Aston Martin Safety Car and Medical Car

Pictures: New Aston Martin F1 Safety Car and Medical Car revealed

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In the round-up: Aston Martin has presented the Safety Car and Medical Car it will supply for use in Formula 1 this year. It will share the supply of official race vehicles with Mercedes.

Aston Martin Vantage Safety Car and DBX Medical Car revealed

The Aston Martin Vantage’s four-litre V8 twin-turbo has been up-rated to produce 527bhp and a revised front splitter means it now generates 155.6kg of downforce at 200kph. It bears the same shade of green as the team’s Formula 1 car, the AMR21, which was revealed last week.

Aston Martin is also supplying a DBX to serve as the official F1 Medical Car. As well as producing 542bhp, the DBX has 632 litres of boot space to carry the medical team’s safety equipment.

As revealed by RaceFans last year, Aston Martin will provide the official course cars as 12 of the planned 23 races on the 2021 F1 calendar, while Mercedes vehicles will continue to be used at the other rounds.

Kral ‘clarifies’ comments on Binotto

Former GP2 racer Josef Kral, now a Ferrari GT driver, has retracted comments he made last week indicating the manufacturer’s F1 team principal Mattia Binotto was to be replaced.

“Some of my recent comments about Scuderia Ferrari have been misinterpreted and taken out of context,” said Kral in a statement on social media. “What I said was based on my own opinion and without and real base or information.

“I apologise if these speculations have created any issue.”

Ferrari is due to present the SF21, its new car for the upcoming season, on Wednesday.

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Comment of the day

Is motorsport no longer of value to large volume car manufacturers?

I can’t see how motorsport would be relevant to the mass market in a mostly electric future. People buying such cars would have no regard for the relevance between motorsport and the four-wheeled domestic appliance they drive. There is no point in F1 alienating its existing fans by going electric in order to chase a future audience which won’t exist.

There will remain a shrunken industry of internal combustion manufacturers producing expensive, low volume cars for driving enthusiasts. F1 should be their playground, it’s a perfect fit.
Jack (@jackisthestig)

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On this day in F1

  • 35 years ago today Frank Williams suffered paralysis in a road car accident in France while returning from a test session at Paul Ricard

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  • 69 comments on “Pictures: New Aston Martin F1 Safety Car and Medical Car revealed”

    1. Just like in the F1 cars the Aston Martin and Mercedes safety cars use the same AMG engine. It’ll be interesting to see if Bernd has a preference for one package over the other.

      1. Why is Bernd a given? I mean in sports athletes come and go as their skill level does not improve with age. And simply bigger talent comes along. This in combination with the perpetual complaining of both Lewis and Max about the SC not being quick enough, makes me wonder whats going on here.

        1. The car is the limit here. If the new Fangio would drive the safety car and shred off a couple of tenths that wouldn’t change Lewis or Max impression of watching paint dry while cruising behind a silver painted Mercedes Benz on a sunday afternoon.
          To reduce the speed difference the safety car would have to bei upgraded to a Valkyrie or AMG ONE.

        2. Isn’t the entire point of using a safety car meant to be to slow the cars down to make things safer for those on track?

          I know all of the drivers want the safety car to go faster, since they are used to going at higher speeds, but making the safety car faster goes against the entire rationale for having it in the first place.

          1. Mostly agreed, but going to slow is also a safety problem as well, tires go well below operating temperature and the cars get close to being undriveable.

        3. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
          8th March 2021, 12:28

          Mylander is 50 this year and can’t do it forever, so we can’t be far away from a new safety car driver. I think Jeroen Bleekemolen would be a good candidate.

      2. I don’t know if I’m the only one but after watching F1 for over 20 years those colors look weird. I know before Mercedes F1 had Fiats, Opels or Renaults as a safety car but for me silver has always been the color for a safety car. Maybe I will get used to those but it just feels odd to have a green and a red safety car..

        1. It’s a beautiful safety car, that’s for sure

    2. There will remain a shrunken industry of internal combustion manufacturers producing expensive, low volume cars for driving enthusiasts. F1 should be their playground, it’s a perfect fit.

      This belief ignores the fact that there is no such thing even today, with niche manufacturers largely basing their creations on proven technology from mass-market manufacturers. (see Aston Martin and Mercedes-Benz)

      As the number of ICEs produced shrink, their economies of scale rapidly collapse, making costs prohibitive for most if not all small-scale producers of cars, and the same is true for the infrastructure supporting them.

