For the first time in the history of motorsports, Aston Martin has been chosen to supply the Official Safety and Medical cars of Formula 1. The Safety car will be based on the Vantage, while the Medical car will be the DBX.
For the last three decades, it was German luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz that supplied the safety and medical cars for the FIA Formula One World Championship. For 2021, though, it will change, as Aston Martin will now be the official Safety and Medical car provider for the Formula 1 Championship.
The Aston Martin Vantage sports car will now become the official Safety car, and the DBX, which is the British carmaker's first-ever SUV, will become the official Medical car. The safety car is of utmost importance in F1, as it has the critical role of intervening and controlling the pace of an event, which involves the fastest racing cars on the planet. The Vantage, which has been specially modified with significant chassis and aerodynamic improvements, will be on standby in the pitlane during the race. If for some reason Race Control deploys the Vantage, it will still need to have quick lap times to ensure that the tyre temperature of the race cars does not come down. That is why the Vantage had to be enhanced to be extra sporty.
Its power has increased by 24bhp to 530bhp, which is pumped out from the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8. The peak torque remains the same at 685Nm, but it can now be sustained for a longer time. The transmission has also been reworked for better precision and control. The Vantage has also made modifications to the suspension, steering and detailed bodywork for increased structural stiffness. It also gets an aero kit and lower profile tyres to make it the perfect machine for the job. The Vantage will be piloted by FIA’s appointed driver Bernd Mayländer who has been at the helm of the F1 safety car for over twenty years now.
There have been significant changes to the cabin as well. The seats have been replaced by FIA-approved racing seats, equipped with a 6-point safety harness. There are significant changes to the dashboard and two screens have been mounted to provide the driver and co-driver with a live television feed as well as a variety of information displays, including live lap timing and the track positioning of all active race cars.
The Medical car also needs to respond quickly in case of an emergency, and it also needs to carry a lot of equipment such as medical bags, fire extinguishers, and a defibrillator. The DBX is powered by the same 4-litre twin-turbo V8 engine as the Vantage and provides an impressive output of 545bhp and 700NM of torque, which launches the car from 0 to 100km/h in just 4.5 seconds. It also has 632 litres of boot space to carry the required equipment.
The Official Aston Martin Safety and Medical cars will make their debut during the three-day pre-season test at Bahrain on 12 – 14 March.