Aston Martin has agreed a new partnership with Red Bull Racing after months of discussion about a possible involvement in F1.
The news will come as a disappointment to Force India, who had tried for months to pull off a similar deal.
The Aston brand was first associated with RBR last summer, when the option of the team running Mercedes power units in 2016, possibly with Aston branding, was discussed. Mercedes made it clear that such a deal couldn’t happen and Aston’s focus then switched to other teams, notably Williams and Force India.
In December Aston’s director of marketing and communications Simon Sproule told this writer: “We have not made any decision. Also have to figure out what our path forward in sportscar racing is, and where we go with that. We are not looking at F1 in isolation.”
Discussions with Force India stalled over the winter, although the team management has indicated until recently that it was hopeful of still doing a deal at some point in the future.
However dialogue between Aston and RBR had continued in the background all along, and the deal has finally been completed. It’s been helped along by the fact that both Aston CEO Andy Palmer and marketing boss Sproule were involved with an earlier RBR partnership when they were working at Infiniti.
An Aston tie-up with Red Bull is no surprise given that Adrian Newey has been involved with a road car project for some time, and it’s logical that the project forms the background to the F1 deal.
The new arrangement also links Aston to another premium brand in RBR sponsor TAG Heuer,, to the mutual benefit of both.