      Sure, petrol stations are going to be around for a while, but at what point does the number of pumps start scaling back as ICE cars age out of the population and are either replaced by BEVs or not replaced at all?

      When will the garages currently supporting high-maintenance ICEs scale back with EVs generally requiring less maintenance and cars get ever more sensors to monitor remaining wear items and automatically schedule replacements as needed?

      Formula 1 has a choice: Cater to the existing fanbase that is ageing out of the population and/or not willing to be beholden to burning oil as a sine qua non, or embrace the inevitable future and pay off Formula E. (buy-out, merger, whatever it takes to get a hold of that all-electric exclusivity)

      Mind you, Formula 1 may very well not have a future at all, in fact, that may be the likeliest outcome. But if you were to go down, wouldn’t you rather you had at least tried to stay relevant?

      1. Jack (@jackisthestig)
        8th March 2021, 6:59

        When has F1 ever been relevant? Manufacturers rarely stay around for long once the penny drops that what they do in F1 on the technical side has no impact on the sales of family hatchbacks.

        I think much of Mercedes’ continued involvement can be attributed to their association with Lewis Hamilton and their success in a sport with a global audience. You never see Mercedes or Renault promotional material mention anything about F1 hybrid powertrains, it makes no difference to their average customer. Their involvement in the sport is no different to Chevrolet sponsoring Man Utd or Toyota sponsoring the Olympic Games.

        1. I don’t entirely disagree with you, but Renault has tried to associate their e-Tech hybrid technology to F1 in several countries. An example, taken from their french site:

          Pionnier du véhicule électrique, nous avons mis au point une technologie innovante et exclusive E-TECH, en collaboration avec Renault F1 Team. Protégée par 150 brevets, elle nous a permis de développer deux types de motorisation hybride :
          E-TECH : hybride sans branchement
          E-TECH Plug-in hybrid : hybride rechargeable sur secteur.

          https://www.renault.fr/vehicule-hybride/e-tech-hybride.html

          I’m portuguese and several car reporters pointed out how Renault was keen to associate their new gearbox (used in these hybrid vehicles) to the F1 Team. For example:
          https://observador.pt/2020/07/23/estes-renault-tem-caixa-de-15-velocidades-e-a-magia-da-formula-1/
          (Portuguese is not an easy language, but the Formula 1 reference in the title should be obvious.)

      2. There are other choices e.g. hydrogen, net-zero biofuel.

        1. “Hydrogen” in this context is a BEV that gives up a lot of its battery capacity to carry around a high-pressure LH2 tank and a hydrogen fuel cell, both increasing complexity and maintenance many-fold, relying on non-existent infrastructure and the hopes that hydrogen production and storage will at some point both scale to supply significant parts of the world-wide mobility AND move from a terribly inefficient and dirty fossil-fuel-based production process to one powdered by renewables, too.

          “Net-zero (COx, presumably?) biofuel” is about as realistic as the silly dreams of “synthetic fuels” some in F1 seem to hope to be their saviour. And it’s not just the problems in production and scale, the ridiculousness of devoting ever-larger areas to farming just to make a dent in current fossil fuel usage, but also that this entire idea is based around the continued existence of ICEs, to begin with, at which point we’re back to the whole crux of ICE production ramping down, quickly becoming a non-viable business.

          These alternatives are not necessarily technically impossible, but the realities today mean it’s tremendously easier and well within the realm of existing to scale up renewable energy production as the car population transitions from ICEs to BEVs.

          1. I personally think that, with efficiency of production of synthetic fuel, and the catalysts used for that, as well as synergy (heh) with existing petrol-plant processes, and the better fit in infrastructure and ‘legacy’ appliances (ie. cars), it might well be that synthetic fuel is in fact a more efficient, viable, liquid ‘battery’ storage than hydrogen in those LH2 tanks @proesterchen, which is why I think it might have some future in the middle-long term, ie. possibly beyond the next ten years

    3. Respectfully couldn’t disagree more with COTD! Motorsport has always inspired consumer’s buying choices. Within a generation or so Formula 1 needs to go full electric in order to sustain its future (as much as we’ll miss the noise!), in terms of relevance to road cars and big manufacturers, positive PR in an environmentally conscious age, and so that other Formula such as FE, Extreme E an increasingly electrified WRC and similar two wheeled electric offerings don’t eat F1’s lunch! In 50 years time, the youth of the day will see a formula 1 still using ICE’s as an ‘uncool’ historic series for their grandparents. A series of billionaire’s playthings and their male heirs I might add!

