Reports have emerged that Aston Martin is in negotiation with Red Bull over a shock return to F1 for next season.
While negotiations are ongoing, any deal would see Aston Martin become a brand partner of four-time world champions Red Bull Racing, in exchange for brokering a deal to run Mercedes power units – with the German manufacturer owning a 5% stake in the British sportscar company.
Under the deal Mercedes would be recognised as the official engine supplier of Red Bull, but Aston Martin would become a partner and have branding on the cars. The deal is said to have the support of Mercedes, which is eager to supply more customer teams in order to offset its costs, and does not see Aston Martin as a competitor brand.
Of course, any tie-up with Aston Martin would likely end the team’s affiliation with Infiniti, which is owned by Nissan, who have an alliance with Renault. It also remains to be seen how Red Bull would break its contract with Renault, with the pair having signed to an agreement for engine supply until the end of 2016.
While Aston Martin only competed in F1 for just two years, 1959-1960, there has been a considerable demand from fans for the brand to return to the sport. The sportscar manufacturer was most recently linked with the doomed Prodrive F1 entry, which fell apart when cost caps failed to be introduced.