For the 2021 Formula 1 season, the fleet of F1 Safety and Medical cars will be shared between the existing Mercedes-AMG vehicles as well as new additions of Aston Martin Vantage and Aston Martin DBX vehicles, a first for the British luxury automaker.
This is the first time that two marques are assigned the duties of key support vehicles for the F1 championship, where Mercedes-Benz has been the sole provider since 1996.
The Aston Martin Vantage coupe has outputs of 510 hp and 685 Nm from the Mercedes-AMG sourced 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine. For the F1 Safety Car duties, calibration has been done to increase engine output by 25 hp to 535 hp, and the engine control unit will prolong the 685 Nm of torque to sustain for longer periods above the standard 5,000 rpm.
Paired to a rear-mounted eight-speed automatic transmission, the Aston Martin Vantage completes the century sprint in a rapid 3.6 seconds. Top speed is not important while leading the F1 pack with chassis modification work done to instead improve cornering speed and stability.
The engineering team at Aston Martin has placed underbody bracing for additional rigidity together with a new high downforce-inducing body kit including a front splitter that can generate as much as 155.6 kg of downforce.
Additional cooling ducts have also been fitted to exhaust as much heat as possible from the engine compartment as well as the carbon-ceramic brakes.
The Aston Martin DBX SUV meanwhile will be providing the duties of the Medical Car, a role rarely seen until last year’s inferno at the Bahrain Grand Prix, where Romain Grosjean’s Haas VF-20 car burst into flames after crashing onto the barrier.
As the medical car is purely attending to the aftermath of an incident rather than circuit pacing, modifications have been done to the interior to carry two fire extinguishers, a large medical bag, a burn kit and a defibrillator. The rear bench has been replaced by two individual bucket seats with six-point safety harness.
Engine outputs of the Aston Martin DBX remain unchanged from the standard car, with 550 hp and 700 Nm from a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine. 0 to 100 km/h is done in 4.5 seconds, with traction delivered to all four Pirelli tyres via the nine-speed automatic transmission and an intelligent all-wheel drive system featuring an active central differential with an electronic rear limited-slip differential (eDiff).
Both vehicles will be fitted with the lighting, communications and marshalling system developed by F1 and finished in Aston Martin Racing Green, the same paintwork found on their 2021 F1 racer led by four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel.
The first assignment is being taken on by Aston Martin at the season’s opener on 28th March at the Bahrain Grand Prix. Mercedes-AMG will return to action, brandishing a new red colour scheme, on 18th April at the second round in the picturesque Imola.
The fleet of F1 support vehicles will still be piloted by Bernd Maylander while the medical cars will be driven by Alan van der Merwe with Dr Ian Roberts as the accompanying F1 Medical Rescue Coordinator.
In Malaysia, the latest Aston Martin Vantage is priced from RM678,000, while the Aston Martin DBX is priced from RM818,000. Both are prices before taxes, duties, options and all other associated costs.
Aston Martin Vantage F1 Safety Car
Aston Martin DBX F1 Medical Car