New 656bhp Aston Martin F1 Safety Car Spotted in Bahrain

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New 656bhp Aston Martin F1 safety car breaks cover in Bahrain

Since 2021, the responsibility of leading safety car duties has been split between two notable contenders: the longstanding provider Mercedes, which boasts a formidable 720bhp AMG GT Black Series track-focused sports car, and the upgraded Aston Martin Vantage F1 Edition.

The previous Aston model, while a respectable contender, falls short in comparison to the Mercedes. It trails by nearly 200bhp in power, generates less downforce, and carries an additional 45kg of weight.

Consequently, this performance gap translates into a significant difference in lap times, with estimates suggesting the Mercedes holds a five-second advantage. Notably, Max Verstappen famously likened the Vantage to a “turtle” due to its inability to maintain adequate tyre temperature, hindering drivers during safety car periods.

During the 2022 Australian Grand Prix, the reigning three-time world champion expressed frustration, stating, “The safety car was driving so slow, it was like a turtle. Unbelievable.

To drive 140 [km/h] on the back straight, there was not a damaged car, so I don’t understand why we have to drive so slowly. We have to investigate.

New 656bhp Aston Martin F1 Safety Car Spotted in Bahrain
New 656bhp Aston Martin F1 Safety Car Spotted in Bahrain (Credits: Motorsport)

For sure, the Mercedes safety car is faster because of the extra aero, because this Aston Martin is really slow. It definitely needs more grip, because our tyres were stone cold. It’s pretty terrible the way we are driving behind the safety car at the moment.”

However, Aston Martin is poised to unveil a new safety car for the upcoming season, coinciding with significant updates to the Vantage as part of its mid-life refresh.

These enhancements include revised bodywork, a new grille, and a substantial increase in power by 150bhp to reach 656bhp. This power boost is achieved through upgrades such as larger turbochargers, enhanced cooling systems, and new camshafts for its AMG-supplied 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine.

Ahead of the F1 pre-season testing in Bahrain, the new Vantage has been seen undergoing testing, adorned with a rear wing and sporting a striking dark green and black camouflage livery.

It is anticipated that the new Vantage will make its debut at the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, marking the second race of the season. Notably, the Aston Martin F1 team, along with its Vantage safety car, prominently displays branding from Aramco, the Saudi state oil company.

The launch of the new Vantage coincided with the unveiling of its GT3 racing counterpart and the AMR24 F1 challenger on February 12th.

Aston Martin provides the F1 medical car, which received an upgrade in 2023, transitioning from the standard DBX sports utility vehicle to the enhanced 707 model, named to reflect its impressive power output.


By Sajda

Sajda is a car enthusiast, however, she is more focused on motorbikes.

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