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F1 rules U-Turn forced Aston Martin change of heart

NEWS STORY
27/11/2018

Aston Martin chief executive admits that decision to stick with current engine formula ended company's hopes of entering the sport.

Though good with the less important aspects of the sport, when it comes to the bigger issues F1's new management is clearly struggling.

While the current Concorde Agreement has two years to run, the teams are already growing concerned at the lack of progress on the new contract, though first such minor matters as prize money - and how it will be shared - not to mention doing away with the various bonuses must be agreed.

Though there was initial talk of big changes in terms of the rules, in particular the engine formula, a move aimed at attracting new (and old) manufacturers to the sport, it now appears there will be minimal changes to the current engine formula, at which point Aston Martin lost interest.

"When it looked like the rules were going to change, we did take a look at whether we should do our own engine for F1," Aston Martin chief executive, Andy Palmer told Reuters.

"But then Liberty essentially changed their mind and continued with the current engine, so we cancelled those plans," he admitted.

Of course, the decision not to seriously revamp the engine formula wasn't entirely down to the powers-that-be, for first Ferrari and Mercedes said they were unhappy with Liberty's initial proposals and then all four manufacturers claimed it made no sense to overhaul the rules at a time the performance gap between them is closing.

Asked about the decision by Red Bull - of which Aston Martin is title sponsor - to switch to Honda, Palmer said: "Red Bull makes its own decision, I'm certainly supportive of that decision. It is a good way to go."

Check out our Tuesday test gallery from the Yas Marina, here.

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1. Posted by george, 29/11/2018 4:09

"Aston Martin never intended to enter F1, they never had the money nor the knowhow to build an f1 engine. And they are making a crucial mistake on the DB5, making only 25 of them to put in collections somewhere instead of that , they could sell, 5000 of them at 200,000 EUro's and have their new factory build some cars.
"

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2. Posted by ClarkwasGod, 28/11/2018 16:15

"AM were never going to work alone - they always envisaged a tie-up with someone like Cosworth as a joint development (not a badge job)."

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3. Posted by Anthony, 28/11/2018 12:05

"Aston Martin have their hands full stabilising the share price and delivering the projections at the time of the listing. I don’t think that there was ever a realistic prospect of them developing an F1 engine."

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4. Posted by ESTM PRFT, 27/11/2018 16:12

"I could never envision Aston Martin being able to actually afford to develop an F1 engine of any type, just simply re-badge it."

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5. Posted by mickl, 27/11/2018 16:11

"I think AM could never have afforded the development cost of a brand new F1 hybrid engine. Hell, they can't even build their own road car engines. All the talk of wanting to be an engine supplier was probably all pr guff and it would have never amounted to anything regardless of any changes to engine rules. Andy Palmer is probably breathing a sigh of relief he doesn't have to spend hundreds of millions that the company doesn't have."

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6. Posted by Paolo, 27/11/2018 14:29

"Perhaps the over valuation of the AML company shares recently has put the brakes on further investment hence the convenient excuse. "

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7. Posted by kdxrider, 27/11/2018 14:02

"Of course, the fact that the new DB11 is powered by a Mercedes engine doesn't come into the equation ----- "

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8. Posted by Mad Matt, 27/11/2018 13:36

"Interesting. I seem to remember reading elsewhere that there were no serious offers from other manufacturers and that was why Liberty decided not to fight the exiting manufacturers over changing the rules.

Is this just Aston trying to save face or is there something else going on?"

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