In 2021, Aston Martin made a highly anticipated return to Formula One after a hiatus of over 60 years. The team rebranded from Racing Point to Aston Martin following Lawrence Stroll’s acquisition of the British luxury car manufacturer in 2018.
Aston Martin’s return to F1 is highly celebrated. It nowfeatures the iconic green livery adorning the grid for the first time since 1960.
Aston Martin’s F1 History
Aston Martin’s involvement in Formula One dates back to the 1950s, when the team (then known as David Brown Racing Department) competed in the sport as a constructor. The team started racing in Formula One entered Formula One with their open-wheel racing car called the DBR4,
Although The DBR4 was first built and tested in 1957, it did not enter the first race until 1959. The delay was because the team prioritized the development of the 1959 24 Hours of Le Man’s winner – the DBR1.
With the long lead time between build and deployment at the Dutch Grand Prix, the DBR4 was outdated and uncompetitive.
Despite this, their driver – Salvadori – achieved second place on the grid at the next Silverstone Grand Prix and finished the race in 6th position.
The revised DBR5 was built for the 1960 F1 season, and although it was based on the previous model, it was lighter and featured independent suspension. Despite this, the heavy front-mounted engine did not match the competing cars.
After a mediocre 1960 season, the team decided to leave F1 and concentrate on sports car racing.
Aston Martin – The Intervening Years
There were several attempts to revive the brand’s involvement in F1 over the intervening years. The most promising was when Aston Martin became a sponsor of the Red Bull F1 team.
Jordan Racing Team
The team can trace its current roots back to the Jordan (of Eddie Jordan fame) Grand Prix team that first entered F1 in 1991.
Jordan won 4 races in total and finished third in the 1999 Constructors’ Championship.
The Midland F1 Racing Team
Jordan was sold to the Midland Group in 2005.
In the middle of the 2006 season, the team was sold to Spyker Cars and was renamed Spyker F1.
Force India Team
Money difficulties resulted in Indian businessman Vijay Mallya buying the team for €88 million. Vijay renamed it the Force India Formula 1 Team.
The team remained in this guise until 2018.
It was a strong middle-placed team that enjoyed a succession of high-quality drivers.
The team’s achievements during this period are listed below.
|2008||India Force India Formula One Team||Adrian Sutil||0||10th|
|2009||India Force India Formula One Team||Adrian Sutil||13||9th|
|2010||India Force India Formula One Team||Adrian Sutil||68||7th|
|2011||India Force India Formula One Team||Adrian Sutil||69||6th|
|Paul di Resta|
|2012||India Sahara Force India F1 Team||Paul di Resta||109||7th|
|2013||India Sahara Force India F1 Team||Paul di Resta||77||6th|
|2014||India Sahara Force India F1 Team||Sergio Pérez||155||6th|
|2015||India Sahara Force India F1 Team||Sergio Pérez||136||5th|
|2016||India Sahara Force India F1 Team||Sergio Pérez||173||4th|
|2017||India Sahara Force India F1 Team||Sergio Pérez||187||4th|
|2018||India Sahara Force India F1 Team||Sergio Pérez|
Lawrence Stroll Saves Force India
The team was placed in provisional liquidation in 2018 at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Canadian Businessman, Lawrence Stroll, purchased the team and renamed it Force India Racing Point. Unfortunately, they could only buy the assets, resulting in them being excluded from the 2018 point tally.
Lawrence Stroll Company
Before the 2019 season, Stroll dropped the name “Force India,” They competed as the Racing Point F1 Team.
Lance Stroll, Lawrence’s son) was appointed as the second driver alongside Sergio Pérez. Sadly Esteban Ocon, who had started to show great potential, was dismissed and spent the 2019 season on the sidelines.
The team had mixed results in 2019.
Lawrence Stroll Merged Racing Point And Aston Martin
In 2020 Racing Point owner Lawrence Stroll purchased Aston Martin, the manufacturer.
In this process, he merged the racing point F1 team with Aston Martin and changed the name to Aston Martin. Their branding was completely changed, and the team’s colors moved from the Racing Point’s pink to British racing green.
The 2020 season improved, with the team regularly finishing in the top 10.