      1. Not sure about motorsport inspiring the modern buyer’s choices. In the past, the win on Sunday sell and Monday perhaps held true, but I doubt that this is still the case.

        First off all, car ownership amongst young people are at an all time low, in fact, the number of young people who even have drivers licenses are at a low. If you live in an urban area, there is a good argument that you dont need a car at all. In fact, I believe that the best way for cities to future proof themselves is to go car free altogether. It would make for a much more efficient city scape, but I digress. The point is, if you have a key demographic that isn’t interested in cars, why bother catering to them? Perhaps I am wrong in thinking this way.

        This is why I lean toward the notion put forward by CoTD. F1 already is a playground for niche brands. Look at the grid, once Honda leaves (and ahem..Alfa Romeo), what’s left aren’t your average daily drivers. Consider that Mercedes have already indicated that AMG will have a larger presence. Also, isn’t it interesting that VAG are returning to Sports Cars? The market for niche performance cars isn’t insignificant, and its a competitive segment, hence some form of relatable marketing is required. What could be more relatable than racing? The general target demographic are people that participate in track related activities, or at least have some sort of interest in the area.

      2. Jack (@jackisthestig)
        8th March 2021, 7:28

        Motorsport has always inspired consumer’s buying choices.

        I really don’t think F1 ever has. Which brand of cigarettes to smoke, yes but whether to buy a Ford Focus or a VW Golf, no.

      3. Hah – electric appliance. My little blender not only makes milkshakes but handles better and tears the backside out of the V12 GT that now inhabits the back of the garage.

    4. It’s interesting to see Aston Martin and Mercedes Amg become the supplier for Safety car and Medical Car.

      I want to see Alfa Romeo, Ferrari and McLaren safety car/medical car in the future too.

      I hope, this will attract more manufacturers into F1.

      1. They should have begin from Ferrari, Renault, McLaren etc. Astroll Martin is just first year in F1.

    5. Ferrari witch-hunting or what? First Salo now Karl, it’s seems you can’t talk freely about the brand. Bizarre.

      1. The automobile industry is very traditional and hierarchical in general compared to todays societal developments. Run by mostly old men, so very old economy. Wouldnt surprise me at all if Ferrari is on the far end of the spectrum. They have the profile for it.

      2. A few hours have passed. Just curious: did you receive a message from Ferrari about this post?

        1. I did. They urged me to stop using Raikkonen’s syntax error, insisting it’s their contracted ex-driver property.

          1. I suppose it would take them some time to mail that horses head anyway

    6. Zach (@zakspeedf1team)
      8th March 2021, 7:16

      All luxury SUVs are awful, and the DBX is no exception.

      1. To Zach, all SUVs are tractors!

        Since the Maserati 250F I have always wanted to own a Maserati, but have never been able to afford one. So yes, win on Sunday, sell on Tuesday – sometimes!

    7. I wonder who’s going to be the next person clarifying what he’s said about Ferrari on some occasion after Salo and Kral?

    8. There will remain a shrunken industry of internal combustion manufacturers producing expensive, low volume cars for driving enthusiasts.

      I take offence to that statement.
      I’m one of those drivers moving to electric (Taycan), and I consider myself a driving enthusiast.
      Driving electric can be just as much, or even more so, a great driving experience. The driving experience is superior to many other sports cars I’ve driven.
      I never cared much for the noise from the exhaust, and oftentimes linked that more to wannabes than to true driving enthusiasts.

      And I also believe that F1 can have a future in a world moving towards electric. I don’t follow FE and only F1. To me F1 had more engineering and motoring ingenuity than FE or other series.
      It’s like horse racing which still exists many years after farmers moved to tractors and travellers to motorised vehicles.

      1. @coldfly Yeah you are not snowflaky enough.

        1. Just for the fun of it try to argue something for once, rather than making childish comments.
          @f1osaurus

          1. @coldfly Yeah let’s have a whole discussion about the exact differentiation into different classes of “driving enthusiasts” se not one snowflake feels “insulted” by his/her choice of mainstream motoring.

            1. Amuse me, @f1osaurus.
              Don’t be afraid to try – at least for once – to have a grown-up discussion.

            2. @coldfly I’d just like to clarify that me and @f1osaurus are not related to each other.

