Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Monaco, 2021

Mercedes’ chief aerodynamicist heading to Aston Martin

2021 F1 season

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Aston Martin has made another high-profile signing as part of its recruitment drive as it seeks to become a world championship contender.

The Silverstone-based team has signed Mercedes chief aerodynamicist Eric Blandin. RaceFans understands he is due to join Aston Martin from their engine supplier in October next year having obeyed a period of ‘gardening leave’.

An Aston Martin spokesperson said: “We can confirm that Eric Blandin will begin working for Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team next year. His exact start date is not yet confirmed.

“The transition from Mercedes AMG F1 Team to ourselves will be an amicable one.”

Blandin previously worked at Red Bull and Ferrari before joining Mercedes. He became the team’s chief aerodynamicist in 2017.

Aston Martin has previously made two significant hires from the aerodynamics department of Red Bull. Dan Fallows, Red Bull’s head of aerodynamics, is likely to join Aston Martin early next year according to the team. Andrew Alessi was also signed to head up their technical operations division.

The recruitment drive at Aston Martin has also included hiring former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh as Group CEO and luring Luca Furbatto from Alfa Romeo to head up its engineering department.

The growing Aston Martin workforce will have the benefit of a new, state-of-the-art facility from the beginning of 2023 when it completes an expansion and upgrade of its factory at a cost of up to £200 million.

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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38 comments on “Mercedes’ chief aerodynamicist heading to Aston Martin”

  1. At some point Toto and Lewis will also be a member of Aston Martin

    Reply moderated
  2. Another sign the current consortium is serious about competing in Formula 1 … eventually.

    1. Through enough money at it, and something’s bound to stick. That said they’ll need to upgrade their drivers too. What some father’s will do for their sons in the name of their own immortality..

      1. I don’t really understand how they can invest so much under the cost cap. How do you spend £200m on a new factory?

        1. Maybe the money was “spent” in the previous financial year?

          Or are facilities excluded from cost cap? Not sure.

        2. @frood19 as noted by gDog, some of it is because part of the investment seems to be counted as having taken place prior to the cap being applied – there are also mechanisms within the cost cap system that does allow for capital investment in new facilities and equipment (I believe a figure of $45 million has been quoted for the initial four year period the cap will run for), so part of the investment can come under that clause as well.

  3. I seem to remember that Mercedes signed up about two dozen ex-Technical Directors from other teams back in 2013/14…they absolutely threw the kitchen sink at it…seems that Aston Martin are doing similar things.

  4. Certainly the old adage, “it takes money to make money” applies in F1 — even in times of a budget cap. Gone are the days of Force India punching above their weight; I wish Aston Martin/the Strolls success.

    1. That brand needs success, it can’t live on the James Bond myth forever…

  5. With the budget cap, I wonder what they’re being offered to entice them away, Aston won’t have anything left to spend on the actual car at this rate. I wonder what’s to stop an outside company offering salary top ups, or offering some bonus payment after they’ve left Aston in the future, and how that can possibly be policed.

    1. Like F1 can really monitor these things. I’m sure that Stroll’s organization is more resourceful than F1 and more capable to do things “off the book” than F1 officials are able or willing to prevent that. For example, maybe someone’s got a son or daughter in need of good education, someone needs help with his private business outside of the sport; maybe someone could use some insider information with stock exchange etc. Who’s supposed to control that? Brainwashing people about how sprint races are great is more in focus, or how to sell Saudi Arabia as a normal country where people aren’t getting stoned to death in public.

      1. I’d also guess that it’s a different, and perhaps exciting, challenge for these people to try and build a new team into a winner (esp. when they have been recruited from a team where they started when it was already having great success).

      2. Stoned to death? They still crucify people there. And behead them. And of course women are worth about the same as farm animals. Criticize the government and you get locked up, or worse. As for coming out as gay… What a great place to do business, aka sportwashing.

        It makes you wonder what a regime would have to do for F1 to stay away.

        1. It makes you wonder what a regime would have to do for F1 to stay away.

          Wonder no more. Just stop giving Liberty bags of money. F1 follows the money. The race for more money.

