than an independent.

    2. @pastaman, as Dave notes, there are teams which are considered works teams because they have the backing of a particular manufacturer and have an elevated level of technical support which is not provided to their customers.

      For a recent example, you just have to look at Red Bull Racing – Red Bull does not manufacture its own engines but, although Red Bull doesn’t explicitly use the term, the way that the team is registered with the FIA means it is effectively registered as the Honda works team. Before that, when Renault withdrew from the sport, Red Bull was officially designated as the Renault works team (until Renault returned with their own team, with Red Bull later being downgraded to customer status as the works team status reverted back to Renault).

      There are many other examples from recent history – McLaren was the designated works team for Mercedes until they created their own team, McLaren and Williams were designated Honda works teams in the past and Williams was also the designated works team for Renault in the 1990s as well.

      None of those teams manufactured their own engines, and in several cases they didn’t even have an exclusive supply deal – however, in several instances those teams did have preferential treatment from a particular manufacturer and were chosen to represent that manufacturer, making them distinct from being just a customer team.

      1. I appreciate the thoughtful reply, but it seems like a lot of words and justification to consider them a works team. Which PUs will Aston Martin be using? If it’s Mercedes…. I would not consider them a works team.

  6. Lance Stroll 2022 WDC. You heard here first.

  7. Imagine if McLaren and Aston can get to the same level at Redbull and nicking wins off Ferrari and Mercedes. Well one of them anyway, one seat will still be occupied by Lance.

  8. I’ll be glad to see that putrid washed out pink livery gone! If they’d done a proper blisteringly deep and bold pink it would have been amazing but it’s so pastelly and just.. pretty revolting. Guess we’ll be getting a dark British racing green? Hopefully something more exciting than that though. #priorities

    1. They’ll still have BWT sponsorship, which requires at least some pink on the car which is a shame, I can’t imagine pink and British racing green going together very well.

    2. “Same again guys?”

      *selects Diluted Calpol from palette*

      1. Diluted Calpol

        LOL, now I can’t unsee that this season :)

      2. Comment of the week :)

  9. great majority of F1′ audience does recognise it’s a good thing to be a ‘works’ team, indeed, but without farther consideration what does it actually mean, so best bet Racing Point believe ‘works team’ claims are working for their current PR policy, while it’s pretty much obvious that a nice branding name, steady cash flow and simply surviving as a road cars manufacturer will be just fine from Aston Martin at the beginning of new Formula One life.

    1. I agree, throwing around the term “works” over and over sounds more like PR than reality.

  10. But the question is, how achievable that target is? We shall wait and see.

  11. Force India used to be the best bang for the buck in the past.

    If they keep that value, their chances are indeed very good under the budget cap.

    Achieving McLaren level and status (manufacturer/chassis builder and customer engine) must be their immediate goal.

    But when it comes to making Stroll Jr a WDC… (fill in here ____________)

  12. Not sure I get the clear message of who took over who.?
    Either way, good news all round.

  13. I am wondering how a fresh coat of paint amounts to wonderful engineering.

  14. Kimi will still call them Force India.

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