Aston Martin targets F1 title triumph within five years

The Silverstone-based team is embarking on an all-new era under the moniker of the famous British sportscar manufacturer, and has laid down lofty ambitions for what it wants to achieve in grand prix racing. Speaking as the covers came off the green, black and pink AMR21, team principal Otmar Szafnauer said that the ambitions for the outfit were to lay the foundations for title glory by the mid-2020s. “It’s a lot easier to say we’re going to be fighting and winning a world championship than actually doing it,” he said. “The two things that have to happen is one we need a good plan, in order for us to start today and get to world championship contenders, and then we’ve got to execute. And we’re in the midst of that planning now. “The execution will definitely take some time. People in F1 and other teams have said you know you’ve got to give us three to five years to do so. And we’re no different. “For the last year we’ve planned a new factory with new infrastructure, and a place to house all of us under one roof to grow the team, and the implementation of that has just now begun at Silverstone. “Towards the end of 2022, we should be moving into a new factory for example and, within that factory, we’re going to need state of the art tools that will help us design and develop a car that’s worthy of contending for a world championship, so that’s a few years away. “If I have to look into the future, you know it’ll be in the three to five year time period.” PLUS: The car Aston Martin begins its new F1 journey with Having signed four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel for this season, the team is looking at making rapid progress. Reflecting on Aston Martin’s target of going for title glory within five years, Vettel reckoned that such a time frame was realistic – although he pondered whether new rules could shorten what was needed. “I think it is a longer-term project if you really want to win,” Vettel explained. “Obviously if you look at Mercedes, they started somewhere, 2011, ’12, and then really got into the winning ways with the new power unit when they just got out of the gates a lot faster than anyone else. “The car wasn’t really that great in 2014, chassis-wise. And from then onwards, if you say ’11, then it took them another five years to really build a car that was probably considered the best chassis. That’s the time it takes. But then everybody has that time, and not everybody has done the job. “So there are a lot of projects going around, different manufacturers, and in the end only one can win. But Mercedes has been the one that has been the strongest. So hats off to them, and the others were just not good enough.” Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin Racing Photo by: Aston Martin Racing But, with F1 introducing a cost cap and new rules from 2022, Vettel said that could have an impact on how quickly progress could be made. “Formula 1 is changing at the same time, so time will tell,” he said. “But maybe you don’t need those three to five years anymore. “Maybe it will shrink, and that’s the hope for everyone, to be a bit closer to the top and not just be on the podium because you got lucky that the guys at the front retired or crashed. We’ll see how Formula 1 changes in the next years.” shares comments

