- Nov 14, 2006
Could Aston Martin join Prodrive in F1?
Aston Martin in F1? Not likely, but that won't stop some from speculating. And being the diligent reporters we are, we'll search high and low (and in foreign languages) to bring to you the latest in motor news.
The speculation comes out of the arrival of David Richard's Prodrive outfit re-entering the grand prix paddock. Prodrive is essentially a racing consulting firm, offering automotive manufacturers the opportunity to go racing without developing and implementing their own racing program. Prodrive's responsible for Subaru's rally success, took the 550 Maranello endurance racing for Ferrari and implemented Aston Martin's racing program as well, to mention a few. Richards was hired to overhaul Honda's F1 team, and after delivering results sooner than expected, was shown the door.
Richards has claimed Prodrive has no interest in racing under their own banner, so eyebrows were raised when the British outfit secured their own entry into F1. But while Richards has stated they're considering a number of potential partners, he remains understandably tight-lipped about who that might be, leaving the motoring press to speculate. Of Prodrive's major previous clients, Ferrari and Honda have teams of their own and Prodrive's already forged Subaru's racing image in rallying. That leaves Aston Martin, whose involvement could be as simple as buying Cosworth engines and rebadging them as their own (which is hardly unheard of in F1). Ironically, Aston's impending separation from Ford could help their chances of entering F1, after Ford pulled sister-company Jaguar out of racing several years ago and would have little interest in re-entering under the Aston banner. One thing's for sure: if Aston Martin does end up being the client, Prodrive will have one hell of a time trying to make an F1 car look like every other Aston.
Another potential client could be Nissan, tipped to be entering F1 themselves (likely in closer partnership with Renault) or Hyundai, which hopes to be on the grid by the time their home-turf Korean Grand Prix joins the circus in 2010. (Unfortunately, due to budgetary restrictions, AutoblogF1 just isn't in the cards.)
[Sources: Le Blog Auto (French) and Crash.net]