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Aston Martin to Become Red Bull Racing’s Title Sponsor in 2018

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Red Bull RB13

Aston Martin is set to become the title sponsor of the Red Bull Racing Formula One team in 2018 as a stepping stone for something bigger. According to Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer, the luxury automaker desires to become an independent engine supplier for the sport, but only if it likes the 2021 engine regulations.

“I’m negotiating what we look like in the sport for next year but it’s somewhat predicated on what the 2021 engine regulations looks like,” Palmer told SkySports. “If we can get more theater back into the sport, and I few can reduce the cost of the engine, then Aston might be interested in producing an independent engine.”

The relationship between Red Bull Racing and Aston Martin has long been common knowledge on the paddock. The company upcoming Valkyrie hypercar, unveiled last year as the AM-RB 001 concept, was created in collaboration with Red Bull and designed by Adrian Newey, the team’s chief technical officer.

Furthermore, Aston Martin branding has appeared on Red Bull cars and uniforms since 2016, and the company has attended Formula One meetings about the 2021 regulations alongside Lamborghini and Porsche.

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According to Motorsport, the two will announce a deal in the coming weeks that will make Aston Martin the Formula One team’s title sponsor in 2018, further pushing the British brand into the sport. Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner wouldn’t confirm the partnership, but said enough:

“You can speculate all you like, but I’m not going to confirm anything. We’ve got a great relationship with Aston, obviously working on and developing the Valkyrie hypercar for them. They’re doing a great job, the product is great, and they’ve got a lot of great stuff in the pipeline. There will be news to follow in weeks to come.”

Whether Aston Martin eventually enters the sport for good in 2021 will depend on the new engine regulations—and Palmer seemed to hint that lower costs, complexity, and no MGU-H technology was the way to go to draw them in.

“As a company we kind of sit in the same world as F1, often with the same engineers. So the technical capability exists, it’s just a matter of money,” Palmer explained. “Up to a point it’s okay, but if we are going to continue to have heat recovery systems, no cap on the spend, and as many dynamometer hours as you like, then we’ll check out. But if there is a way of making it work, I think the sport would be a lot richer.”

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Sources: SkySports, Motorsport