The 12 month journey to settle Aston Martin’s new F1 livery

The green and black livery – with those streaks of pink – is certain to stand out when battle commences in Bahrain later this month. But, equally, the unveiling marked the end of a long journey that Aston Martin has made in coming up with the exact colours that will carry the British sportscar manufacturer’s return to F1. While it has been known for several months now that Aston Martin wanted to use British racing green for its 2021 challenger, settling down on the specific green was never going to be the work of the moment. Time and again we have seen teams get their livery colours out of kilter; making them work in real life but being a flop on television or in photographs. That is why, as Aston Martin’s creative officer Marek Reichman has explained, the final choice on the exact type of green used was something that needed a lot of thought put in to. “It’s been a long journey actually,” explained Reichman, who has designed Aston Martin’s road cars for the past 16 years. “Colour is something so important. How you perceive colour, how you perceive colour on screen, how you perceive colour in person in sunlight, and also on a grey day at Silverstone, it’s a really, really important factor. “We have spent 12 months developing a colour. We’ve gone through numerous iterations on the livery – and it went up to the 59th minute of the 11th hour with detail changes to get everything right. “I think when you see the car, it’s spectacular. That’s all we can hope for. And it will be the most beautiful colour on the grid.” The final choice of green appears on the lighter side on the scale of options that Aston Martin could have chosen, but there were a range of factors beyond the actual colour choice itself that needed to be weighed up too. “I wish it was as easy as looking at Pantone colours and picking the right one,” explained Reichman, who kept in close contact with F1 team boss Otmar Szafnauer as the work progressed. “Developing the paint colour itself is so complex, because we have to translate that onto our road cars as well. It’s not just developing a colour for the livery that sits on the F1 car, because people will say that they want it on their road cars when they see it. “So you have to go through a full development process, which includes repeatability, damageability, repairability, etc, etc. “And obviously, in thinking about the F1 car, I’ve got to consider Otmar’s needs for weight. You don’t want to be painting a heavy paint. So we’ve had to look at that as well. “Plus, how do you get the reflective nature of the beautiful colour with the technology that we know we can paint onto an F1 car, and then put through our spray guns to put it onto a road going car as well.” Reichman also says that Aston Martin had to go through some pretty extensive testing of the paints in the real world to check that the final colour worked as well on television and in photos as it does when seen in the flesh. “How we make sure it works in terms of red, green, and blue values on the screen is literally filming the panels and then looking at them through computer screens,” he said. “You use the right 4K camera technologies, and 3D camera technologies, all of that we have because that’s the world we now live in in terms of augmentation, and how you replicate something in the world of design. “Most of our [car] interiors now are developed in CAD and we don’t actually do physical play models. So we have a high capability to simulate both colour, shape and form and ask the computer, is this colour corrected for the eye? And that’s how we’ve done it. “But it’s been a long process, because you have to make sure that when people are passionate about colour, and they happen to come from the world of fashion in some instances and they know their colours, they love what you’ve done.” The final judgement on whether the Aston Martin livery is a hit or a miss will be argued out over social media for days to come. And, while modern F1 liveries are often criticised by fans as not being as good as iconic cars from the past, Reichman says there is only one true judge of what a beautiful F1 car is – but he wants the AMR21 to go beyond that. “Always as an aesthete, you’re looking for things to be more beautiful,” he said. “But I’m going to steal a line from Otmar: fast is beautiful and I absolutely agree. “So there’s always more than one answer to a problem and how you resolve it. Only a few weeks ago, I was looking at the Jordan that came out of the same factory that Otmar is in now and that’s a beautiful car. “I think for sure, you always wish things would be more aesthetically pleasing because I just think people stare when something is beautiful. They stare and they’re in awe. And I think that’s always a hope.” [embedded content] shares comments

Szafnauer: Aston Martin will get the best out of Vettel

Vettel finished 13th in the points last year, his worst position since his rookie BMW/Toro Rosso part-season in 2007. His tally of 33 points last year was barely one third of that team-mate Charles Leclerc scored, and Vettel admitted he considered retirement before signing with Aston Martin for 2021. But Szafnauer believes he can create an environment for Vettel at Aston Martin for him to thrive once more, and is willing to put an “arm around his shoulder” if necessary. “I’ve always said, and will continue to say so, at 33 years old you don’t forget how to drive a Formula 1 car fast,” said Szafnauer on a call with select media including Autosport. “So it’s got to be other things. And we will work tirelessly to make sure that we don’t introduce those things, and actually alleviate them. “An arm around the shoulder means that everybody’s listening to his wants and his needs. And we’ll work hard to make sure the car is to his liking and the setup is like he wants it. “We’ve got two drivers to look after. And if we treat them equally, which in the past we’ve been really good at doing and I anticipate we’ll do that in the future as well, I think that’s all it takes with Seb. And then if he doesn’t overdrive the car, drives like he can, and we will definitely get the best out of him.” Szafnauer says his other driver, Lance Stroll, will have to bring his A-game to face this new challenge, after being beaten in the championship in his two years with Racing Point by outgoing team-mate Sergio Perez. “To beat Sebastian Vettel, you’re gonna have to work hard,” he said. “Sebastian’s got a great work ethic. And we’re working really hard to make sure that Sebastian feels comfortable at our team, and we get him back up to his best. So it’ll be very interesting. “Does [Lance] have the wherewithal to do it? Absolutely. But, like I said, it’s going to take a lot of hard work. And I would imagine Sebastian is going to also try to beat his team-mate.” Szafnauer also clarified exactly what happened when he was spotted giving Vettel a lift in his Ferrari Pista road car to a petrol station during the British Grand Prix weekend last year, saying it unfolded as Sebastian had explained at the time. He said: “We drove to the gas station because of the car I was driving, and he had a similar one. He doesn’t have a similar one anymore! Because he sold them all. “But, yeah, that was the reason for the drive. And I think he was going off to do, if I remember right, some mountain biking in Wales and his direction was the same direction that I was going in. And we were both stopping at the fuel station. So he said, ‘Well, I’ll jump in with you.’ “And I’ve known Seb, gosh, for 20-plus years now, before he was in Formula 1, when he was still a BMW driver. So he’s been a friend for a long time. And I’ve known his parents for a while as well. So, it wasn’t anything different than what he said.” shares comments

