Aston Martin: A very positive step in the right direction

Andy Palmer, Christian Horner

Formula 1’s future plans would make it easier for Aston Martin to enter the pinnacle one day in the future as an engine supplier, the British sportscar maker’s chief executive Andy Palmer said on Friday.

The century-old luxury marque, whose road cars are associated with fictional British secret service agent James Bond, are currently title sponsors of former champions Red Bull who use engines provided by Renault but are known to be seeking been seeking an alternative.

Formula 1’s commercial rights holders had set out their vision for the future beyond 2020 to team bosses at the Bahrain Grand Prix, second race of the season, earlier on Friday.

The main, broad points were for cheaper and simpler engines that would encourage new manufacturers, a cost cap to be implemented and a more balanced distribution of revenues.

“We are extremely pleased to hear today’s news regarding the future of Formula 1,” Palmer said on Twitter. “These prospective changes support many of the requirements needed for Aston Martin to enter the sport as an engine supplier. This is a very positive step in the right direction.”

The main points regarding power units were that they should be cheaper, simpler and louder with more power as well as reducing the need for grid penalties as a result of unreliability.

Formula 1 said the engine would remain a hybrid and must also be ‘road relevant’, allowing manufacturers to build unique and original power units.

The future rules must also ensure that ‘customer teams’ who buy their engines from a manufacturer are assured of the same performance as the works team.

Owned by Italian private equity fund Investindustrial and a group of Kuwaiti investors, Aston Martin in February delivered its first annual pre-tax profit since 2010 after last year’s sales reached a nine-year high.