Aston Martin will supply the safety and medical cars for the Formula 1 field for the first time ever.
The British brand is making a return to the grid in 2021 with Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll at the wheel of their respective race cars, but now Aston’s road cars will also be used to support races during crashes and bad weather.
Aston Martin is replacing Mercedes-AMG, and will be using a Vantage sports car and DBX SUV.
The safety car is used to lead the field at a controlled pace when an incident has occured. This is usually for a crash or if a broken down car is on the circuit, giving track workers and medical personnel a safe space to deal with it.
Formula 1 cars need heat in their tyres to maximise performance, and driving slowly can quickly cool them. That’s why performance cars are always used for the safety car, with the Aston Martin Vantage replacing the Mercedes-AMG GT.
The sports car has been given some slight tweaks to make it FIA-compliant while lower-profile tyres have been fitted too. Power from the 4.0-litre V8 engine has been increased by about 25bhp to 528bhp, while the 685Nm peak torque figure remains the same but is now available across more of the rev range.
The medical car is used to attend to serious crashes and follows the field for the first lap. Its importance was highlighted at the Bahrain Grand Prix last year, when Romain Grosjean’s Haas car was engulfed in a fireball after a horrific crash.
Medics were on the scene within seconds to help him escape the fire and had extensive medical equipment on hand to help him.
This will be an Aston Martin DBX, the firm’s SUV, because it has more space on-board to carry supplies. It will have the same engine as the Vantage but here it makes 542bhp.
Tobias Moers, chief executive officer of Aston Martin Lagonda said “Together with the whole company, I am extremely proud of the Aston Martin brand’s return to Formula 1, the pinnacle of motorsport for the first time in more than 60 years and represents the start of a significant new era for Aston Martin.
“To see our acclaimed Vantage, our most dynamic sports car, performing the role of the Official Safety Car of Formula 1 and our first SUV, DBX, operate as the Medical Car on Formula 1 circuits around the world is a proud moment for us all”.
The 2021 Formula 1 season kicks off in Bahrain, with the Grand Prix happening on March 28.