Aston Martin linked to Red Bull-Mercedes deal

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Aston Martin, which last appeared in F1 as a constructor 55 years ago, could make a return in a tie-up with Red Bull which would see the team using Mercedes engines.


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Aston Martin in shock talks to return to F1 with Red Bull Racing (Autocar)

"The British sports car manufacturer is in talks over a deal to become a brand partner with four-time world champion Red Bull Racing in exchange for brokering a deal for the team to run the championship winning Mercedes-Benz F1 engine."

Vettel against additional Saturday F1 races (Autosport)

Jenson Button: "It's not worth even commenting on, because it's not going to happen."

Ecclestone hints at deal to buy F1 back (Motorsport)

"Asked if he was interested in buying F1 back, Ecclestone said: 'We're talking.'"

Toto Wolff warns F1 stakeholders their misguided criticism is harming the sport (The Guardian)

"We should also do more stuff with the drivers. We’ve said to Bernie to bring the drivers downtown and show them to the people."

Things will get worse before getting better - Alonso (ESPN)

"In Hungary it's going to be like this, Belgium will be worse, probably in Monza will be worse."

Processions and profits have brought F1 to the edge of the abyss (The Independent)

"There is a structural difficulty the size of Texas besetting the leadership of the sport."

How to solve the Formula One crisis - new leaders, faster cars and more characters (The Telegraph)

Jean Todt: "To get agreement in Formula One is probably the most difficult thing I have seen."

Guenther Steiner - BBC Radio Oxford (Haas via Soundcloud)

"I think we've got the credibility now out there because they see us being there but not just wanting to do something quick and dirty going in. We looked at other people and learned the lessons, that's the only thing I can say, and I think people which are in Formula One see that we are serious."


Comment of the day

Is there a solution which can allow circuits to safely prevent both car and bike racers from gaining an advantage by going off the track?

At the moment, FIM requires circuits to be built with smooth verges, so basically artificial grass or asphalt.

In my opinion, the ideal solution for circuits graded for both car and bike races is to have kerb stones which act as a verge for bike races, i.e. bikes will only go onto the kerb stones if they absolutely need to.

Meanwhile, cars can ride the kerb stones and will probably gain some lap time while riding it, with grass running along the edge of the kerb stones. Anyway, something like that. The FIA and FIM should work together to figure this out.

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On this day in F1

On this day in 1970 Jochen Rindt won the French Grand Prix on the undulating Clermont-Ferrand circuit.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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73 comments on “Aston Martin linked to Red Bull-Mercedes deal”

  1. I adore Aston Martin, and would love to see them in F1.

    (OK, so, clearly a “but” is coming)

    But with Red Bull?

    Dunno about anyone else, but for me, such a partnership would devalue Aston Martin quite badly. A brand like Aston Martin associating with a nasty product like Red Bull is horrible, IMHO. Fantastic for Red Bull, awful for Aston.

    Please, no.

    1. Especially if/when Horner starts whinging about this and that

    2. Bond does not need wings.

      1. @bullmello well, it’s not a bad counter-attack to Bond’s usual Martinis (Williams) :P

        But yeah… I can see Bond asking for a drink, being given that can of vomit marketed as Red Bull, and killing the barman right there for his mistake.

        1. @fer-no65 That makes so much sense from a sponsor synergy POV! It could have been up & running since last year..

          @bullmello I can only think that they are looking for the total exposure that being with Red Bull would add, as @pastaman says, over increased synergy.

          Would it dilute their brand? ‘Best of British’ and ‘Bond: Martini, shaken, not stirred’ perfectly matches Williams.. unless that is the point, to increase their brand’s appeal to a younger generation? Not like they can really afford them though..

    3. i don’t see why not, even if this year they haven’t the best chassis, it was true last year. Maybe with a better PU and a better chassis than this year they can reach Williams and Ferrari. so, why not? (and, if they fail, Horner won’t be able to say that the problems come down to their PU)

    4. Red bull are a front running team with money, why wouldn’t Aston want to talk to them if they’re interested in F1 aspirations? The two questions I have are, how serious are Aston, in F1 its either all in or nothing; and Would Mercedes offer one of their direct competitors the same engine? I’d imagine an RBR with a Mercedes engine might just twig the interest in Adrian Newey to come back and design a weapon.