Rebranded Aston Martin unveils 2021 F1 car

Aston Martin has revealed its new Formula 1 car ahead of the 2021 season, marking the return of the constructor to the grid after 61 years away. Following the rebranding of the Racing Point team over the winter, Aston Martin launched the AMR21 at an event on Wednesday, revealing the hotly-anticipated new livery. The team has adopted the British racing green colour that has long been teased, as well as retaining some pink elements that Racing Point was known for through sponsor BWT. Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel made his first public appearance with the team at the event following his winter move from Ferrari, joining new team-mate Lance Stroll. Both drivers will sample the new Aston Martin F1 car for the first time on Thursday when it completes a shakedown during a Silverstone filming day. The AMR21 car is an evolution of last year’s RP20, following the freeze on wholesale development under the technical regulations in a bid to cut costs amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Technical director Andrew Green said the focus for the team over the winter had been on recovering the downforce lost under the rule changes for 2021, as well as updating the rear of the car to Mercedes’ 2020-spec. “The main drive in performance is aerodynamics, so there’s obviously a big push on the aerodynamic side,” Green explained to select media including Autosport. “The regulation change that came through late last year had a big effect on the aero performance and we spent the winter trying to try to recover the losses from the changes in the regulations. “That’s been a big focus. “We’ve changed the rear of the car now to the 2020 suspension as supplied by Mercedes. “That was always the plan. So those are the two main areas that we’ve been focused on over the winter.” amr21-1 Aston Martin will look to build on an impressive year for Racing Point in 2020 during which the team finished fourth in the constructors’ championship, and scored its first victory at the Sakhir Grand Prix. Team principal Otmar Szafnauer outlined the goals for Aston Martin in 2021, targeting a continuation of its late-season form from last year and greater consistency over the season. “Success would be to start the season where we left off,” Szafnauer said. “We were very competitive in the races towards the end of last year. “Unfortunately, we had a few crucial engine failures towards the end, which meant we didn’t extract all the points we could have out of that performing car. “If we can start with that car performance where we left off, but do a better job scoring points more regularly, and be a more consistent points scorer, I think that would be a success for us.” [embedded content] shares comments

Watch Aston Martin 2021 Formula 1 car launch, live at 3pm

[embedded content] Aston Martin will unveil its first Formula 1 car for 61 years on Wednesday afternoon, as the team presents the AMR21 ahead of the new season. Following the rebranding of the Racing Point squad over the winter, Aston Martin will turn its car a shade of British racing green in 2021 as part of a raft of changes at the squad. The team owned by Lawrence Stroll has signed four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel from Ferrari for the coming season, acting as a statement of intent to its ambitions. Vettel will partner Lance Stroll, who enters 2021 off the back of his best season in F1 to date as he scored two podium finishes and his maiden pole position in qualifying for the Turkish Grand Prix. PLUS: The driver gap Aston Martin must address in F1 2021  Plans are in place for a new factory at Silverstone, while a raft of sponsors have joined ahead of the Aston Martin launch, as the famed British manufacturer returns to the F1 grid for the first time since 1960. You can watch Aston Martin unveil its new car ahead of the new season on Autosport by watching on the player above. shares comments

Ferrari Le Mans Hypercar, Aston Martin AMR21, Volvo subcompact crossover: Car News Headlines

Ferrari is out testing what’s likely to be the successor to the LaFerrari, but this time the Ferrari flagship could also spawn a racing variant. That’s because Ferrari is set to enter the new Le Mans Hypercar class of the World Endurance Championship in 2023.
Aston Martin is returning to Formula One for the first time since 1960 and has a multiple world champion signed as a driver. We’re talking about Sebastian Vettel, who will be driving Aston Martin’s new AMR21 together with Lance Stroll.
Volvo is set to expand its lineup by going smaller rather than bigger. The automaker’s CEO has just confirmed that a crossover smaller than the current XC40 compact crossover is coming.
You’ll find these stories and more in today’s car news, right here at Motor Authority.
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Meet the AMR21: First Aston Martin F1 car in 60 years revealed

