It was the moment we had all been waiting for…Aston Martin have presented their 2021 challenger, the AMR21.
For over 60 years the iconic Aston Martin name has been absent from the Formula 1 grid, but those days are over. And hopefully this time their stay will not be so brief.
After leading a consortium to invest in Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings, Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll confirmed that his Racing Point Formula 1 team would be rebranded to Aston Martin.
As expected his son Lance remained with the team, but despite taking a race win and finishing P4 in the 2020 Drivers’ Championship, Sergio Perez was booted out along with the Racing Point name.
In his place arrives four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel, who is looking to revitalise his career with the Aston Martin project following a dismal final season with Ferrari in 2020.
While Aston Martin have withdrawn their title sponsorship as Red Bull now that they will share the 2021 grid, Aston Martin have retained a key partner from the Force India/Racing Point days.
Austrian water treatment firm BWT remain with Aston Martin, hence the pink tones to the AMR21. The pink panthers of Formula 1 are not gone just yet. Cognizant meanwhile have signed up as Aston Martin’s title sponsor.
In 2020 Racing Point’s controversial RP20 proved a huge upgrade, but by their own admission the team at times failed to truly make the most of their car’s potential.
Ultimately they would be pipped to P3 in the Constructors’ Championship by McLaren at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, though without the 15-point deduction for using illegal brake ducts Racing Point would have taken P3 for themselves.
This year though the team has the weight of the iconic Aston Martin brand to carry, so making the most of their machinery is key.
And considering the fact that the regulations have remained fairly stable, the team are targetting podiums from the first round in Bahrain.
“I think we should get out of the starting blocks quickly and fight for podium places,” said team boss Otmar Szafnauer during an interview with Auto Motor und Sport.
“We want to start the season like we left off the last. If things go in our direction, like in Bahrain or Turkey, we should be able to put the car on pole position and have the chance of a few wins.”