The Williams Martini Racing team is believed to be the frontrunner to secure a partnership with Aston Martin following the demise of Red Bull’s mooted Mercedes Benz engine supply.
As reported in July, Aston Martin is believed to be looking for a return to F1 to increase its brand exposure, having held talks with Christian Horner earlier in the year. It is believed that Horner had hoped that Aston Martin’s close ties to Mercedes – the German manufacturer owns a 5% stake in the British sportscar brand – would help Red Bull Racing to secure a deal for the most powerful powerunit on the grid.
However, with that deal having broken down, Williams have emerged as the favourites to secure a deal with Aston Martin, although Force India is believed to be pushing for a tie-in too.
Clare Williams, deputy team principal of Williams Martini Racing spoke with Motorsport.com about the rumours: “As a team you always have to look at your options and Aston Martin is a great brand, it is a great British brand. It is as powerful to us as potentially an Aston Martin badging exercise would be. So we are happy.”
“As everyone knows, they are talking to Force India and as everyone knows we have a long-term partnership with Mercedes, and we are really happy with that partnership at the moment. And why wouldn’t you be, when it is the best power unit on the grid?”
“One of our greatest assets is that because we are an independent team we can be really, really flexible with our partnerships. I am a firm believer in the adage that beggers cannot be choosers
“If someone wants to come along and sponsor our team and give us £10 million, I will bite your hand off for it and I will give you the assets I want to give you. But I will not oversell and give you too many assets.
“I want that £10 million. I won’t say no to it just because I want £40m – I need to keep my racing team going.”