Liberty Media's plan for an overhaul of Formula One operations received a firm boost yesterday from the boss of Aston Martin.
The British carmakers added their name to the list of teams and suppliers backing Liberty’s blueprint for the future of the glamour
sport starting 2021.
Andy Palmer said the planned changes to the sport could pave the way for the luxury sportscar brand which is a title sponsor to
Red Bull to supply engines to Formula One.
“We are extremely pleased to hear the news regarding the future of F1. These prospective changes support many of the requirements
needed for Aston Martin to enter the sport as an engine supplier,” Palmer said in a statement on Twitter.
Red Bull’s engine contract with Renault is scheduled to end this year and many paddock observers believe the team is lining up a possible
switch to Honda engines, which may be badged as Aston Martin.
While Aston Martin welcomed the American owners’ five-point plan for changing the face of F1 and ushering in a budget cap and a revised
revenue distribution system, Ferrari remained silent.
The Italian team confirmed, via a spokesman, that it had no comment to make in Bahrain following the announcement of
the blueprint on Friday.
Warned Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne has warned in the past that radical changes might result in the venerable
Italian team quitting F1.
Rivals Mercedes were cautious in their welcome of the vision of the future. Team chief Toto Wolff said that a budget cap of $150
million was “not achievable” and team chairman Niki Lauda said: “It would mean cutting many jobs, which is something we cannot do in
such a short time.”
For his part, Red Bull’s Christian Horner said: “The purpose of today was outlining the blue sky thinking Liberty have. The
positive thing is they are really focused on the fans and creating a better show and a more affordable Formula 1. But the devil is
always in the detail.” McLaren’s Zak Brown agreed: “Overall the impression is very positive and the direction in which they are taking
is the right direction.... We all recognise the sport starts with the fan and that is what Liberty is focused on. If the fan
wins then I think we all win I think we all recognise that the sport is not where it needs to be today so it’s in our collective
interest to improve the show.
“That means we are all going to have to make vary- ing degrees of compromises but I think we will ultimately get there at the end. We’re
excited about the future of Formula 1.” The blueprint is scheduled to be put into action in 2021.
The teams are expected to meet again to discuss the proposals on April 17, following the Chinese Grand Prix.