It looks like GT and Le Mans prototype racing may be just the beginning for Aston Martin. Following an agreement this week with F1 promotions boss, Bernie Ecclestone, Aston Martin could be jumping into the Formula One ranks in 2012. Like Aston's other race programs, it's F1 campaign will be operated by Prodrive, although the team will actually launch in 2010 as the Prodrive team then switch to the automaker's branding two years later.
The new team will apparently cooperate with McLaren-Mercedes, but Prodrive will build the cars at its Banbury factory. The new cars will use customer engines from another manufacturer, but they will wear Aston Martin badging. The team already has two primary sponsors including Aston Martin majority owner Investment Dar. Prodrive boss Dave Richards acknowledged that the deal to enter F1 was only possible because of the budget caps that are being imposed beginning in 2010.