Aston Martin is open to supplying power units to Formula 1, the automaker’s CEO has revealed.
Speaking with Motorsport.com, Andy Palmer, who has led Aston Martin since 2014, said involvement in F1 makes sense given the presence of close rival Ferrari, but it would only be possible if major spending caps were introduced on power unit development.
“For a company that's only just moved to making a profit, we don't have the 350-400 million a year that you have to spend on F1,” Palmer said. “If—and it really is the big if—there is a cap put on the number of people or the amount of money that you can spend on developing a new engine, and it's at a reasonable level, we have a good reason to study it.”
Aston Martin was one of the companies in attendance at a recent FIA meeting to discuss power units for the 2021 season and beyond. All the current suppliers were present, along with past suppliers Cosworth, Ilmor Engineering, Lamborghini and Porsche.
Aston Martin Valkyrie in near-production form
Aston Martin is already involved in F1 through a sponsorship with Red Bull Racing which uses power units supplied by Renault. The F1 team’s star aerodynamicist, Adrian Newey, is also helping Aston Martin develop its Valkyrie hypercar.
Palmer has never been a fan of simply sponsoring an F1 team, which he experienced firsthand during his previous stint at Nissan whose upmarket Infiniti brand was a major sponsor of Red Bull from 2012 to 2015.
As an alternative to the power unit development, Palmer hopes that Aston Martin in the future may provide some form of technical support to Red Bull.
“I've never been a fan of just simple sponsorship,” Palmer said in his interview with Motorsport.com. “I always try to get some degree of authenticity, and the more authenticity the better really.”