Aston Martin reveals new F1 safety and medical cars for 2021

Aston Martin’s new Formula 1 safety car and medical chase vehicle will make their debuts at this week’s pre-season test in Bahrain before being used in the opening grand prix of the season there on March 28.

Aston Martin reveals new F1 safety and medical cars for 2021
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As previously reported by Motorsport.com, Aston Martin – which returns as a manufacturer F1 entrant for the first time in over 60 years – will share the safety and medical car duties with long-time supplier Mercedes this season.

Mercedes and Aston Martin have become increasingly close over the past 12 months, having reached deals on shareholding agreements and closer technical cooperation. It was recently announced that Mercedes will increase its stake in Aston Martin to 20%, while also giving access to a range of its technologies – including powertrain and electric/electronic architecture. 

Stefano Domenicali, President and CEO of Formula 1, said: “We are very pleased to announce our new partnership with both Aston Martin and Mercedes-AMG to provide the Official Safety and Medical Cars to the FIA Formula One World Championship.

“Aston Martin and Mercedes-AMG are iconic automotive brands, and we are proud of their place in our incredible sport. The safety and medical cars are a hugely important part Formula 1 and are always there to keep our drivers safe. Last season we witnessed the heroic speed and dedication required by the crews in rescuing Romain Grosjean from his dramatic accident, and the both the Aston Martin and Mercedes-AMG cars are perfectly equipped to respond at a moment’s notice to ensure the safety of the drivers.”

A specially-equipped version of Aston’s Vantage has been developed for the safety car role of intervening and controlling the pace of a race to neutralize the event following an accident or on-track hazard. Engineered by a team at its headquarters in Gaydon, UK, the Vantage benefits from significant chassis and aerodynamic improvements to deliver improved track performance and lap times. 

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Power has increased by 25PS (24hp) to 535PS (528hp), delivered by a 4.0-litre, twin-turbo V8 engine. It can accelerate from 0-60mph in 3.5 seconds, with its 685Nm (505lb-ft) of peak torque being sustained for longer. On the aerodynamic side, the vaned grille coupled with a new front splitter creates 155.6kg (343lb) of downforce at 200km/h (124 mph), more than 60kg (132lb) greater than the production Vantage produces at the same speed. 

Inside the cabin, two screens are mounted on the dashboard providing the occupants with a live television feed and a variety of customizable information displays, including live lap timing and the track positioning of all active race cars.  

The centre console has been modified, with a switch control system used to execute a number of actions, including activating the siren, radio communications and controlling the light-bar LEDs. The FIA’s ‘Marshalling System’ is integrated into the instrument cluster and the dashboard, allowing the driver and co-driver to see which colour flag is being shown in each sector of the track. 

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F1’s veteran safety car driver Bernd Maylander said: “Formula 1 fans around the world are delighted to see the return of Aston Martin to the track, as am I. [This] is a beautiful, capable car that signifies an exciting new era for Aston Martin.” 

As well as the Vantage safety car, Aston Martin’s DBX – the brand’s first SUV – will take on the role of medical car. Driven by Alan van der Merwe and partnered by Dr Ian Roberts (the FIA F1 medical response coordinator) this car starts behind the F1 field on the opening lap of races and is subsequently deployed from the pitlane in case of medical emergency on track when required. 

Powered by a 4-litre, twin-turbo V8 engine, that is also used in the DB11 and Vantage, it provides 550PS (542hp) and 700NM (516lb-ft) of torque, with a 0-60mph time of 4.3 seconds, capable of a top speed of 181mph. 

It is required to carry a substantial amount of equipment including a large medical bag, a defibrillator, two fire extinguishers and a burns kit. Much like the safety car, two screens have been mounted onto the dashboard to provide live race footage. An additional screen is used to read live biometric data delivered via technology in the drivers’ gloves, which in the event of an accident provides critical information on their condition. 

Both vehicles have undergone significant testing, including high-speed durability assessments and aggressive circuit driving at the Aston Martin facility at Silverstone, totting up almost 15,000km collectively. The vehicles have also been tested in a dyno climate chamber to ensure they will perform in all race conditions. 

Tobias Moers, CEO 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.  

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