      1. Newey left because of the restrictions that tore up the opportunity to build a weapon, a handed down Mercedes PU isn’t going to change that.

    5. pastaman (@)
      5th July 2015, 2:10

      You do realize that Red Bull is probably the most pervasive and recognizable brand in all forms of motorsport across the globe? Who would not like to be associated with that?

    6. Ideally Aston would buy out toro rosso..

  2. So Aston Martin actually isn’t coming to F1 at all. It’ll just be their name plastered over a car, which other than that, has nothing to do with them…

    1. Just like Infiniti then.

    2. This is how it worked…Aston Martin approached Red Bull with the idea. Mercedes own 10% of Aston Martin therefore RBR will get the Merc engine and in return Red Bull will have to plaster the Aston Martin branding.

  3. Oh Clermont-Ferrand! Great GPL memories.

    1. Those really were the days, visibly different chassis, V12s, V8s, from multiple makers on display, fast but fragile V slower but reliable, powerslides through corners, a full field, heroic drivers, what more could you ask for?

      (Safety of course, but safety is not incompatible with the rest.)

      1. i could ask for more thrilling races. In those days, 6 to 8 cars would finish the race and the winner would be more than a half lap over the 2nd and a whole lap and a half to the third.. I agree, the cars were a thing of beauty, but for the racing itself, no, thanks…

        1. 13/14 finished, 5 different teams in 1st. 5 places, 2nd place = +7.6 seconds, 3rd and 4th. less than a second apart, 0.5 seconds covers 5th,6th.7th.
          Not the dull parade you have envisioned.

          1. Compare to Austria 2015, surprised?

          2. @matiascasali True, as @hohum says, there was variety. From draft races like Reims or Monza, to ultimate skill tracks like Spa or Nurburgring, where Clark could qualify seconds clear simply on driver skill alone.

            Watching ‘Grand Prix’ (1966) tonight was so refreshing. It made me think of all our movie ideas for recent F1. Promotion is something badly needed!

          3. @hohum I agree. Unfortunately what makes a lot of sense for me and you is the opposite of what most people want. Remember the start of 2012 and 2013? People complained it was “too random” “My favourite driver isn’t winning”. For me all is well when there’s merit. The big teams raise wall with massive budgets and lock the rulebook to strengthen their position, stranglehold the sport with their sponsor backing and that’s not merit to me.

      2. Watch the video about 1:02 – 1:06. THAT’S what we want from the racing, please!
        Harder tyres, less downforce, whatever it takes: if that’s what’s regularly happening on the track, viewer numbers will soon start climbing again.

    2. @peartree I’d say “such a difficult track !” but that sim was difficult even on a straight line…

      1. @peartree @fer-no65 True, it took me 4 years’ worth of dial in to get to WR levels.. Norbert Michelisz by comparison took 1.5 years. That’s a real indicator of talent!

        It’s also interesting to compare Vettel’s dial in to top form in 2011. 4 years as well..

        1. In 2011, Vettel hasn’t been racing for 4 years.

  4. On the face of it, it’s a hugely exciting prospect to see Aston in F1. But I’m not so sure this is that big a deal. I fail to see how this partnership will be any different to the current Infiniti partnership. For me, the most interesting part of this story is the switch to Mercedes engines. It’s interesting that Red Bull would rather be a Mercedes customer than continue a works partnership with Renault (or try for a new one elsewhere), and these days it’s almost unthinkable to win the championship without a works supplier. Although having said that, Red Bull were technically customers when they won their first two championships, so it’s not completely impossible…

    For me, though, the bottom line is that Red Bull will still make the cars, Mercedes will make the engines, while Aston Martin will get its name painted on the cars and not much more.

  5. The engines supplied to red bull will most probably be turned down to give less horsepower that the Mercedes works team engine.A few weeks ago Ferrari said they were willing to supply red bull with the power units but they said they would be 20-30 HP down on power.