            3. @bernasaurus, I guess we all knew that.
              It’s immediately clear from the type of comment you both make.

            4. @coldfly It’s cute that you think that forcing feeling offended by not being included in a specific part of “driving enthusiasts” is in any way possible a “grown-up discussion”

              That’s the whole point, your childish snowflake behavior is just that.

            5. No worries @f1osaurus,
              you’re not mature enough to understand the subtleties of Tongue in Cheek comments.

            6. @coldfly Yeah try to pretend that’s what it was. So you now want to pretend it was a poor and childish joke, but people should have serious “grown up” discussions based on that? And then to top it off you pretend this somehow makes you mature?

              Just cut the snowflake nonsense.

            7. Still not able to step up, @f1osaurus?

              10 Signs of Emotional Childishness: 1. Emotional escalations; 2. Blaming; 3.Lies; 4. Name-calling; 5. Impulsivity; 6:Need to be the center of attention; 7 Bullying; 8. Budding narcissism; 9. Immature defences; 10. No ability to see, acknowledge, and learn from their mistakes.

            8. @coldfly Lol, poor snowflake.

      2. Wannabes? Seriously? If you choose to think like that well that is your choice. Or I should be more accurate and say if you choose to look down upon others from you high horse then go for it. Did you ever ride a bike as a kid and go “vrooom”. Ever been excited by pumping loud music perhaps? Sound does bring people pleasure. Next time I hear someone say “wow listen to the sound of that car!” I’m going to reply with “take it else where you wannabe!”. I’m sure I’ll get a great reaction. Your tops. Wow.

      3. Jack (@jackisthestig)
        8th March 2021, 16:18

        No offence intended. We all take enjoyment from driving in different ways but I’m sure for many the lack of aural stimulation and the hideous weight of electric cars just won’t do.

        1. I must confess that my ‘I take offence to that statement’ was rather Tongue in Cheek, @jackisthestig.

          As I mentioned I’m not seeking the loud noises, but love the speed and handling. It seems though that I have upset some people with my previous comment (sorry @stash).
          Weight is indeed is big obstacle and even let down; I hope they sort that out soon. But in the best electric cars you don’t feel the weight at all; try to get a test drive.
          And I’d rather put a bit more weight in batteries rather than having a hybrid where the weight is still high due to a double motor plus a battery and fuel.

          If I were a bit smarter I’d develop a car with an exchangeable battery pack: 20kWh for my daily commute, and 100Kwh when I go on a long trip.

        2. I love motorsport and I love driving cars (I have been many times to Silverstone to drive fast cars around a track). I have driven many road cars from High performance sports cars to low performance small cars. I also have an EV and I can tell you that the experience is amazing! They have incredible acceleration (My car can beat most of the high performance saloons off the line despite being anything but a performance car… I have beaten AMG Mercs and M3s etc). The throttle control is amazing. The handling is damned good too as even on my family hatchback the weight distribution is the same as an F1 car and all the weight is very low down. Not only that but there is little difference between when the car is full and when there is just me in it. That can not be said for many petrol cars I have driven.

          As for the weight. My car is only slightly heavier than a Ford Focus which is a similar sized car.

          The other side of the driving is the quality of the experience when you want a peaceful drive. EVs are also amazing at that as they are so quiet, smooth and effortless.

          So to sum up. They are great if you want a relaxing drive. They are also great if you want to hammer the hell out of them.

          I will never buy another ICE car again.

    9. I think it’s almost impossible at this point to predict what direction F1 is going to go in – or whether it’s even going to still exist in a recognisable form in 30 years’ time.

      Whatever the future state of play, one thing to acknowledge is that F1 has always been intrinsically linked to car manufacturers. It’s not impossible to imagine a future which doesn’t have volume manufacturers involved, but the roadmap to that future is very unclear. The most important reason is the huge cost of being involved; cost which has ultimately only ever risen over the sport’s life, and risen far beyond inflation. It’s part of the appeal of the sport, part of what makes it as exclusive and prestigious arena for the absolute elites. But that money must come from somewhere – there’s a delicate, ker-plunk-like balance of money, prestige, attraction to viewers, and manufacturer involvement, which keeps F1 where it is. Change any of these variables, and the whole thing could collapse.

