Aston Martin Becoming An F1 Engine Supplier Is About As Likely As The Sky Falling On Your Head
Aston Martin CEO, Andy Palmer, has said his company is on standby to supply Red Bull with engines should Honda vacate F1. If I were a Honda F1 employee or anyone in the Honda F1 hierarchy I would take such a comment as an insult. Palmer sounds as though he is questioning Honda’s commitment and desire. However, the likely hood of Aston Martin supplying Red Bull with engines is as remote as being stuck on a desert island with Barney the dinosaur.
Honda has spent hundreds of millions of dollars since it returned to F1 in 2015. Initially, it was an embarrassing struggle for a manufacture with a strong pedigree in the sport. They had to unlearn what they had learned. With Red Bull Racing, Honda is becoming Honda again. Verstappen’s win in Austria was a reminder the dragon is breathing fire again.
Could Aston Martin replace Honda as an engine supplier to Red Bull? No is the answer. Aston Martin does not have the resources let alone the money to design from scratch, test, build and race an F1 quality engine.
Aston Martin is much more interested in supplying its venture capital backers with cash injections through the flotation of the company on the stock markets. However, Share prices have plunged 62% since its high profile trading debut last October.
Recently, sales of Aston Martin road cars has fallen 22%. Business analysts believe Aston Martin requires at least $1.25bn in fresh capital to compete with Ferrari’s road car division. So where will Andy Palmer get the investment from to build an F1 engine?
The whole Red Bull Aston Martin partnership seems odd. Aston Martin is part-owned by Daimler Benz, makers of Mercedes Benz. It sends a confusing message, Aston Martin sponsoring a Japanese car brand/engine supplier?
The only way for Aston Martin to ever supply any F1 team is to ask it’s friends over at Mercedes for an engine supply deal. In other words a re-branding exercise such as the one that exists between Alfa Romeo and Ferrari.
That would mean Red Bull using Mercedes engine power. I don’t think Mercedes would be too keen on forming such a relationship right now or the near future. So what is The Aston Martin CEO thinking here? It’s marketing, a publicity stunt.
Palmer knows Aston Martin will never be able to supply Red Bull with F1 engines. Or any other team. What he is doing is selling Aston Martin by using Red Bull and F1 as his pulpit from which to preach the greatness of Aston Martin.