It will be out with the pink and in with the racing green as the iconic Aston Martin name marks its return to the grid when the 2021 Formula 1 season kicks off in March. 

It may be a new name, but what will become the first Aston Martin works squad in more than 60 years is very much still the same core group of people which formed the Racing Point team, operating from its familiar Silverstone headquarters ahead of a swanky upgrade due in late 2022. 

Following a strong 2020 campaign in which the team was left disappointed to have been pipped to third place in the constructors’ championship by chief midfield rival McLaren at the final round, a fresh identity as Aston Martin has breathed extra motivation and vigour heading into the team’s dawn of a new era. 

The signing of four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel from Ferrari underlines Aston Martin’s lofty ambitions, with the German replacing Sergio Perez to pair up alongside team owner Lawrence Stroll’s son Lance. 

Under its former Racing Point guise, the team won its first grand prix in 2020, as well as taking two further podiums, and Stroll is expecting Aston Martin to continue making “people sit up and take notice” in the upcoming season. 

“It’s where Aston Martin should be,” said Stroll, who bought Racing Point in 2018 after it went into administration and then took over the British car company in January last year. 

“This is a brand that has already had huge success in top-level international motorsport such as the Le Mans 24 Hours – and now we have an opportunity to write a new page in the history books. That’s a hugely exciting prospect for anyone who is a lover of the Aston Martin brand, for fans of Formula 1 and the sport itself.

“The return of Aston Martin to Formula 1 after more than 60 years away is also a landmark moment in the history of the sport. This is the arena where many of the world’s biggest and best automotive manufacturers have competed and had success, so it’s a hugely exciting challenge for everyone involved as we aim to get this iconic British sports car brand amongst those names.

“Whether it’s results on the racetrack, expanding our presence in emerging platforms like Esports, or delivering exciting new activations, we want to make people sit up and take notice.

“It’s the centrepiece of our marketing strategy and a key component of the business,” he added. 

“Formula 1 is also the perfect shop window for Aston Martin as a brand and the amazing cars we produce. There has been plenty of talk about road relevance in Formula 1 in recent seasons, and we will see genuine trickle-down of technology and innovation from the track to the road.

“We will demonstrate those links between Formula 1 and the road cars, especially with our mid-engine range that will be launched in the future.”

Aston Martin is also looking to make its mark off the track, too, with Stroll saying his team has a “serious ambition” to open itself up and engage with fans in new ways following the rebranding. 

This is where new title sponsor, US computing giant Cognizant, comes in. As well as fitting Aston Martin’s new Silverstone base with the latest artificial intelligence and data analysis, Cognizant will be supporting the team’s push to “bring fans right into the heart of the team”.

“We want to talk to new and wider audiences, engaging them not just with the team but with Formula 1 itself,” Stroll explained. 

“We’re taking an organisation filled with experienced, passionate racers and combining that with an aspirational lifestyle brand. The aim is to appeal to the next generation of fans as well as the hardcore followers, bringing new ideas, energy and attitudes in the process.

“I want them to know that we want to bring them right into the heart of this team and our journey. That might sound like a platitude, but I can assure you it’s a serious ambition that has been the focal point of a huge amount of work over the past 12 months.

“We are investing in everything we do – especially in areas such as social media to tell this wonderful story. We want this to be a team for everyone – reaching out beyond the sport but remembering the dedicated fans that have brought us to where we are today.

“To achieve that we’ll need to think outside of the box – and I’m hoping everybody will see us doing just that with a fresh and modern identity for the Aston Martin Cognizant Formula 1 Team.”

This is a team that is renowned for punching above its weight with limited resources at its disposal. Racing Point has built a reputation for making the best out of what it has and maximising results, something that is highlighted in its results across recent years. Now, the impact of Stroll’s takeover is finally being felt in its entirety. 

With a new spending cap coming into effect from this season, and a major overhaul of technical regulations following in 2022, there is added belief that Aston Martin is well-placed to capitalise and achieve its goals of becoming a front-running team. 

In the meantime, Aston Martin, led by team principal Otmar Szafnauer and highly-rated technical director Andrew Green, will continue to take advantage of its controversial, yet highly successful technical collaboration with Mercedes as it looks to build on the foundations laid in 2020. 

With a driver line-up that he expects will push and motivate each other to reach new levels of performance, Szafnauer has suggested that Aston can target more race wins in 2021. 

“With a new name, committed shareholders, fresh investment, and an experienced team, we believe we have all the ingredients in place to compete for even more podiums and hopefully victories too,” he said.

“It’s the start of a new journey and I can sense an extra energy in the team, with a determination to push performance further than ever before.

“Combined with some of the most creative minds in the business, a true racers’ mentality and the can-do spirit that has served us so well through the years, we have every reason to be excited about the future.”

Aston Martin has certainly talked the talk and soon we will see whether it can also walk the walk.

 

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