James Bond said he was thrilled and seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady threw in support from afar as Aston Martin showed off its first Formula One car in 61 years.
- An Aston Martin last lined up on a Formula 1 grid back in 1960
- Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel will drive the new car at the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 28
- Team boss Lawrence Stroll is bullish about the team’s future
The launch, presented online by Quantum of Solace actress Gemma Arterton, played up the 108-year-old brand’s connection to the fictional British secret agent as the Silverstone-based team started a new era.
“I just want to send a massive congratulations to all at Aston Martin for getting back onto the F1 grid for the first time since 1960,” Bond actor Daniel Craig said in a video message.
“It is an incredible thrill for me, and I’m sure all F1 fans, to see Aston Martin racing again in their iconic Aston Martin racing green.
Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, freshly arrived from Ferrari, and Canadian Lance Stroll will be the ones with the licence to thrill and both said they liked the look of the sleek green AMR21 car that marks Aston’s return as a constructor.
“I have not driven the car yet, obviously, but I think it looks great. I am really looking forward to getting it out on the track.”
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Brady offered his support in a video message for a team that last year, as Racing Point, finished fourth overall, won at the Sakhir track in Bahrain, and was often third fastest.
“Hey Lance and Seb, looks like your ride is finally here and it looks amazing,” he said.
“I’ll be cheering you guys every step of the way … good luck and kick some ass.”
When the 22-year-old Stroll and Vettel take to the grid in the AMR21 car at the season-opening GP in Bahrain on March 28, it will be the first time Aston Martin will have been on the grid since Roy Salvadori and Maurice Trintignant lined up for the 1960 British GP.
“Aston Martin returning to Formula One after an absence of 61 years will have a powerful effect on the sport, the media and the fans, commanding global attention,” team owner — and father of Lance — Lawrence Stroll said.
“We now have the pieces in place, the people and the partners, to make real progress. I firmly believe we have the perfect blend of experience and youth in Sebastian and Lance.”
They will get to grips with the car at preseason testing in Bahrain from March 12-14.
Stroll is also the executive chairman of Aston Martin and has big plans for expanding the brand and taking his team to the top.
“I have dreamed about this day for a very long time,” he said.
“My first dream was to own a Formula One team. My second dream was to acquire a significant shareholding in Aston Martin Lagonda.
“Today is about the merging of those two dreams. This is just the beginning. The team is pushing forward, and our ambitions are limitless.”
Aston Martin’s previous run in Formula 1 lasted only two years, 1959 and 1960.
The team did not win a race and its best result was sixth. The team then quit Formula 1 to concentrate on sports car racing.