Red Bull Racing has announced that at the start of Formula 1’s 2018 season, Aston Martin will become the team’s title sponsor, changing the name of the racing outfit to Aston Martin Red Bull Racing. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean Aston Martin will be providing the team with engines, at least not yet.
The partnership between Red Bull Racing and Aston Martin began in 2016 when the pair collaborated on the ridiculously bonkers Aston Martin Valkyrie, a hypercar penned by former Red Bull design chief Adrian Newey, featuring a 1,000-horsepower hybrid V-12 engine and aerodynamics that wouldn’t look misplaced in the world of “The Jetsons.”
Aston Martin’s CEO Andy Palmer said this of the new deal, “Title partnership is the next logical step for our Innovation partnership with Red Bull Racing. We are enjoying the global brand awareness that a revitalized Formula 1 provides.”
Red Bull’s team principal Christian Horner went on to say, “Having conceived and created the remarkably successful Aston Martin Valkyrie together in 2016, we extended our relationship this year and are now delighted to further strengthen the partnership and see the team competing as Aston Martin Red Bull Racing in 2018.”
As for furthering the two brand’s technical relationship to include Aston Martin built engines, that’s still likely some time away, if it actually ever happens. Palmer stated that “The power unit discussions are of interest to us, but only if the circumstances are right. We are not about to enter an engine war with no restrictions in cost or dynamometer hours, but we believe that if the FIA can create the right environment we would be interested in getting involved.”
The current Formula 1 engine discussions Palmer refers to revolve around the engine rule change that’s set to take place in 2021. Rules around the architecture of the engine, as well as horsepower, cost, and other variables are set to be changed and there’s been some talk of opening up the regulations to deliver the noise back to Formula 1.
There’s also a very strong cost component that many of the teams have been pushing for as in recent years, many of the mid to back marker teams have all but been pushed out of the championship.
Other manufacturers have also expressed interest in returning to Formula 1 if the rules and regulations proved workable, including Porsche and Audi.