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How Formula 1 influence is filtering through Aston Martin

Aston Martin's design boss says the links between road and race are already being formed, and they're only going to get stronger.

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This week in car news: April 4-8 2022
This week in car news: April 4-8 2022
Scott Collie
Scott Collie
Deputy Editor
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Aston Martin’s return to the Formula 1 grid has already started influencing its new car designs, and the relationship between road and race will only get stronger.

The more aggressive new V12 Vantage and Vantage F1 Edition have provided a taste, while the mid-engined Valhalla’s split roof scoop borrows more overtly from Lance Stroll’s weekend car.

“It’s a journey we’re on with Formula 1,” said Marek Reichman, Aston Martin chief creative officer.

“Part of the ambition of Mr Stroll is that he has a Formula 1 team, and he’s the executive chairman of Aston Martin the PLC. There is an absolute link between the two; the technologies involved, the development of cars,” he said.

“Think of now, where is Aston Martin Cognizant Formula 1 team? They’re in a factory they inherited, with a new car for this year. It’s developing, but the site is also developing,” he said.

“End of this year/for the 2023 car it was start to be developed at a brand new facility. A wind tunnel comes, more technology influences… there is Aston Martin Performance Technologies set up as an umbrella company.

“If I now want to talk to an engineer about light-weighting structures, I go to Aston Martin F1 Performance Technologies, I don’t need to go externally. The knowledge base grows, and that’s a really important future,” he said.

“I think [the F1 link] can and will only get stronger,” Mr Reichman told CarExpert.

Along with the mid-engined Vanquish, which was previewed by a concept alongside the Valhalla, the brand is gearing up to move into the world of electric vehicles.

It’s a new space for Aston Martin, which is best known for petrol-powered cars with classic grand touring proportions. Although the future looks different, even new product types – powered by new propulsion sources – will be carry a link to the legendary cars that built the brand.

Mr Reichman says being respectful to Aston Martin’s heritage as its range evolves is an “important part” of his design team’s job, because “it means you’re not a startup”.

“Having that heritage means you have something to draw on,” he told CarExpert. “The beauty is the bit that always comes from the past. Future beauty is very different, but it’s still beauty.”

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Scott Collie
Scott Collie

Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

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