Aston Martin

The name is Martin, Aston Martin; one of the world’s most famous names in racing is back in F1 after a six-decade hiatus.

Tayyib Abu covered the launch…

This year’s most eagerly anticipated car launch emerged from the shadows to announce a new era for the Silverstone-based squad. Under Lawrence Stroll’s ownership, the launch of the AMR21 signals new dawn of ambition for the once cash-strapped outfit. 

Fans of the sport waited to get a glimpse of the livery. Once the car broke the covers, it set the F1 world alight. The traditional British Racing Green looks fantastic. It evoked memories of the Jaguar team that debuted in 2000.

It is fabulous to see the famous colours back on the F1 grid. Aston Martin is synonymous with success in the world of motorsport. Chairman Lawrence Stroll will want to deliver success in the F1 world for the iconic brand. 

With big-hitters like Daniel Craig and the CEO of title partner Cognizant, this isn’t a throwaway rebrand for sponsorship reasons. It is the real deal; there is a new high-roller in the paddock. In 2020, the team courted controversy, Covid and success. Podiums, pole positions and the elusive win in Sakhir demonstrated that the team is rapidly becoming a force.

With minimal changes in the regulations, the car will carry over many of the concepts and components from last year. Therefore, it should be fast out of the box. They finished fourth in the constructors’ championship last year. Surely the team will want to lead the crowded midfield in 2021. 

Hoping to help them achieve that is the four-time world champion, Sebastian Vettel. The German joins the team after a dismal 2020 in an underpowered Ferrari. There is no doubt about Vettel’s credentials and speed.

Is this the fresh start that he desperately needed to kickstart his career. He is not old, despite how long he’s raced in F1. At the launch, he said, “The ability to win world championships is still in me; it’s not a question of age either.” Vettel looked refreshed and happy, a far cry from how disillusioned he looked last year. 

Vettel’s new teammate Lance Stroll stays with the team. Stroll displays flashes of speed mixed in with inconsistent performances. It is a big year for the Canadian; he must match the level that Vettel sets.

The youngster is entering his fifth F1 season, he views 2021 as a prime opportunity to make significant steps in his career; “I see 2021 as a huge opportunity for us, we had real momentum at the end of 2020, and I believe we can hit the ground running.” Stroll is looking to attack the front of the grid rather than hold old off the chasing pack. 

The car looks resplendent in green, and the ownership group are highly ambitious, while team principal Otmar Szafnauer is a safe pair of hands. The longtime paddock stalwart is excited about the prospects and the signing of Vettel.

Yesterday he intimated that sponsors were flocking to the team due to Vettel’s presence, not because of the name. Today he went one step further, he said: “In Sebastian, we have a proven four-time world champion with experience of helping teams become race-winning and championship-contending outfits.” They will use his knowledge and experience to push the team. 

The launch of the AMR21 confirmed that this team is now indeed a serious outfit. The Silverstone squad have designs on competing for championships and race-wins.

Today heralded the arrival of a new contender, a big-player in the piranha club that is the F1 pitlane. How do you like your F1? Shaken, not stirred. Well, this launch shook things up.

www.thepitstopmagazine.com

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