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Force India close to finalising deal for Aston Martin's F1 return

Force India is close to finalising a deal with Aston Martin that will see the British sportscar manufacturer return to Formula 1 after a 55-year absence

Autosport revealed at the end of October that the Aston Martin name was likely to return to F1, after a two-year run in 1959-60.

Talks have continued in recent weeks about the details, which will likely see the team renamed to Aston Martin Racing, and run with a blue and gold livery as part of a link with sponsor Johnnie Walker.

"We're close," Force India's chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer told Autosport during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend.

"I think in maybe another week to 10 days we'll be able to announce something."

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Assessing the potential impact of the link, Szafnauer added: "Either way we should be OK, but maybe with Aston we'll have a different look and attract some other types of sponsors and maybe get some more money in.

"If we can do that, it will help us make that next step and continue the form that we've showed in the final part of this year."

Force India claimed fifth in the constructors' championship, thanks primarily to the introduction of the B-spec for the second half of the campaign.

Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg combined had a 59 strike rate in scoring points over the upgraded car's 11 races, including finishing fifth and seventh in Abu Dhabi last weekend.

"We were the fifth quickest team. Not bad," Szafnauer said.

"It's encouraging because I think we've made good strides over the season, and hopefully the trajectory of development will continue into next year.

"I think we can carry it into next year because the regulations don't change much, so everything we have learned this year will apply to next year."

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