Donning British racing green and competing under the Aston Martin name is a “huge privilege” and a challenge that Otmar Szafnauer is confident the team formerly known as Racing Point will rise to.
This season the Silverstone team once again has a new name, Aston Martin.
Buying the Force India Formula 1 team back in 2018, Lawrence Stroll initially called his new adventure Racing Point before announcing in January 2020 that it would be rebranded Aston Martin in 2021 after he bought shares in the British car company.
With the aim of setting it up to become one of Formula 1’s “top” contenders, Stroll has invested millions in the team while also aligning it with Mercedes which led to the controversial pink Mercedes that the team raced in 2020.
That, though, paid dividends with the team fourth in the championship with four podiums including a victory at the Sakhir Grand Prix.
2021, though, marks a new era for the team one that team boss Szafnauer is confident they are ready for.
“Representing such an iconic brand is a huge privilege for every member of the team,” he said to Sky Sports F1.
“It might sound daunting, but we’ve been competing in Formula 1 for 30 years [under various names], winning races and taking podiums along the way – often against the odds.
“We’ve earned a well-deserved reputation for punching above our weight, so we’re confident we can do the Aston Martin name proud right from the get-go.”
— Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team (@AstonMartinF1) January 7, 2021
That isn’t the only change at the Silverstone-based team with Vettel coming on board as Lance Stroll’s 2021 team-mate.
The four-time World Champion has replaced Sergio Perez, who despite being the team’s top driver last year was dropped in favour of Vettel.
Although Vettel arrives at the team on the back of his worst season in Formula 1, his new boss believes he will rediscover his lost form.
“It’s hugely exciting for everyone in the team,” said Szafnauer of Vettel’s arrival.
“In Sebastian, we have a proven four-time World Champion with experience of helping teams become race-winning and championship-contending outfits.
“He brings a winning mentality and we will all undoubtedly learn a lot from him on this journey.”