      To make money, F1 has to attract viewers. To attract viewers it has to have prestige. To have prestige it has to be expensive and have the best teams (read manufacturers). To attract manufacturers, it has to have lots of viewers. And so on.

      The vision of a future for F1 using ICEs is one where you’re unlikely to have all of those elements in balance. Auto manufacturers – the large ones with lots of money to throw around – are not likely to want to compete in an arena using ancient technology which has absolutely no place in their road car line-up. But without manufacturers, you have far less money in the sport. Less money, and using outdated technology which would increasingly look like an historic series rather than the pinnacle of motorsports, and you lose the prestige and glamour. So, no prestige, no glamour, no money, no manufacturers. What are you left with? A semi-historic series using outdated technology which is increasingly irrelevant in a modern world. It’s a sport with a reduced – and dwindling – fanbase; unable to attract sponsors, unable to gain lucrative TV or streaming deals (if our current understanding of broadcast models is even still remotely recognisable in 30 years’ time).

      So to me, that’s the future that you’re predicting when you argue that F1 has no reason to switch away from ICEs. Yeah it’s possible to make emotive, chest-thumping arguments about what ‘true enthusiasts’ really want, but you have to see your vision in the larger context of a changing world. Already there is a big dropoff in the appeal of motorsports for younger people. People like us, we’re dinosaurs. We love F1 now for the reasons we do, but who is going to be attracted to the sport in the future? Who will drive the cars, who will run the teams?

      Don’t forget, F1 also relies on a whole heirarchy of supporting feeder series. Do you imagine it likely that all of these series cound continue to exist in largely the same format? Or do you imagine that at some point in the future a driver will have thier very first experience of a car with an ICE will be in F1?

      I can see no future in an F1 which clings onto ICEs as a matter of some midguided principle, to play to a section of the fanbase which will have largely disappeared in a few decades time. The only way I see F1 having any long term future – and even here I admit that the very concept of motorsport may have a finite lifespan – is by moving with the times and embracing new technology. Some of us dinosaurs may well be left behind along the way. But that’s the way of things. You evolve, or you go extinct.

      1. Nicely written and some really relevant points.
        For me Formula one has always been about speed and engineering. On a personal level I prefer the current engines, despite the merc domination they simply did a better job and the engine competition has been great as it isn’t mostly about the downforce of the chassis.
        The v8’s for me were too screamy anyway and the current formula has great technology and a more pleasant sound with different tones from different engines plus the turbo noise is cooler in my opinion.
        On a personal note I will be happy for F1 to be 100 percent electric as long as the performance is there, and f1 modernising is a good place to push and develop that technology, likewise renewable bio fuels is fine if it’s in the form of capturing C02 rather than turning virgin forest into monoculture.

      2. I think your point only holds true if you conflate internal combustion engines with the current generation of insanely expensive to develop hybrids. Rewind a few decades and most teams just bought off-the-shelf Cosworth V8s and Hewland gearboxes, slapped a chassis together and went racing on a shoestring. Admittedly returning to that era couldn’t be done overnight, but it does at least show that F1 needn’t be dependent on works outfits throwing billions at it. Considering the number of feeder series, it seems likely there’s enough volume there to make a viable business out of supplying simple, conventional race engines.

        1. I totally take the point you’re making but I would be pedantic and point out that the Cosworth V8 you’re referring to only came into existence thanks to Ford.

          I think the question you need to ask is what you see as more important to F1 – auto manufacturer involvement in the sport (as both engine supplier and works team), or holding onto internal combustion engines? I’d say that many may argue for the latter, at the expense of the former. Certainly you can’t have both, not long term. But how many new fans would the sport attract in 20, 30 years’ time? Personally, I don’t think many. I’d say motorsport as an endeavour is already becoming quite a niche interest, from probably the height some time in the late 90’s/early 00’s. Trying to appease an existing fanbase (who frankly can’t agree amongst themselves what F1 should be like or even what its qualities are), at the expense of future stability would be the height of hubris.

        2. Monkeyballs, the fact that the proper name of the engine is the Ford-Cosworth DFV underlines an important aspect of the whole process – namely, the programme needed Ford to underwrite the development costs, with Cosworth receiving additional funding from Ford over the years to pay for ongoing development of the engine in return for advertising rights. In their early days, Cosworth did have a reputation of not always producing the best quality work either – there was a reason why Cosworth was called “Cosbodge” and Duckworth “Duckfudge”, because there were complaints that some of their earlier engines were put together a bit sloppily.

