Aston Martin has had interest from a handful of Formula 1 teams regarding the possibility of taking a supply of its power units from 2021 and beyond.
The British car maker, which will become Red Bull’s title sponsor in 2018, is keen on F1’s next engine rules cycle providing the production and development costs are controlled.
Aston Martin president and CEO Andy Palmer said he was 'encouraged' by the direction of the 2021 engine plans, which were presented by F1 bosses in October. Work on the concept has already begun, following the recruitment of ex-Ferrari F1 engine chiefs Joerg Ross and Luca Marmorini.
Red Bull would be an obvious candidate to become a customer, given the relationship and comments from its team principal Christian Horner that the team would be open to an arrangement. If Red Bull takes the engines, it would make sense for junior team Toro Rosso to follow suit and allow for closer synergies that have since been reduced following the Italian team’s switch to Honda.
It has now emerged that other independent teams on the grid have been in contact with Aston regarding taking a supply and it is believed it could be in a position to create the capacity for more than two teams. When asked how many Aston would hope to supply, Palmer told Motorsport.com: 'I have some rough maths in terms of what cost and what price. With all of this stuff in F1, you have to factor in intangibles because you’re talking about a marketing return, not necessarily a physical return.
'Marketing return hopefully turns into sold cars, which is why we’re doing this. This is to seed the soil for when we bring a mid-engined car to compete with the Ferrari 488, which is what the Valkyrie [hypercar] was about. It’s about creating credibility ready for when we go mainstream face-to-face with Ferrari, Lamborghini and McLaren on the road.
'The timing of the 2021 regulations work really well, because it is about the time we’ll be bringing that car out.'