Let’s talk Mexico. Great atmosphere: tick. Massive crowd: tick. Great race: not so much. Lined up next to the opening scenes to the brand new James Bond movie, Spectre, also filmed in Mexico City, the race didn’t have a leg to stand on, with about as much promise and disappointment as an empty piñata.
The real excitement in Mexico came from the Force India garage, yet not from home hero Sergio Perez, oddly. Perez’s homecoming was trumped by the news that the Aston Martin name is on the verge of returning to Formula One. Amidst the uncertainty of the sport’s immediate future, here’s five reasons why F1 needs Aston even more than Bond does.
With the likes of Red Bull, Toro Rosso, Sauber and Manor all on the ropes, Formula One is on the verge of self-imploding, with edgy shareholders, disgruntled fans and grey-haired team managers growing louder by the race. Consider all four of the aforementioned teams do disappear in the next three years – will the resulting damage be in need of just a quick fix? No chance.
The addition of a globally iconic brand such AM would resonate not just within the sport and add to the benefits of sticking around, but outside it too, with would-be sponsors and fans alike far more likely to be drawn to F1 as a result. After all, who hasn’t heard of Ferrari, Mercedes and Aston Martin? Exactly.
Jordan/Midland/Spyker/Force India Saved
Speaking of threatened teams, Force India have been one of the many thought to be most marginal. Signs of their struggles erupted before the 2015 season even began, with the much-loved Silverstone-based team choosing to miss the pre-season Jerez test amidst rumours of unpaid suppliers.
When the new-for-2015-VJM08B finally made its debut at the British Grand Prix in July, it was handy, and not a moment too late for a team that have ended the season significantly stronger than how they started it with a modified 2014 car.
With the lucrative presence of Aston, Mercedes (who own 5% of Aston), and rumoured sponsorship from Johnnie Walker on-board, one must presume that such qualms would be absent in the future. Two more cars saved, Vijay Mallya gets millions for the naming rights of team he picked up for about £5, and the spirit of Jordan lives on.
Goodbye to the Photocopier
Of course the best news of Aston Martin in the paddock lies in a triumph for liveries, an area of Formula One that dies a little more every season.
The mind really does boggle when it comes to what would, or could, adorn the VJM09, or AM001 or whatever next season’s car is called; Gulf Racing colours? Black and gold Johnnie Walker branding? Badger Green (also know as British Racing Green)? Which ever colour’s get the nod, at least it isn’t likely to be white or grey.
Three Car Teams
The possibility of three-car teams in F1 has been used as a threat for over a year now, and could well become a distinct probability if the grid was to drop below 18 cars. Ferrari and Red Bull both have clauses etched in their contracts permitting the entry of a third car each should the paddock continue to shrink, but, really, what would that solve?
With more presence and power in the overall standings and queue to pick up prize money every winter, the rich simply get richer, while the poor, well, don’t. Formula One is already borderline-crippled by such a business model, and could be nailing its own coffin if it the situation gets any more radical.
If Aston and its subsequent appeal can help secure the teams future and help sustain number of entrants in the immediate future, the whole deal should be backed and supported as much as possible.
There’s a ten-year-old inside us all, and nothing ever was, is, or ever will be cooler than fast cars and James Bond. It’s also a F1 marketing dream, which should make for some REALLY cool Aston/F1/Bond hook ups in the future.
In the face of all the behind-the-scenes technology and lack of noise that has deterred many from F1 in recent years, and bit of back-page-of-the-maths-book imagination is just what the sport needs. Without Daniel Craig replacing Nick Hulkenberg anytime soon (or visa versa), we’re harboring all hopes on an F1 car chase in the next Bond movie – maybe with an evil Bernie in hot pursuit through the streets of Monaco. And ejector seats. One can only dream…