Since 1997, Mercedes-Benz has been Formula 1’s official safety car supplier, its silver AMG-fettled machines being a familiar sight on small screens around the world. But the company might be about to lose its 23-year stranglehold on the deal, says a RaceFans report.
According to the motorsports publication, Stuttgart will be sharing the deal with a second carmaker that will supply the safety and medical cars at more than half of the races planned for next season. It’s a good job, then, that this second carmaker has significant ties to the Three-Pointed Star, and that is Aston Martin.
Citing a “reliable” source, the report stated that Gaydon’s cars will be present at 12 of the 23 races in 2021 and will have the preference to select the weekends it wants to supply. This decision will supposedly be dictated by markets, with the company expected to pick the countries where they have bigger interests.
Although Aston Martin has not confirmed the speculation and has declined to comment on the report, it’s been suggested that the company will field the Vantage as the safety car. The DBX, meanwhile, should take the role of the medical car, where space for medical equipment and injured drivers is paramount. Both cars are powered by the same 4.0 litre twin-turbocharged V8 as AMG’s cars.
Mercedes’ parent company Daimler deepened its technical partnership with Aston Martin last month, agreeing to increase its stake in the sports car maker from 2.6% to 20%. The deal will provide the latter with new “cutting-edge” technologies and components, such as hybrid and electric powertrains. It’s already been reported that Mercedes will supply Aston with technology for its first fully-electric car, due out in 2026.
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