Aston Martin

Can Aston Martin equal Jordan’s heydays?

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Today the announcement came that Racing Point will undergo a rebrand to Aston Martin per 2021. This means that Aston Martin will no longer be the title sponsor of the Red Bull Racing team. However, will Aston Martin be able to match at least the heydays of the Jordan Grand Prix? Or will they become the new Toyota saga were much money was spent for zero efforts and improvement?

In basic Racing Point will not leave the grid and nothing much will change for the team.  It was only 1, 5 year ago that Force India was near bankruptcy with a team owner that was searched by India. Making it unable for Vijay Mallya to travel around the globe. Instead, he stayed in The United Kingdom. Thank god, some Canadian consortium under the lead of Lawrence Stroll saved Force India.

However, it was not the first time this happened with the team. In 1990, Eddie Jordan published his plans to debut in the Formula One in 1991. With their beautiful Jordan 191, which firstly was the 911, they scored some nice points. 1992 would be one of the team’s worse years in the Formula One. The years ahead of 1992 Jordan showed their progression. With their top years in 1998 and 1999 which saw the team coming close to winning the titles. Only three years later Jordan Grand Prix lost its glam. It seemed that 1992 was calling in 2002. The team sadly went downwards quickly. Up to the moment, Eddie Jordan was forced to sell his team in late 2004 to the Midland Group.  

In 2005 Jordan Grand Prix would equalled their worse season. Jordan only scored points during the American Grand Prix held at the Indy track. Due a tyre management problem Michelin pulled out the teams, they supplied. If this didn’t happened Jordan wouldn’t be close for scoring a single point that season.

For 2006 the team was rebranded to Midland Racing. With the best result of a 9th place during the Hungarian Grand Prix by Tiago Monteiro, have to be said on 3 laps of the winner Jenson Button.  In September 2006, the news arrived that Midland Racing was sold to Spyker Cars. At that Spyker’s Principal Victor Muller   had big plans with the team. However, Spyker had no money at all it is still unclear how Spyker was able to pay around 107million dollar for the Assets of Midland Racing.

Spyker made its debut in 2007, even before the beginning of the season we knew that Spyker was near bankruptcy and were not surprised the team could not set any good results on the track. As well, the principal of Spyker Cars was a bit controversial over here. Later he would buy Saab with money he did not have. With lots of luck, Adrian Sutil managed to score a single point by finishing 8th during the Japanese Grand Prix.  On the 14th of August 2007, the team announced that they would probably need to sell a part of the team or sell the complete team. As they ran out of money.

Later that season a consortium led by Vijay Mallya named Orange India purchased the team.  And renamed the team to Force India. The team went on the same path as Jordan Grand Prix did between 1991 and 1999 before their downfall. Every year Force India gain more and more, who doesn’t remember GianCarlo Fisichella’s second place during the Belgium Grand Prix in 2009? The team became more and more a serious player. Up to the moment, as with Jordan Grand Prix, the problems or better-said scandals arrived. Up to the point that Force India was in need of new investors. Eventually Force India was sold to Racing Point.

Since Racing Point is on the grid the team seems to found back a bit of it’s spirit they used to have in the hay days with Jordan Grand Prix and the hay days of Force India. Is there any different than and now? Yes the financial situation and basis is much better as it used to be. There’s more or less an unlimited flow of money put in the team. However, I disagree with the teams’ choice of drivers.

Though I don’t think it will change anyway. Lawrence Stroll is the father of Lance Stroll. As long Stroll Jr. shows some progression, I believe he won’t leave the team. Nor with Sergio Perez leave the team.

In 2020 Racing Point will be for the last time on the grid, the team will be rebranded to Aston Martin. Aston Martin has a rich history as car manufacturer as well in the motor sport Aston Martin earned their stripes. However, Aston Martin never managed to seriously arrive in the Formula One.

In 1951, Aston Martin made its first attempt in the Formula One with the Aston Martin DB3 GP. They used a 2-liter version of the 5-Cylinder 2.6litre LB6 Sportscars engine. Which was mounted in a modified DB3 Sports Racing chassis. Overseen by ex-Auto Union designer Eberan von Eberhorst. The project abandoned. In the mid 1950s Aston Martin made another attempt to design a Grand Prix racer. This time Aston Martin came with the Aston Martin DB3S. Which was tested by Reg Parnell at Chalgrove in late 1955.

There is even a story of a Aston Martin, told by mechanic Gerry Homes, that a rear-engines Aston Martin F1 car was built in 1959. The car was scrapped after Aston Martin won Le Mans that year. As well, the car did not match Aston Martin’s front engine ideology. However, some unofficial, races were done with some Aston Martin Grand Prix cars. More about that will follow in a next story.

Back to the future. In 2021 Aston Martin will appear on the grid with the same structure and people. Is there a chance that Aston Martin can show some good results on the grid? Yes there is! We should not forget that 2021 will introduce a semi-new era in the Formula One. With a budget cap and components that are more standard. The money is there, the will is there and the expertise is there. We should not forget. In fact it is just Jordan Grand Prix that will be 30 years on the grid in 1991. My only concerns are the drivers I’m not convinced they can do the job. Another concern are the big teams like Ferrari. They are already investing in 2021 as they have the resources and the money.

Another concern is the fact that Aston Martin seemed to be broke, near bankruptcy. It’s the same story with Victor Muller and Spyker. Though, Stroll seems to take it seriously with Aston Martin. It is a good thing to brand Aston Martin in the Formula One. I’m just not sure if they can continue a line upwards if you look at the teams history.

I truly hope that Aston Martin will finally debut in the Formula one after 60 years!