          If Liberty could make more money promoting human rights they would. Not because it’s a noble pursuit, but because their only purpose is to increase revenue and profit.

          Corporations are sociopathic – by design. They only serve shareholders. Creating money and profits. Morals, ethics, sports ethos have no place in this sport. Liberty is doing exactly what is expected of them by their shareholders. As heinous as it might be.

  6. They can buy who they want.
    They can sell themselves with advertising.
    They can posture and pose.

    We know what they are.

    1. Surely not Spyker???

      1. I like Spyker logo…. the days of fighters aircrafts :)

  7. I don’t know if beefing up the technical department for car development is the issue here.

    I just did a quick check on the finishing positions of Aston Martin vs Alpine and Alpha Tauri. AM has been the 1st car home 10 out of 20 times when compared to Alpine and 9 out of 20 times (not considering Seb’s disqualification) when compared to AT. So, with a car that is almost at part with those 2, AM has 77 points (95 not considering Seb’s disqualification) compared to 137 of Alpine and 112 of AT.

    It seems to be more a case of both drivers exhibiting lack of consistency not maximising their positions. Because across the season, the car’s pace seems to be there. What they need is either a superstar driver like Gasly, or some consistent and reliable team-mates like Ocon / Alonso.

    1. I think AM is intentionally holding back to finish lower in the standings in order to be permitted more testing and CFD time for next year’s car. The extra testing for all the changes is more valuable than the prize money, considering the team now has deep pockets.

      (Also, I accidentally clicked the ‘report comment’ button by mistake)

      1. Woah. I believed a visionary leader as Stroll is capable of doing exactly that.

  8. Interesting to see the Mercedes organisation is falling apart.
    Money talks as always but recognition is paramount for every job. Not sure if toto is able to fill the gap Niki left.
    A lot of cracks seem to appear.

    1. erikje, that is an extraordinarily hyperbolic comment to make, and one that seems to be motivated more by your own personal prejudices towards Mercedes than anything else.

      As noted in the article, this same team has recruited Red Bull’s head of aerodynamics, and over the past couple of years Red Bull has been quietly shedding a number of staff as it has been downsizing (as have other teams). I don’t see you talking about Red Bull “falling apart” because Fallows is leaving or because they lost their head of Vehicle Dynamics to Mercedes last year, let alone looking at the changes that occur across the wider engineering groups of all of the other teams.

      The Alfa Romeo team, similarly, isn’t apparently “falling apart” because of the major personnel changes that are going on there, let alone Alpha Tauri, Alpine or McLaren, all of which are also currently going through major revamps of their personnel bases as well. Why aren’t you bashing them for “falling apart”?

      1. They poached fine people years ago.
        If you just read what I wrote there s nothing wrong.
        But the death of Niki changed the game.
        Look at the stress toto is under and the way he “copes” with it.
        His bitchfight with horner tells a lot. With niki this never would have happened.
        Am I objective? Probably not, but at least I know that :)

        1. you seem to be having a lot of personal stress in your life, let it go, Max or lewis is not worth it.

          1. A real social media psych. A bad one for that matter :)

        2. erikje, it is certainly not surprising to hear that you are incapable of comprehending that you might be doing anything wrong with your posts.

    2. erikje Are you just having a laugh?

      1. Always, with these hamfan it’s a great season :)

        1. Good, now we know to not take what you say seriously.

    3. You’re a card @erikji 🤣

    4. I think the budgetcap did this to all teams as there are only 3 big earners outside the capcosts the rest must in the budget cap. So just normal speading for the team and those extra’s are picked up by the other teams.

  9. Stroll future champion?

    1. @Qeki, Daddy Stroll can dream on…

      1. Rumours are toto and stroll break up as a result of this poaching.

        1. erikje, a rumour that you have heard, or rather one that you have made up and are trying to start?

          1. See their comment above, where they admit to just having a laugh by winding up “hamfans”. I guess nothing they say can be taken seriously.

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