          It’s also worth noting that there were some who suggested that, to some extent, the ubiquity of some of those components was sometimes because certain suppliers were pretty much the only ones around, such that they could sell components even when they weren’t always quite as good as you might think.

          Mike Hewland did acknowledge that, to a certain extent, the fact that there were actually very few companies who were interested in making racing gearboxes meant that he almost acquired a monopoly on producing gearboxes by default. Costs were also, to some extent, low simply because, in some ways, the lack of alternatives meant Hewland could bring down costs through mass producing those units on a scale that wouldn’t be possible today.

          However, some of those gearboxes could be a bit rubbish – the FG and DFG series were a nightmare to develop and were problematic in their early years, such that the “F” in those gearboxes stood for a rather explicit indication of what a nightmare they were. The TL series that some teams tried using in that period also had complaints of poor build quality due to improper heat treatment of components.

          You need to be rather careful not to over-idealise that era – a “shoestring budget” is still something of a relative term, and the fact that so many of those outfits were also extremely short lived does highlight that it wasn’t necessarily quite as financially sustainable as you perhaps suggest the situation was.

      3. @mazdachris Disagree. ‘Outdated’ and ‘irrelevant’ technology means nothing compared to brand marketing value, and people at large have no idea what to think about ICE really. All they know is that if F1 is using it, it must the best and electric is just for environment and economical reasons.

        1. @balue We may end up having to agree to disagree on this one. I think you need to consider F1 in the broader context of societal attitudes towards cars, motorsports, and technology as a whole. The undeniable fact is that auto manufacturers are increasingly moving towards a wholly electrified offering, with many nations in the world already setting out an end date after which no new ICE powered cars could be sold. Auto manufacturers are in the business of selling cars, which inevitably means marketing those cars; yes that includes the small, economical versions, but it also includes their high end offerings as well which will be marketed on the strength of their performance and driving dynamics as well as their efficiency.

          Consider then, that involvement in F1 for any car manufacturer – either as a supplier of powertrains or as a whole manufacturer team effort – is done solely as a marketing exercise to build and maintain the brand. It’s hard to imagine how a car manufacturer could, on the one hand, promote the values of its new electrified range of vehicles, whilst also promoting its brand using a redundant technology which, in the relatively near future, will be impossible to buy new and will be phased out of their product line.

          To try and hang the future success of F1 on its current perception as the pinnacle of motorsport, regardless any other considerations about how the world is likely to change in the coming decades, seems naive in the extreme. Long term growth and sustainability needs to be considered against the backdrop of the world in which F1 exists, not simply by the very basic principle that if people like what it’s doing right now, then all it needs to do is carry on doing that forever.

          1. @mazdachris Branding is as much about glitz, glamor and exposure as the content of the message, and people don’t really know what’s redundant or even care that some ‘celebrity’ is not as environmentally aware as the local greenhead. Few, if any, will buy a car just because Greta Thunberg has recommended it. Mercedes has said their F1 program has hugely increased their brand value.

            If people see F1 using ICE in a hybrid with all kinds of complicated technology, then they will think that’s the bees knees and will of course anyway understand and accept motor racing is about being the most powerful and fast. But let’s agree to disagree until you see I’ve been right all along.. 😉

      4. Whatever the future state of play, one thing to acknowledge is that F1 has always been intrinsically linked to car manufacturers.

        Is that true, @mazdachris?

        McLaren raced before becoming a road car manufacturer;
        Williams, Sauber, Haas never made a road car (forgetting the short BWM-Sauber link)
        Aston Martin (Jordan), Alpine (Toleman), and Mercedes (Tyrrell) started as dedicated racing teams.
        Red Bull (Stewart), Alpha Tauri (Minardi) have no links (yet/anymore).

        Even for Ferrari it can be argued that they were a racing team which only made cars to fund the racing team

        1. @coldfly I did wonder whether anyone would make this point. It’s true that there have been very successful teams which you’d consider ‘independent’ by the definition of manufacturers in F1. My point is more that F1 as a whole is linked to the world of car manufacturers and relies upon them to a greater or lesser degree.