Aston Martin is returning to the Formula One grid in 2021 for the first time in over 60 years via a rebranding of the Racing Point team.
Aston Martin’s team, officially known as Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team thanks to a sponsorship deal with IT services provider Cognizant, on Wednesday unveiled its new race car. Alfa Romeo, Alpine, McLaren and Mercedes-Benz AMG have also shown their new cars.
Called the AMR21, Aston Martin’s car is an evolution of Racing Point’s RP20 from the previous season, and naturally it’s been decked out in green. There are also some pink accents to highlight the sponsorship of water technologies company BWT.
2021 Aston Martin AMR21 Formula One race car
Powering the AMR21 is a power unit sourced from Mercedes-Benz AMG, reflecting a strategy Aston Martin is also using for some of its road cars. The powertrain in the AMR21 consists of a 1.6-liter turbocharged V-6 working with two motor-generators, one integrated with the turbocharger and the other with the engine in the main driveline.
Confirmed drivers are four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll. Stroll’s father Lawrence Stroll is both chairman of Aston Martin and the Aston Martin F1 team. Otmar Szafnauer has been named CEO and team principal of the team.
The AMR21 will stretch its legs for the first time at a promotional event to be held Thursday at the Silverstone Circuit in the United Kingdom, where Aston Martin’s F1 team is located. The team is using Racing Point’s former digs but will move into a new 200,000-square-foot facility under under construction at the same site around mid-2022.
Lance Stroll (left) and Sebastian Vettel
The pre-season tests are scheduled for Mar. 12-14 in Bahrain ahead of the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix on Mar. 28. The season was meant to start as always with the Australian Grand Prix but due to Covid-19 restrictions the Australian race has been delayed until November.
Aston Martin’s first and only stint in F1 started in 1959 and ended the following year. The team competed with the DBR4 race car (and later the DBR5) and listed Carroll Shelby and Roy Salvadori as drivers. The team would have just five starts over the two years of competition and ultimately pulled out to focus on sports car racing, having failed to score any points.
Speaking of sports car racing, Aston Martin last December announced its exit from the World Endurance Championship, where it had competed in the GTE class with a race car based on its Vantage sports car. It means the automaker is no longer competing in sports car racing, though it will still build Vantage-based race cars for customer teams.

Alfa Romeo, Alpine, McLaren and Mercedes-Benz AMG show 2021 Formula One cars

The 2021 Formula One World Championship is almost upon us and competing teams are showing off their new race cars.
Of the actual automakers competing this season, Mercedes-Benz AMG (W12 E Performance), McLaren (MCL35M), Alpine (A521) and Alfa Romeo (C41) have all shown their contenders. Still to go is Aston Martin which will reveal its car on Wednesday and Ferrari which plans to reveal its car on March 10.
Aston Martin and Alpine are new names this season. Aston Martin, which will use a Mercedes power unit, is basically a rebranded Racing Point. Alpine, too, is simply a rebranding of the previous Renault team, and as a result will use a Renault power unit also rebranded as an Alpine.
2021 Alpine A521 Formula One race car
F1 was due to introduce major changes to the car design for 2021 but organizers last year decided to delay this until the 2022 season due to the hardship experienced by many teams from the Covid-19 situation. Instead, teams were allowed to carry over the 2020 design into 2021.
There have been some key changes in the regulations surrounding the aerodynamics, though. In particular are the rules for the outer floor design, which have been implemented to reduce downforce and in turn reduce lap times. Overcoming this has been the main challenge for teams in designing their 2021 cars.
In addition, Pirelli is supplying tires with a tougher but heavier compound. As a result, organizers have increased the minimum weight for the cars by about 13 pounds.
2021 McLaren MCL35M Formula One race car2021 McLaren MCL35M Formula One race car2021 McLaren MCL35M Formula One race car
All cars feature a similar power unit configuration. It consists of a 1.6-liter turbocharged V-6 working with two motor-generators, one integrated with the turbocharger and the other with the engine in the main driveline. Power unit suppliers this season include Alpine, Ferrari, Honda and Mercedes.
The pre-season tests are scheduled for Mar. 12-14 in Bahrain ahead of the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix on Mar. 28. The season was meant to start as always with the Australian Grand Prix but due to Covid-19 restrictions the Australian race has been delayed until November.
Despite the ongoing Covid-19 situation, F1 organizers are still hopeful of holding a record 23 rounds this season, with a new Saudi Arabian Grand Prix joining the calendar, as well as the Dutch Grand Prix making a return. The Chinese Grand Prix and a proposed Vietnamese Grand Prix are no longer happening this season, with special Emilia Romagna Grand Prix and Portuguese Grand Prix rounds set to fill in.

