Aston Martin returns to F1 - Le Mans, and DTM Aston Martin's motorsport past

05-01-2021 15:17
F1 News
Aston Martin returns to F1 - Le Mans, and DTM Aston Martin's motorsport past

With Aston Martin, Formula 1 will have a legendary brand richer from 2021. It is not the first time that the British team will have taken part in Formula 1, after a short stint in 1959 and 1960. No points were scored in this period, however, the team was successful in other racing classes.

Short stint in Formula 1

Aston Martin first showed up for a Formula 1 race during the Grand Prix of the Netherlands in 1959. However, this was without success. Roy Salvadori and Carroll Shelby's DBR4 did not finish due to motor problems. In total, the team would participate in a Grand Prix weekend six times with a sixth place as the best result. However, this did not yield any points at that time.

First successes in Le Mans

Where the British racing team really became known was in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The team entered the prestigious race for the first time in 1931, finishing fifth. The team won the race for the first time in 1959 and immediately made it a one-two finish. Formula 1 drivers Carroll Shelby and Roy Salvadori shared the victory with the DBR1.

When the team gave up Formula 1 in 1960, it also gave up Le Mans races. It wasn't until 1977 that we saw the iconic name on the grid again. Between 1977 and 1989, the Aston Martin name appeared on the grid five times. Twice with their own car and twice as an engine supplier.

Return to the endurance races

Then it was waiting until 2005. From that moment on Aston Martin Racing started to seriously participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In the first season in the GT1 class, David Brabham, Stephane Sarrazin and Darren Turner managed to finish their DBR9 third in the class. That same team with Ryckard Rydell instead of Sarrazin managed to win their own class in 2007. Brabham and Turner were also the first of the class to cross the finish line in 2008, this time with Antonio Garcia as a teammate.

After the successes in the GT1 class, Aston Martin made the cautious transition to the LMP1 class. In 2008 it participated for the first time in collaboration with Charouz Racing System and in 2009 Aston Martin started the 24-hour race for the first time with its own LMP1 team. Despite drivers such as Anthony Davidson, Jos Verstappen and Turner, the team was unable to win the LMP1 class.

So the team turned its back on the LMP1 to return to the GT class. The team was much more successful there. The LMGTE am class was won in 2014 and in the LMGTE Pro class the victory went to the British team in 2017 and 2020.

DTM was a big mistake

Short but sweet, that's how you can describe Aston Martin as a team in the DTM class. In 2019 the team was present for the first time in the German touring car class, but they didn't make much impact. The car was slow and the drivers never got further than sixth place. After one year, Aston Martin had already disappeared from the class.

Collaboration with Red Bull and full F1 comeback

Aston Martin made the first step towards Formula 1 through a partnership with Red Bull Racing. From 2018, the British brand was the proud main sponsor of the Austrian team and they also teamed up to create the ultimate sports car. The Aston Martin Valkyrie was designed by Adrian Newey and Miles Nurnberger. Production is expected in 2020 of the 1160 hp beast.

After 100 races on the nose of the Red Bull, Aston Martin will leave the Milton Keynes team to return to Formula 1 as a full team. With Sebastian Vettel the team already has a four-time world champion richer.

 Predicting the entire 2021 Formula 1 World Championship

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