    1. why mercedes would do that with red bull if they’re not doing it to williams, force india or lotus?

      1. They are.

        1. Why is this even legal, its not sporting at all. If this is changed, we might see more close competition.

        2. Evidence, please.

    2. Pretty sure there is a rule that says they cant do that, and i highly doubt Williams would have got pole last year at the Red bull ring if they were 20-30hp down

      1. The way I understand it is that the engine and the computer program that control the engine are both equally important. What I read somewhere is that while Mercedes would give you 100% the same engine they would almost certainly not give you the software they use with all the different fuel saving and power boost programs and this can make all the difference in what one team can do with exactly the same engine.

      2. Did you watch the quali in Austria last year?

    3. if the mercedes engines for redbull are detuned 20-30hp, then perfect! so much better then 110hp down with renault. in the v8 era, renault were always about 30hp down, and redbull still managed to win.

  6. I guess @andae23 is not a Motogp fan or he would realise that GP riders don’t like kerbs because they occasionally find themselves sliding over them on their bum at 150kph.

  7. Can’t Nissan make them an engine?

    1. Plan B ?

    2. not unless the FIA let them use a front engined car :P

  8. only 6 comments?

    RBR chassis w/ a Merc engine? *EPIC*

    1. I think the RBR chassis no longer has the dominance it used to, THAT GUY is now building boats :P

      1. Except he is not building boats. The new AC48 rule is a very, very tight box rule. Very close to a one design. The only open aspect of the new rule is the foils and there are a few Newey type foil guys out there already. I don’t think they will let him touch the foils. The aero is even less open than F1.

  9. Michal (@michal2009b)
    5th July 2015, 1:26

    Do you agree with JV’s quote “The cars look as if they are asleep. You can’t tell if a driver is pushing or not”? Sums up my perception of modern (2014+) era.

    1. @michal2009b If you look at the front running cars, Mercedes in the last couple of years, and in the past 4 years, RBR, and then prior to that every championship winning car for many decades, they all look like they run on rails. This isn’t a new phenomena, when you look back at 1994/95 when Schumacher won the WDC in the Benetton, that car always looked planted. Especially early 94, that is why Senna struggled in Brazil, his car on passive suspension was not settled. Granted when anyone else drove that Benetton they seem to have too much oversteer and thought the car was possessed, but it worked for Schumacher and he made the car look steady.

      1. *whisper* traction control…

    2. I do agree, it doesn’t help when there is no sound either. When watching quali last night I found it hard to differentiate between cars that were pushing and cars that were not.

    3. @michal2009b When/where did he say that?

      1. He said that before 2014 season. “The cars look as if they are asleep, the cars look terrible and they don’t look easy to drive. And you can’t tell if a driver is driving hard.

  10. Aston Martin eh? Silly move I believe to associate themselves with F1 and Redbull. I guess there’s no faith in the Honda engine then and we will see a Mercedes and Ferrari powered field soon? Redbull has lost their way, Toro Rosso have confirmed that, I don’t believe a Mercedes supplied engine will reclaim the dominance they had and nor do I think Christian Horner will be around for it. Yes they need something, I suggest they stop moaning and start producing.

  11. Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Mercedes-Benz?

    Sounds about right.

    1. pastaman (@)
      5th July 2015, 2:14

      Mercedes, just Mercedes.

  12. Andy Dickinson
    5th July 2015, 2:24

    Well in some ways the Aston Martin – Mercedes Engined F1 idea isn’t that ludicrous. Bear in mind that the next generation of Aston Martin road cars will be equipped with Mercedes AMG engines, so it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that should Aston be seriously considering a move into F1, that their F1 cars shouldn’t be powered by the same manufacturer as their road going cars. But on the other hand I do agree that the sound of the Red Bull and Aston Martin brands being combined does sit rather strangely. To me, their brands completely juxtapose one another – both seek the “cool factor” but in totally different ways, with completely different target demographics.

