Aston Martin has its sights set on winning the world championship within the next five years, as it unveiled its new F1 car Wednesday.
The Silverstone-based team is embarking on an all-new era under the moniker of the famous British sportscar manufacturer, and has laid down lofty ambitions for what it wants to achieve in grand prix racing.
Speaking as the covers came off the green, black and pink ARM21, team principal Otmar Szafnauer said that the ambitions for the outfit were to lay the foundations for title glory by the mid-2020s.
“It's a lot easier to say we're going to be fighting and winning a world championship than actually doing it,” he said. “The two things that have to happen is one we need a good plan, in order for us to start today and get to world championship contenders, and then we've got to execute. And we're in the midst of that planning now.
“The execution will definitely take some time. People in F1 and other teams have said you know you've got to give us three to five years to do so. And we're no different.
“For the last year we've planned a new factory with new infrastructure, and a place to house all of us under one roof to grow the team, and the implementation of that has just now begun at Silverstone.
“Towards the end of 2022, we should be moving into a new factory for example, and within that factory we're going to need state of the art tools that will help us design and develop a car that's worthy of contending for a world championship, so that's a few years away.
“If I have to look into the future, you know it'll be in the three to five year time period.”
Having signed four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel for this season, the team is looking at making rapid progress.
Reflecting on Aston Martin’s target of going for title glory within five years, Vettel reckoned that such a time frame was realistic – although he pondered whether new rules could shorten what was needed.
“I think it is a longer-term project if you really want to win,” he explained. “Obviously if you look at Mercedes, they started somewhere, 2011, ’12, and then really got into the winning ways with the new power unit when they just got out of the gates a lot faster than anyone else.
“The car wasn’t really that great in 2014, chassis-wise. And from then onwards, if you say ’11, then it took them another five years to really build a car that was probably considered the best chassis. That’s the time it takes. But then everybody has that time, and not everybody has done the job.
“So there are a lot of projects going around, different manufacturers, and in the end only one can win. But Mercedes has been the one that has been the strongest. So hats off to them, and the others were just not good enough.”
But with F1 introducing a cost cap and new rules from 2022, Vettel said that could have an impact on how quickly progress could be made.
“Formula 1 is changing at the same time, so time will tell,” he said. “But maybe you don’t need those three to five years anymore.
“Maybe it will shrink, and that’s the hope for everyone, to be a bit closer to the top and not just be on the podium because you got lucky that the guys at the front retired or crashed. We’ll see how Formula 1 changes in the next years.”