Says it's "encouraged" by recent meetings
Formula 1 is set to introduce new engine rules in 2021, and when it does, there’s a good chance Aston Martin will become an engine supplier. We first heard the British automaker was interested back in September, but F1 teams recently met with the FIA and potential engine suppliers to talk about new rules. At the end of the meeting, Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer said he liked what he heard.
“Aston Martin attended the recent FIA meeting and has been deeply involved through its submissions on potential solutions,” Palmer told Motorsport.com. “We are encouraged by the directions being taken and continue to study a potential Aston Martin solution for 2021.” But before Aston Martin can justify signing on, it needs to make sure it can afford to, and that’s entirely dependent on how the new rules are written. “The key will be how development costs are controlled to make participation by independent engine suppliers a viable possibility,” said Palmer.
Still, Aston Martin has taken several steps toward making its participation a reality. It’s brought on a number of people who have previous experience in F1, including Ferrari’s former F1 engine chief, Luca Marmorini. Between stints at Ferrari, Marmorini also ran Toyota’s F1 engine and electronics program, so he has significant F1 engine experience. As of mid-October, though, Marmorini was only a consultant for Aston Martin, not a full-time employee.
“We have not hired anyone to work full time on this and the power unit remains an area of study for the company, consistent with previous comments and our attendance at the Formula 1 Power Unit Working Group meetings,” a spokesperson told Motorsport.com at the time.
If Aston Martin finally does make the decision to join F1 as an engine supplier, expect Red Bull Racing to be the first team to use the British automaker’s powerplant, as the two companies entered a sponsorship deal earlier this year.