    Call me cynical. But maybe Red Bull are offering a fantastic deal to Aston, just to get rid of their second-rate power unit?!

  13. Ok so last week Alonso said no more then 6 races from now and they will be at the top. NOW today he says each next race will be worse and worse, all the way to monza. Way to walk a strait line Alonso!

    My four year old makes more sense, seriously!

  14. maarten.f1 (@)
    5th July 2015, 6:13

    I almost thought for a moment that Verstappen would tweet a picture of his telemetry :)

    As for Jean Todt, in my opinion he should be the last person to complain about how difficult it is to get an agreement in F1. He sold out to Bernie, and now the FIA has lost any direct control over the sport.

  15. I wonder if Ricciardo is so keen to go to Ferrari now?

    1. Of course he is. Ferrari is a work’s team, don’t forget, so with Ferrari he actually has a chance at a world championship. @uan

    2. I think Ferrari should consider Kvyat out of 4 RB drivers.

  16. I wonder what will happen to Toro Rosso then…

  17. I can’t believe Mercedes are walking into having their engine bitched about every weekend. Horner will instantly be claiming the ones he gets aren’t quite as good. I don’t see anything in it for Merc – either they lose on track or they lose in the media. Or both.

    1. @lockup Did you confuse Mercedes with Renault there for a moment?

      Mercedes getting bitched about by teams that are losing to them is hardly negative press. Oh and winning everything kind of looks good too…

      1. @psynrg history tells us that if Horner loses to Mercedes he’ll blame the engines they gave him and suggest they’re being unfair/unsporting/sneaky and other assorted Bad Brand Values.

        Or as Ghosn says if he wins he’ll give all the credit to his chassis.

        So I don’t see an upside for Mercedes getting involved with Red Bull. If they want to be less dominant they could help Williams, or even Renault or Honda.

  18. For that to happen, Mercedes would first have to drop one of their current customer team, so which team will that be?

    Currently the rules does not allow any manufacturer to supply more than 4 teams, including the factory team.

    1. Lotus, when they get bought by Renault, perhaps.

  19. Aston-Martin already gives you wings, no need for soft drinks.
    I don’t understand why Aston+Red Bull (the F1 team part) could possibly be seen as a good idea.
    Aston + RB (high profile world-wide sports promoters) sounds like a win.
    So maybe it makes a bit of sense, but I’m struggling to see it.

  20. Aston Martin joining F1 will be a positive for the brand it is simple as that. If the media reports that a Mercedes, a Ferrari and an Aston Martin are fighting for a win (in a dream scenario) then interest in the sport increases, the marketing of the sport increases and makes the whole sport become in essence better.

    However, as is custom with hypothetical additions to F1, is Aston Martin joining up with Red Bull good for Aston Martin? Aston Martin is regularly voted one of the ‘coolest’ brands in the world, they have an image of being sophisticated and classy, so would joining up with a company famous for ‘extreme’ sports, sugary sticky drinks and most recently moaning be beneficial for them?

  21. Settle down everyone. Says Mr Lauda. No Mercedes for Red Bull.

  22. “Sebastian misses four apexes on a single lap and still goes quickest. He goes off and he still goes quickest. And I think ‘Holy crap, I couldn’t do that lap even if I was on the limit’. His car is just that far ahead of everyone else’s. They made such a big step for some reason.”
    – Lewis Hamilton, 2012

    1. swap Sebastian’s name to Lewis, and put that quote at qualifying in Austria in the last race!!

  23. some sort of oily astroturf outside the white lines instead of kerbs. that will probably discourage drivers from exceeding the track limits.

  24. Thanks for COTD, Keith :)

  25. So F1 will end up with a team with a Honda engine, a team with a Ferrari engine & everyone else with a Mercedes engine, nothing more than a one make series basically.

    Can F1 get any lower?

    1. Alex McFarlane
      5th July 2015, 15:15

      Might not be a bad thing, the Cosworth DFV was ubiquitous in F1 at one point and having a fast, reliable and relatively cheap engine allowed many smaller teams to enter the sport and concentrate their budgets on other aspects of the car.

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