Aston Martin commits to current sports cars, mid-engine Vanquish plans

Aston Martin last week held an investor presentation detailing its 2020 financial results, during which new CEO Tobias Moers outlined some of the automaker’s future plans.
For instance we learned that the Valkyrie hypercar will finally start deliveries around the middle of 2021, and will be followed by the Valhalla hypercar—likely with a new hybrid powertrain using Mercedes-Benz technology—in the second half of 2023.
Moers also confirmed that Aston Martin will eventually launch a mid-engine Vanquish supercar, which his predecessor, Andy Palmer, unveiled as a concept at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show. The new Vanquish was originally slated to arrive in 2022 but will now likely show up a couple of years after that date. An updated timeline hasn’t been given.
2020 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante
In the same presentation, Moers said Aston Martin’s current lineup of front-engine sports cars will be given a “full refresh.” The list includes the Vantage, DB11 and DBS Superleggera.
They are all set to receive Mercedes technology, which could include electronic driver-assist features and possibly more powertrains (the V-8 is already sourced from Mercedes-Benz AMG). Sadly, their somewhat laggy infotainment systems with outdated graphics won’t be updated until 2023 or 2024 at the earliest.
Moers also confirmed plans for a plug-in hybrid powertrain to be offered in the DBX SUV starting in 2023. Aston Martin’s first battery-electric vehicle will arrive in 2025, and by 2030 more than 90% of the automaker’s lineup will be electrified.

Magazine: Can Red Bull stop Mercedes in F1 this year?

Can Red Bull stop Mercedes? Will Lewis Hamilton retire? Can Sebastian Vettel resurrect his Formula 1 career at Aston Martin?Sky pundit and ex-F1 racer Karun Chandhok takes on these questions and more in this week’s Autosport magazine, out today (25 February).In our now traditional annual Big Questions piece, Chandhok looks at the key storylines of 2021, from the fight at the front to the battle of the rookies and the controversial 23-race F1 calendar.Technical Editor Jake Boxall-Legge also casts his eye over the new cars as the 2021 F1 grid begins to take shape. And Alex Albon talks to Grand Prix Editor Alex Kalinauckas about how he plans to get back to F1, having lost his Red Bull seat to Sergio Perez.The seventh Formula E season is about to kick off in Saudi Arabia and there are plenty of subplots in the all-electric series. Matt Kew is your guide – for both the on-track and off-track drama.The Arctic Rally has a long and fine history, and will finally host the World Rally Championship this week. David Evans looks at what makes it so special and speaks to Toyota stars Elfyn Evans and Kalle Rovanpera about the appeals and challenges of the snow event.Jimmie Johnson is a NASCAR legend, with seven top-tier titles and 83 victories to his name despite troubled recent campaigns. This year he makes the switch to IndyCar with Chip Ganassi Racing and he tells David Malsher-Lopez why he is taking on a single-seater career at the age of 45.Sportscar racing could be on the brink of another golden era as new regulations arrive and G-Drive boss Roman Rusinov explains to us why he believes his Aurus-affiliated LMP2 squad is well placed to take advantage of the increased competition, fresh from another Asian Le Mans Series title last weekend.There’s also all the usual national news from the UK club racing scene, including a look at what the new national lockdown plan means for motorsport.Want Autosport magazine delivered to your door each week? Subscribe today and never miss your weekly fix of motorsport: