Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Boss Toto Wolff said that the Aston Martin team will carry the weight of its famous name, providing Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll with a “first reality check”
Aston Martin’s executive chairman Lawrence Stroll had organised a tie-up between the Aston Martin brand and his F1 team Racing Point, which in itself is a rebrand of Force India that went into administration post the team’s ex-owner Vijay Mallya facing court issues.
Toto Wolff, a close friend of Lawrence Stroll and a shareholder of the Aston Martin F1 team will be keeping a close eye on the team’s performance this season, suggesting that a bout of pressure has come about post the team’s new identity.
“When you carry the name of an automobile manufacturer with this great tradition, you have to have aspirations to be at the very front,” said the Austrian, speaking to Speedweek.
“This is also an upgrade for Formula 1 with a great brand. For Sebastian Vettel and his team-mate Lance Stroll, this will be a first reality check. “It will also be fascinating for me to watch Aston Martin.”
The team, which won a surprise race at Sakhir with Sergio Perez might spring a few surprises, but Wolff expects Mercedes to have tough competition from Milton Keynes based Red Bull.
Wolff says that Mercedes’ rival poses a double challenge this year, with the lineup consisting of Sergio Perez, who was displaced from Aston Martin (Racing Point) in favour of 4-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen, who will be entering his fifth season with the Austrian outfit.
“That is a very strong combination,” Wolff said talking to Red Bull’s solid driver line-up. “Red Bull Racing actually had the fastest car at the end of last year, so the team is in the favourites’ circle in 2021, especially in the Constructors’ Championship, with drivers of this calibre.
“I see Red Bull Racing as a double challenge, so in both World Championship categories, drivers and teams.”
As for his assessment of this year’s field, Wolff believes that Ferrari will enjoy a step forward whilst the inner team rivalry between newbie Carlos Sainz and Ferrari’s future Charles Leclerc proving to be interesting.
“It will be exciting to see how Carlos Sainz does against Charles Leclerc,” he stated.
“Ferrari will be stronger than in 2020, the Scuderia simply has to. It also suffered from a weak chassis last year. I assume that those bugs have been ironed out.”