Aston boss wants Le Mans talk with Red Bull's F1 driver Verstappen

Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer says the prospect of Formula 1 star Max Verstappen racing for the manufacturer at the Le Mans 24 Hours is "a conversation to be had"

Aston boss wants Le Mans talk with Red Bull's F1 driver Verstappen

Verstappen's Red Bull F1 team has a title partnership with Aston Martin and the energy drinks company's Advanced Technologies firm helped Aston develop the road-going Valkyrie hypercar.

A racing version of the Valkyrie will be built to the World Endurance Championship's new top-class hypercar regulations in 2020, giving Aston the chance to fight for overall honours at the Le Mans 24 Hours again.

Verstappen has talked about his desire to race at Le Mans, particularly with his father Jos. He has also taken part in sim racing enduro events, most recently winning the virtual Spa 24 Hours on the iRacing platform alongside McLaren F1 driver Lando Norris.

Aston boss Palmer told Autosport that he is "privileged to have a reasonably good relationship with Max" through the Red Bull link.

"Philosophically or theoretically I'd love to have him involved [at Le Mans]," said Palmer.

"He's not formally involved but it's not ruled out either.

"That's a conversation to be had in the future.

"But wouldn't it be great?"

Aston's title partnership with Red Bull has been vindicated by various commercial, technological and sporting offshoots.

As well as the name of the F1 team and prominent branding on Red Bull's cars, there have been various events with Red Bull and Aston Martin working together - most recently at the British Grand Prix.

Aston gave the road-going Valkyrie its first public run at Silverstone, on the same weekend it used its involvement in the James Bond film franchise to deck out Red Bull's cars in a special 007 livery and invite actor Daniel Craig - who plays James Bond - to the race.

Palmer admitted that the mix of those off-track initiatives, coupled with competitive growth such as the WEC hypercar project and Red Bull alliance, seemed impossible when he joined Aston five years ago.

"It looks like giant leaps but actually it's lots of little steps," he said.

"Underneath the water every day is a struggle. But that's the point: we're struggling towards a goal that's been clearly laid out, a roadmap for development of the company turning into a great British institution.

"That's laid out until at least 2024. While each of the days require big targets to be achieved, at least you know where you're running to.

"We've got momentum now, we know where we're heading. And if you get little successes they turn into big successes and into huge successes.

"Then somehow things just start to happen. Think about the weekend - you've got Red Bull, Max Verstappen, we shouldn't ignore Pierre [Gasly] as he did a great job, you've got Daniel Craig and 007, Aston Martin, all in one space.

"Imagine trying to orchestrate all that a few years ago. That would have been something impossible.

"And the cherry on the cake is running the Valkyrie. These are things you look back on in your career and think 'that was a day, wasn't it!'."

shares
comments
Front-end changes for Toyota's WEC LMP1 car for 2019/20

Previous article

Front-end changes for Toyota's WEC LMP1 car for 2019/20

Next article

Nasr to test Rebellion at WEC prologue as team evaluates line-up

Nasr to test Rebellion at WEC prologue as team evaluates line-up
Load comments

About this article

Series WEC
Author Scott Mitchell
How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname Plus

How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname

Sportscar racing lost one of it's greatest talents 20 years ago today when Bob Wollek was knocked from his bicycle prior to the Sebring 12 Hours. The enigmatic Frenchman never won the Le Mans 24 Hours, but many still remember today why 'Brilliant Bob' became a legend

WEC
Mar 16, 2021
Top 10 moments of an underrated British great Plus

Top 10 moments of an underrated British great

Brian Redman was one of the best sportscar drivers of the 1960s and 1970s, as well as a three-time champion on the fearsome American Formula 5000 scene. To celebrate his 84th birthday Autosport contacted him about his best races – and he decided to write the piece himself…

WEC
Mar 9, 2021
How an endurance racing boom could help one of LMP2's top teams Plus

How an endurance racing boom could help one of LMP2's top teams

The G-Drive squad has been a mainstay of endurance racing in recent years, and has linked up with Russian manufacturer Aurus in recent years to promote its brand. With a change of rules in endurance racing's top tables, the team could be well-placed to take advantage of a potential boom...

WEC
Mar 7, 2021
How Ferrari’s Hypercar project could bolster Leclerc’s legacy Plus

How Ferrari’s Hypercar project could bolster Leclerc’s legacy

OPINION: Ferrari's planned return to the top category at the Le Mans 24 Hours has further heightened anticipation for the 2023 race. Few concrete details are currently known, but already it has a high-profile superstar angling for involvement, which would make a refreshing change

WEC
Mar 5, 2021
Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar exile Plus

Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar exile

Making a return to top-flight sportscar racing after 50 years away, Ferrari will enter the Le Mans Hypercar ranks in 2023. The Italian marque denies the link with Formula 1's new cost cap that frees up resources, but it's certainly no coincidence...

WEC
Feb 25, 2021
The ground-up refresh behind Toyota's new Le Mans challenger Plus

The ground-up refresh behind Toyota's new Le Mans challenger

Toyota's new GR010 contender for the World Endurance Championship's Hypercar era has little in common with the LMP1 TS050 that preceded it. But within the confines of the scaled back new rules, its latest challenger will be no less formidable a prospect

WEC
Jan 22, 2021
The Porsche icon that forged sportscar racing's greatest era Plus

The Porsche icon that forged sportscar racing's greatest era

Porsche is returning to the top class of Le Mans with an LMDh prototype that it hopes will write its next successful chapter in sportscar racing. But it will have to go some to emulate its 956/962, a car which defines the Group C age more than any other

WEC
Dec 16, 2020
How Kristensen forged the Mr Le Mans legend Plus

How Kristensen forged the Mr Le Mans legend

He is synonymous with success at the Circuit de la Sarthe, but Tom Kristensen's sportscar legacy amounts to much more than his record-breaking nine Le Mans wins, as the most successful driver ever at Sebring and a world champion to boot

WEC
Dec 5, 2020