Mar.17 (GMM) Aston Martin’s touted F1 foray is back on track, it emerged in the Melbourne paddock on Thursday.
In January, Force India admitted that its rumoured tie-up with the British luxury carmaker had fallen through.
“It probably won’t happen for 2016,” said team official Otmar Szafnauer, “but we’re still talking.”
But before the Force India talks ever took place, it was Red Bull that initially negotiated with Aston Martin.
So tongues began to wag in Melbourne on Thursday when Aston Martin chief Andy Palmer, who knows Red Bull well from the Infiniti sponsorship days, touched down for the season opener.
The Australian website Drive quoted an insider as confirming that Palmer is preparing to make “a significant announcement” in Melbourne later on Thursday.
Red Bull is powered by Tag Heuer-branded Renault engines in 2016, but only with a one-year contract.
So with Aston Martin 5 per cent owned by Mercedes, and Adrian Newey believed to already be working with Aston Martin on a road car, a potential Mercedes engine could be in the offing for Red Bull next year.
Williams has also been linked with the Aston Martin rumours, but sources suggest the most likely outcome is a Red Bull sponsor deal this year before a deeper involvement for 2017.
“For me, formula one has a merit when it can deliver something technologically from the track to the road,” Palmer told Drive at the recent Geneva motor show.
“For me the reason to go into formula one is basically for the technology transfer.”