Aston Martin are back in Formula One after 61 years and ahead of the upcoming 2021 season, they released the car that their drivers will be racing in on Wednesday. Their new car, named AMR21, was revealed in a striking green livery in recognition of the brand’s traditional racing colours, carrying prominent branding from title partner, Cognizant. On Thursday, the exciting and much anticipated track debut of the AMR21 will take place, before it makes its journey to Bahrain for testing next week (March 12-14) ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 28.
Aston Martin F1 team has been rebranded from Racing Point after owner Lawrence Stroll took control of the Aston Martin road car business, and decided to marry the two entities on track in motorsport’s top tier.
“Aston Martin returning to Formula One after an absence of 61 years will have a powerful effect on the sport, the media and the fans, commanding global attention,” said Executive Chairman Stroll. “This is just the beginning. The team is pushing forward, and our ambitions are limitless. We now have the pieces in place, the people and the partners, to make real progress.”
“As for the year ahead, the core nucleus of what we need to succeed is already present and correct. I have great confidence in Otmar (Szafnauer – Team Principal), Andrew (Green – Team Technical Director) and all who work for them. I firmly believe we have the perfect blend of experience and youth in Sebastian (Vettel) and Lance (Stroll). An ethos of fierce ambition and unshakeable dedication is shared by every single team member. It is exhilarating to see – and to feel,” he said.
Szafnauer said at the launch, “Launching the Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team gives everybody associated with this company a real sense of purpose and pride. It is a truly iconic car brand and it is a huge privilege to bring Aston Martin back to the pinnacle of motorsport – where it belongs. There is a change on the driving front, Sebastian [Vettel] joining us to race alongside Lance [Stroll]. Sebastian is someone we can all learn from, and his integration into the team has been very smooth – as you would expect from someone with so much experience. It is clear in my mind that Sebastian has lost none of his speed. It is down to us to create an environment in which he feels comfortable so he can deliver at his brilliant best. Lance is a very talented young driver, as his two podiums and wet-weather pole position last year demonstrated. We expect more of the same this year.”
Technical Director Green said, “It is a great privilege to have the Aston Martin name above the door. It is a real ‘dream come true’ moment and it shows how far this team has come. It is definitely the most exciting chapter in the team’s history, without a doubt.”
Vettel, who has switched to Aston Martin from Ferrari this season, said, “Even though I have raced for four Formula One teams and for many years, starting a new season with a new team still gives me a sense of excitement. As a driver, I have always kept my eye on the competition and this team has consistently impressed me with what they have been able to do without the biggest of budgets. So, when Lawrence (Stroll) and Otmar (Szafnauer) approached me last year, and explained what their ambitions were, I was immediately very motivated to join the team. I love the history of motor racing and Aston Martin is one of the great names of the past, so it is fun to be part of their return to Formula One after an absence of 61 years.
“Having visited the factory and met the senior people as well as my engineers and mechanics, I can see they are a really good group. I feel confident that, by the support Lawrence brings together with the Aston Martin name, we will make real progress together. I have not driven the car yet – obviously – but I think it looks great. I am really looking forward to getting it out on the track. I am also looking forward to working with and getting to know better everyone in the team, including my team-mate Lance (Stroll). We will certainly make a big effort to deliver some good results together and have fun doing it.”
Lance, on the other hand, said, “This is such an exciting time of the year. The car launch is when everything starts to feel real again, especially this year with our new identity as Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team. The new name is exciting for everyone and there is a massive buzz around the factory.
“I have come back refreshed from the winter break. It is going to be my third season here working with this great bunch of people, and that stability is what you need as a driver. I am at home here and I have built those strong relationships with the team now. All that stuff makes a difference when we are competing for those last fractions of a second. It is a case of knowing exactly what you need and how to work with the team to really optimise performance.
“It is all quite full-on this year, with fewer testing days available, but we have made good use of our simulation tools at the factory to help us prepare. There will be higher expectations this year for several reasons – including the team name – and I see 2021 as a huge opportunity for us to score some great results. We had real momentum at the end of 2020 and I believe we can hit the ground running this year, too.”