Aston Martin team principal Otmar Szafnauer says the rebranding of the former Racing Point team has been a massive undertaking given the global challenges over the past 12 months.
Force India was purchased by Lawrence Stroll back in 2018 and renamed Racing Point, with Stroll then becoming executive chairman of Aston Martin and committing to using the F1 team to promote the car brand. A new factory has been delayed, but the team officially became Aston Martin on January 1 and Szafnauer said juggling the switch amid the COVID-19 pandemic has been extremely difficult.
“It has been a mammoth task,” Szafnauer said. “It’s easy to forget that we’ve been putting the groundwork in place for a brand-new era alongside a very challenging global setting, all the while balancing those tasks with our most successful Formula 1 season to date – including a race win and multiple podium finishes en route to fourth place in the constructors’ championship.
“Everybody involved should be extremely proud of that achievement and I think it demonstrates that while this is a new team name and identity, we have retained the strong backbone that has guided us through some tough times to where we are today.
“While the challenge was once establishing ourselves as the most efficient team on the grid, now there’s an exciting opportunity to establish ourselves as a top team, while still maintaining that efficiency, in order to add an exciting chapter to the Aston Martin legacy.”
The new factory will not be ready until next year after changes were made to its layout in response to the pandemic, but Szafnauer believes there is fresh impetus regardless of the delay, thanks to the rebranding and first victory for the team under Stroll’s ownership in Bahrain at the end of last year.
“With a new name, committed shareholders, fresh investment, and an experienced team, we believe we have all the ingredients in place to compete for even more podiums and hopefully victories too,” he said. “By the end of 2022, we’ll also have a fantastic new factory at Silverstone, giving the team the space and infrastructure to realize our ambitions. We have a new title sponsor in Cognizant with the expertise to add value in all areas of our IT operations and make a valuable contribution to our performance on-track.
“It’s the start of a new journey, and I can sense an extra energy in the team, with a determination to push performance further than ever before. Combined with some of the most creative minds in the business, a true racers’ mentality and the can-do spirit that has served us so well through the years, we have every reason to be excited about the future.”