Valkyrie's British GP debut was "two fingers" to sceptics

Aston Martin’s first public run of the Valkyrie hypercar it developed with Red Bull was chosen for the British Grand Prix partly to give “two fingers” to the company’s critics.

Valkyrie's British GP debut was "two fingers" to sceptics

The road-going version of the Aston Martin/Red Bull Advanced Technologies-developed Valkyrie, which will be built for the new World Endurance Championship rules as well, complete a demonstration lap of Silverstone on Saturday.

Aston’s 1160bhp machine appeared in a livery inspired by the red camouflage design Red Bull shook down its 2019 F1 car in at Silverstone earlier this year.

The company’s CEO Andy Palmer told Motorsport.com there were a “whole bunch of things at play” that led to the Valkyrie being run for the first time on the British GP weekend, in front of a sell-out crowd.

“First of all it’s the ride-and-handling home of Aston Martin because our Stowe facility is just there,” Palmer said. “Second it’s the home grand prix of the Aston Martin Red Bull team, and very close to the Red Bull home. That was important. There’s a whole load of British fans there. And since we listed, there’s a whole bunch of people who are shorting our shares on the premise or thesis that we can’t make DBX and Valkyrie work.

“To some extent it was a bit of two fingers to those guys, to demonstrate publicly that it not only works but it’s bloody great as well.”

A coolant leak on Thursday night meant the team “only got the car reliably running on the Friday”, said Palmer, who admitted he briefly thought the run would not happen.

Aston Martin Valkyrie

Aston Martin Valkyrie
1/13

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

Aston Martin Valkyrie

Aston Martin Valkyrie
2/13

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

Aston Martin Valkyrie

Aston Martin Valkyrie
3/13

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Aston Martin Valkyrie

Aston Martin Valkyrie
4/13

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Aston Martin Valkyrie

Aston Martin Valkyrie
5/13

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

Dr Helmut Marko, Red Bull Racing Team Consultant, Andy Palmer, President & Chief Executive Officer, Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd, Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing Team Principal, Adrian Newey, Red Bull Racing Chief Technical Officer, Marek Reichman, Executive Vice President & Chief Creative Officer, Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd, and David King, Director of Special Projects at Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd pose with the Aston Martin Valkyrie

Dr Helmut Marko, Red Bull Racing Team Consultant, Andy Palmer, President & Chief Executive Officer, Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd, Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing Team Principal, Adrian Newey, Red Bull Racing Chief Technical Officer, Marek Reichman, Executive Vice President & Chief Creative Officer, Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd, and David King, Director of Special Projects at Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd pose with the Aston Martin Valkyrie
6/13

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

Aston Martin Valkyrie

Aston Martin Valkyrie
7/13

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Aston Martin Valkyrie

Aston Martin Valkyrie
8/13

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Aston Martin Valkyrie

Aston Martin Valkyrie
9/13

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

An Aston Martin Valkyrie drives some laps

An Aston Martin Valkyrie drives some laps
10/13

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Aston Martin Valkyrie

Aston Martin Valkyrie
11/13

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

An Aston Martin Valkyrie drives some laps

An Aston Martin Valkyrie drives some laps
12/13

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Aston Martin Valkyrie

Aston Martin Valkyrie
13/13

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

He credited Red Bull for being able to get the car ready.

“Sitting on the apron, when the guys ‘it’s ready to go, do we go?’ – that lap was a long lap from my perspective,” Palmer said. “But the car performed perfectly.

“From an achievement perspective, that’s a car that is nigh-on impossible to achieve, and plenty of people have told us it’s impossible. So to get it there is a huge milestone.

”
The team originally responsible for the concept engineering of the car will assist with the initial develop of the WEC version of the car.

At the same time, “a fairly significant build” will now begin for multiple road-going cars that will undergo various tests.

“Some go on to be crashed, some go onto rigs for long-term durability testing, some go off for calibration,” said Palmer. “They all go into various test modes to make sure we meet the test standards of Red Bull for a Formula 1 car, but also meet all of our standards for a road car. It’s quite an arduous schedule now.”

The Valkyrie may reappear on track to give a public “validation” of its performance.

“What you saw at the weekend it wasn’t going flat out,” said Palmer. “I’d like to see it unleashed. And then the biggie [milestone] is the first production car at the end of this year.”

shares
comments
McLaren needed "five more laps" for Norris strategy to work

Previous article

McLaren needed "five more laps" for Norris strategy to work

Next article

German GP tyre selections announced

German GP tyre selections announced
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1 , WEC
Event British GP
Author Scott Mitchell
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Prime

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight.

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Prime

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warm-up. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
The five key tests Hamilton passed to claim Portugal victory Prime

The five key tests Hamilton passed to claim Portugal victory

Just as he did in 2020, Lewis Hamilton had to come from behind to win the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix. Only this time there were two rivals he had to pass, among the several challenges he had to overcome, on his way to securing a 97th grand prix victory

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
The data that leaves both Red Bull, Mercedes uncertain of supremacy Prime

The data that leaves both Red Bull, Mercedes uncertain of supremacy

Lewis Hamilton topped the crucial FP2 session on Friday as F1 returned to Portugal, but his Mercedes team cannot be sure it has the edge on its Red Bull rivals. As cool temperatures and wind combine with the still-slippery surface to present drivers with quandaries over set-up and tyre warmup, there's still everything to play for come qualifying.

Formula 1
May 1, 2021
How in-form Norris is staking his claim as Britain's next F1 champion Prime

How in-form Norris is staking his claim as Britain's next F1 champion

As a highly-rated Mercedes junior, George Russell is naturally billed as Lewis Hamilton's heir apparent where Britain's next Formula 1 champion is concerned. But he may face competition for that accolade from Lando Norris, fresh from a confidence-boosting run to third at Imola whose rise is being accelerated by his McLaren team’s revival

Formula 1
Apr 29, 2021
The biggest headache F1 faces over its sprint race experiments Prime

The biggest headache F1 faces over its sprint race experiments

The news this week that F1 has green-lit 'sprint qualifying' races that will determine the grid for three grands prix in 2021 was met with a blend of excitement and scepticism. But before those in both camps can be vilified, F1 must first work out what its criteria is for success - and what will justify making them a more permanent fixture

Formula 1
Apr 28, 2021
The essential quality Tsunoda has to harness better Prime

The essential quality Tsunoda has to harness better

A rapid ascent through the junior categories meant Yuki Tsunoda's arrival in Formula 1 was always going to be much-hyped. It's not been smooth sailing for Red Bull's latest protege so far, but his confidence has never wavered - something he'll need to rely on to continue his progress into the driver he believes he can be.

Formula 1
Apr 27, 2021