Aston Martin on standby if Honda quit F1

Jamie Woodhouse
Aston Martin on standby to step up F1 efforts if Honda walk away.

Aston Martin on standby to step up F1 efforts if Honda walk away.

Red Bull’s title sponsor Aston Martin have said that they will “stand ready” to up their Formula 1 involvement if Honda don’t commit beyond 2020.

The sports car manufacturer have been Red Bull’s title sponsor since last year, but they were already working together prior to this with Aston Martin partnering Red Bull Advanced Technologies to build the Valkyrie hypercar.

Red Bull switched to Honda power for 2019, though Aston Martin had discussing the idea of developing an engine of their own to the 2021 regulations.

While Aston are happy with the Red Bull/Honda relationship and don’t want to “muscle in” on it, they are on standby should Honda leave the series.

Speaking to Autosport after last weekend’s first public run for the Valkyrie at Silverstone , Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer said: “Would I like to be a little bit more involved [in F1] technically? I think that depends.”

“The obvious place for Aston to become involved in would have been the engine.

“I think that’s a question on whether Honda continues to develop the engine.

“Clearly they have a lot more money and musclepower than we do. I don’t think we’re going to muscle in on that while the relationship with Honda exists.

“We’re very happy with that relationship and we’re happy to see it continue. But nobody knows quite what the regulations will be beyond 2021 and who is going to be involved in that.

“We stand ready from that point of view, with the hope that Honda will continue.

“Our focus is now mainly looking at the development of the Valkyrie, Valhalla, Vanquish series and the exploits in Le Mans.”

A race version of the Valkyrie will be built to take part in the World Endurance Championship’s new top-tier Hypercar class from 2020.

Red Bull are expected to remain involved in that project, and Palmer doesn’t see any clear end date for their relationship.

“I don’t think we see a contractual end date,” he explained.

“We just see it continuing as long as they are racing and we are involved with other things with them, we’ll continue.”

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