With all the drama surrounding F1 these days, including Ferrari's threats to abandon the sport should new FIA-imposed budget caps go through, it’s about time F1 fans got some good news. Luckily, we managed to find some today, with the announcement that luxury marque Aston Martin will be entering the championship from 2012 onwards.

The details of the deal were hammered out yesterday evening with F1 tycoon Bernie Ecclestone, and Aston Martin will be entering the championship as a manufacturer entrant, much like Ferrari does today. Practically speaking, the Aston Martin team will begin its foray into F1 next year, but it will be competing under the Prodrive name. In 2012, however, it will be rebranded as Aston Martin. Speaker with Autocar, Prodrive boss and Aston Martin stakeholder David Richards revealed that the cars used "will be genuine Aston Martin cars".

Aston Martin is expected to be closely tied with the McLaren F1 team, however, the company is expecting to use its own Aston Martin engines rather than the Mercedes Benz units used in McLaren’s cars.

Aston Martin's entry into the F1 program has been facilitated by budget caps proposed by Max Mosley, the same budget caps that have seen a number of F1 teams threatening to walk away from the sport should they be enforced. If the budget caps are introduced, it’s possible we'll see even more manufacturers enter F1 thanks to the reduced costs.

The addition of Aston Martin to the ring means there are at least three - and possible four - suitors for the three spots on the 2010 F1 grid, which Bernie Ecclestone has already confirmed will hold 26 cars from 13 teams. American team USGPE and Britain's Lola are the other two front-runners for a spot, while rumors of Hyundai-Kia possibly putting a team together continue to circulate.