Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer has played down the likelihood of his company entering Formula 1 next season simply as a 'brand', saying that simply having a name on the side of a car is not a strategy it wants to follow.
The iconic British marque has been linked with a move into F1 next season as part of a broader deal funded by drinks' company Diageo. Through this agreement, it was proposed that Force India would be renamed Aston Martin Racing, with Johnnie Walker acting as primary sponsor.
Though Force India team manager Vijay Mallya has spoken positively about the deal, Aston Martin's enthusiasm for the project is believed to have cooled in recent weeks, with a final decision set to be made in the coming weeks.
However, in an interview with DailySportsCar.com
, Aston Martin CEO Palmer suggests there are no immediate plans to take the company to F1 through branding alone, insisting there has to be 'a genuine story' behind such a move.
“F1 does a marketing job, we have to look at our company sometimes not through the eyes of a 50-something Brit but sometimes through the eyes of a young Chinese entrepreneur for instance. You need to paint a canvas almost from nothing and F1 gives you a lot of exposure to allow that to happen. It very quickly allows you to say “Did you know Aston Martin has a heritage in racing – oh! you didn't? That's why we're in F1”
“So yes there are marketing reasons for doing it, but the only way to make that story really work is to have a genuine story such as 'we're working with this team, or establishing this team because of this, this and this,' so whether that was linked to the launch of a road car, or some form of technology, carbon-fibre etc.
“You need to be able to link more than one dot to tell the story to those people you are introducing to the brand that we've been racing for 102 years and this relates directly, for technological reasons, to the extraordinary product we have sold to you on the road.
“You can never control whether these things will drop right into your lap, but those solid links would need to be in place to even begin to consider that sort of decision. Somebody saying 'You can have your name on the side of this car' is not somewhere we would go.”