          For sure, teams have had great success as inependent manufacturers of chassis. However almost all have been powered by engines/power units made by an auto manufacturer, or at least wearing the badge of one. Just from the list you’ve pulled out there, there have been engine deals with:

          Porsche
          Renault
          Ferrari
          Honda
          Ford
          Mercedes
          BMW
          Peugeot
          Toyota
          Yamaha

          And that’s just the ones I can name off the top of my head. How many genuinely independent power manufacturers can those teams boast among them? Very few. And of those, several, such as Hart, started out as tuners/suppliers of reworked engines supplied by volume manufacturers.

          F1 has never really existed in isolation from car manufacturers, and certainly the growth that F1 has enjoyed over the decades has been thanks, in large part, to car manufacturer involvement pushing things further and further. I’m not for a moment making the argument that manufacturer involvement has been universally positive, rather that you have to see it as a fundamental aspect of the sport. Even Ferrari would likely not exist today were it not for Alfa Romeo.

          Car manufacturers operate in the real world, and a future for F1 which clings onto ICEs is a future where F1 deliberately separates itself from the real world. I’m not saying there won’t still be a market for it, but you’d be looking at a hugely diminished sport compared to where things stand today.

          1. Indeed @MazdaChris, the PU (or engine or motor we used to call it) has always been linked to a car/motor manufacturer.

            I guess that used to be the most complex part of the race car when they first started; the chassis was there merely to keep it all together.
            Later F1 (and motorsports in general) moved more towards chassis development, especially suspension.
            And even later it moved more and more to the aerodynamic part of the chassis; drag and downforce.

            Still not sure what the real essential part of motorsport is. I guess it’s the sum of all three (plus the driver).

      5. I agree 100% with @mazdachris.
        Hanging on to ICEs in F1 will just see it die a slow death.

    10. Very sad to hear about Buckmore park being in financial trouble. Such a great facility and an epic track to throw a kart around on. Hope someone can help them out.

      1. Yes, its not looking to good. Shame. I lived just over the road from the park for years and swam and played their as a boy. In those days it was in the middle of nowhere. Now it has a 6 lane motorway alongside it and a tunnel for the Eurostar underneath the track! I remember early in the 60s the Royal Engineers coming over to the site to build the first kart track that was passed off at the time as a ‘training exercise’. :)

        1. @brownerboy, ian. Indeed, I dont live too far from the track now either. Was looking forward to trying to get back there once everything opens up again. The last turn before the run up the hill is my nemesis, the turn in point is impossibly late, not once have I ever felt like I nailed that corner! Mind you, it’s probably been nearly 15 years since I was last there so that corner might not be my only issue!

    11. Shouldn’t the medical car double as a fire truck after what we learned after Grosjean’s crash? Is there space for a pile of extra large extinguishers and a couple of fire marshals in the DBX?

      1. @balue f1 is always improving safety. Ot has done enough for this season by not having Romain.

    12. Saw a comparison picture with the Aston Martin and a really unsporty Fiat safety car from the Williams 92/93 era. Unbelievable how safety cars have changed in that 30 years.

      Is there maybe room for an article looking at the evolution of safety cars over the years?

    13. Shaun Campbell
      8th March 2021, 15:59

      Yes, please

    14. Maybe I’m nitpicking here but I’m surprised that course cars like these would be such a dark colour. I’d have thought they should be nice and bright so they’re very visible even when it’s dark or in bad conditions.

    15. I disagree with the CotD. It has been found that people who have been in an electric car are far more likely to buy one, which makes a lot of sense to me, because the acceleration is amazing. For normal people who have to obey speed limits, fast acceleration matters way, way more than a high top speed. So if anything, I think that electric vehicles are likely to make people like racing more.

      The real risk is self-driving cars and that as a result, people stop driving or even getting a driver’s license.

    16. I think that it is a bad idea to share medical car duties between Mercedes and Aston. When something bad happens, every second counts. Then it really helps if the staff are trained on just one car, because in emergencies, people tend to operate on instinct. The doctor may instinctively act in a way that works for the Merc, but not the Aston, or vice versa, costing precious time.

      1. Completely agree, seems odd to make money from something so important from a safety perspective @aapje

    17. RocketTankski
      10th March 2021, 8:05

      I think many sports seem irrelevant if you look at them hard enough. Sumo, cricket, dressage, golf, curling, and many more. People want them for fun, tradition, pride, entertainment -not because they are relevant to the modern world in a big way. They all take a toll on the environment in their own way.
      If they can make the fuel cleaner, use less tyres and fly less miles then F1 will be heading in the right direction. Maybe some of that F1 tech will prove useful for speedboats if the world floods.

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