By some stroke of numerological luck, the 2019 British Grand Prix at Silverstone was the 1,007th Formula 1TM race of all time. It seemed like too much of a coincidence to ignore, especially since Aston Martin is once again partnering with EON Productions in the forthcoming Bond movie No Time To Die.
This year, special 007-inspired livery gave a new edge to the sleek lines of Aston Martin Red Bull Racing’s RB15 F1TM cars, while the walls of the pit garage were adorned with bold graphics inspired by Q’s legendary MI6 Lab. The liveries were a direct nod to the role played by Aston Martins in Bond films over the ages. Each car bore the iconic 007 logo as well as special Bond “number plates” on the back of their rear wings, referencing a particular cinematic outing. Max Verstappen’s car carried the plate from the Aston Martin DB5 in Goldfinger (1964) while his teammate Pierre Gasly referenced the Aston Martin V8 Vantage number plate from The Living Daylights (1987).
The weekend’s Bond associations went even further, with the presence of the Bond in Motion exhibition, EON’s official collection of James Bond vehicles. Race ticketholders got the opportunity to see the unique Aston Martin DB10 created for Spectre (2015), the Aston Martin DB5 used in Quantum of Solace (2008) and the 1985 V8 Vantage that will soon return in No Time to Die. In addition, during the Pirelli Hot Laps sessions, the stunning On Her Majesty’s Secret Service special-edition 2019 Aston Martin DBS Superleggera delighted the crowd.
There was one more dramatic turn before the race began: Aston Martin Valkryie made its dynamic public showcase on the circuit. With Aston Martin’s High Performance Test Driver Chris Goodwin at the wheel, the very first example of this stunning 1,160bhp machine made an indelible impression. Goodwin’s brief was not to explore the limits, but bring the car to life in a scenario familiar from thousands of miles of virtual laps. “I’ve driven this car around Silverstone for countless hours on the simulator at Aston Martin Red Bull Racing’s HQ and many other sportscars throughout my career,” Goodwin said, “but to drive Aston Martin Valkyrie here today feels exceptionally special. It has brought a real smile to my face and I hope that the crowds watching from the stands enjoyed it as much as I did.
Special 007-inspired livery gave a new edge to the sleek lines of Aston Martin Red Bull Racing’s RB15 F1TM cars
Aston Martin Valkryie has undergone months of digital modelling and simulation work and now the physical process of creating is underway in earnest. “Aston Martin Valkyrie continues to redefine what you and I recognise as a hypercar, possessing unrivalled levels of performance in a package that is technologically beyond anything else,” Aston Martin Lagonda President and Group CEO Andy Palmer said.
Meanwhile, Adrian Newey, Chief Technical Officer at Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and one of architects of the car — alongside Marek Reichman, Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer of Aston Martin Lagonda, and David King, Vice President and Chief Special Operations Officer of Aston Martin Lagonda — described how it felt to witness his design roar into life on the track.
“To finally see Aston Martin Valkyrie running five years from when I first sat down and started sketching what this car could look like is quite an emotional day,” Newey said. “With the change in vision angle as it comes past and the noise, it is now doing what it is supposed to be doing, which is to move and be dynamic.”
The hero cars and playful visual associations were matched by some very serious racing action. In the end, the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing team finished with very credible fourth and fifth positions, ensuring that both drivers went home with championship points. To date, all 150 road-going Aston Martin Valkyries are sold out, with first deliveries expected in Q4 2019.