The latest rumor to involve Formula 1 also involves a former Nissan executive and one of Britain’s most recognized marques.
A report from Autocar sees former world champion team Red Bull ditching their troublesome Renault power units and switching to Mercedes motivation with an Aston Martin logo painted on the air box of the single seater.
And there might be some truth to it.
It’s no secret that multiple world champion teamÂ Red Bull Racing is less than pleased with itsÂ Renault power units as itÂ struggles at the middle of the pack. It’s also no secret that Mercedes would like to bolster the number of teams to which it supplies engines in an effort to amortize the cost of development. A deal between Red Bull Racing and Mercedes F1 may be in the works that suits theÂ needs of both parties and it could come by way of Aston Martin and its CEO Andy Palmer.
With Mercedes holding 5-percent ownership in the British luxury marque andÂ more cooperation planned in the future, the German automakerÂ does not see Aston Martin as a direct road car competitor, thus opening the door for the deal.
Andy Palmer, before his current position at Aston Martin, was the head of product for Nissan and played a major part in Red Bull Racing’s deal with Infiniti. The rumored deal between Red Bull Racing and Aston Martin would be very similar to the Infiniti deal, where Aston Martin branding is visible on Red Bull Racing’sÂ Formula 1 cars and the British manufacturer would provide technical expertise to the team.
When asked by Autocar, a spokesman for Aston Martin declined to comment on the rumor. However, when Autocar posed the question to Mercedes F1 team principal Toto Wolff at this weekend’s British Grand Prix, the door was left open a sliver.
“We must be open-minded. Our number one objective is to win the world championship. At the moment I would say I cannot see a situation of us supplying an engine to our number one enemy – but maybe we need to recalibrate who our number one enemy is tomorrow and next year.”
The deal likely won’t happen next year, though, as Red Bull Racing and Renault are bound to contract until the end of 2016. After that, it’s anyone’s guess where the Milton Keynes-based team will source its power, said Red Bull principalÂ Christian Horner:
“Last week it was Ferrari, this week it’s Aston Martin, next week it will probably be Honda or Lamborghini. We have a contract and commitment with Infiniti, a very good relationship with Infiniti, and anything beyond the end of 2016 is purely speculative.”
Aston Martin last contested Formula 1 in 1959 and 1960.