The 2021 Season
After a lapse of 61 years, Aston Martin finally returned to the Formula One grid as a constructor in 2021.
With Otmar Szafnauer being signed as the team principal, the iconic green livery was once again racing at the top of motorsport.
2021 was the beginning of a complete Repositioning for the team. The team signed Sebastian Vettel and launched the AMR21.
The Aston Martin AMR21 was Launched
The new Aston Martin AMR21 F1 car was introduced for the 2021 season.
The car featured the team’s iconic green livery, with splashes of pink (a nod to former title sponsor BWT) and white. The car was powered by a Mercedes engine.
The AMR21 was a solid package, and the team showed a promising pace during pre-season testing. However, the opening rounds of the 2021 season proved challenging for Aston Martin.
The team struggled to get to grips with the new aero regulations, which had been introduced to reduce downforce and make the cars slower. As a result, the team found themselves struggling for pace and languishing in the midfield.
Sebastian Vettel Joins Aston Martin
The team’s rebranding was accompanied by the signing of four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, who joined the team from Ferrari.
Vettel’s signing was seen as a major coup for the team, as the German driver is well respected.
Vettel’s arrival at Aston Martin was accompanied by the departure of Sergio Perez, who had been with the team (under various names) since 2014. Sergio was offered the driving role alongside Max Verstappen at Red Bull and has been enormously successful.
Perez had enjoyed a successful stint with the team, scoring several podium finishes and a race win in 2020. However, with Vettel available on the driver market, Aston Martin saw an opportunity to bring in a proven champion.
Alongside Vettel, Aston Martin retained the services of Lance Stroll, who had been with the team since 2019. Stroll had shown promise during his time in Formula One, scoring a pole position and several points finishes. With Vettel and Stroll forming a strong driver lineup, Aston Martin’s sights were set on achieving success in their return to the sport.
Despite the difficult start to the season, Aston Martin remained determined to improve their fortunes.
The team worked tirelessly to develop the car and improve its setup, intending to move up the grid.
Azerbaijan – The Team’s First Podium Finish
The team’s efforts paid off. At the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Vettel scored the team’s first podium finish.
Vettel’s podium in Baku was a significant moment for the team, as it marked their first top-three finish since the 2019 German Grand Prix (when it was Racing Point).
The result gave the team a much-needed boost of confidence and showed they could compete at the front of the field.
Following the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Aston Martin’s fortunes improved further.
The Team Continued To Enjoy Success
The team scored double points finish in the following race in France, with Vettel and Stroll finishing fifth and eighth, respectively. The team’s form improved throughout the season, with Vettel scoring another podium finish in Hungary.
The 2022 Formula One Season
In 2022 the team continued to improve and ended up in the points at 7th place in the championship. At the end of 2022, the F1 community said goodbye to Sebastian Vettel after he announced his retirement.
Niko Hulkenberg was the team’s test and spare driver but returned to full-time racing for Haas in 2023.
The 2023 Formula One Season
The inimitable Fernando Alonso signed to replace Sebastian Vettel in 2023.
Fernando Alonso and the new car, the AMR23, came out of the blocks at a sprint. They have achieved three podiums in the first three races and fourth position at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
The Azerbaijan Grand Prix result was particularly credible because the DRS (Drag Reduction System) was not working. Despite this, Fernando beat Carlos Sainz, Lewis Hamilton, and Lance Stroll.
Aston Martin Increased Their Investment
In 2023 Aston Martin moved into their new base at their 40-acre site at Silverstone (site of the first-ever Grand Prix race.)
The complex stretched out over 37,000 m2 (400,000 sq ft). The complex features three interconnected buildings directly opposite the Silverstone circuit.
This building is the team’s design, manufacturing, and marketing base.
This was the previous factory, but the use has been changed to provide staff amenities and the logistics center.
Building three serves as the team’s wellness center, auditorium, simulator, and heritage facility and is the home to the new wind tunnel.
Lawrence Stroll has breathed new life into the Aston Martin team, providing a manufacturing base capable of achieving great things while ensuring he employs top drivers.
If things continue developing at this rate, it won’t be long before we see Fernando on the podium’s top step!