- Both cars make their debut at the pre-season F1 test in Bahrain between 12-14 March
Aston Martin will make its return to the FIA Formula One World Championship at the end of this month in the Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2021 grid. The brand will introduce the DBX and the Vantage as the official medical and safety cars of Formula 1.
Exterior highlights of the Aston Martin Vantage safety car include an all-new paint colour, 2021 Aston Martin Racing Green, which was developed specifically to celebrate the marque's return to Formula 1 racing after more than 60 years. A Lime Essence pinstripe highlights the front splitter.
The F1 safety car is otherwise distinguished by its prominent FIA safety car livery, bodyside mounted radio antennas, an LED rear number plate, and a bespoke, roof-mounted LED light-bar, developed by Aston Martin. The light-bar sits on a carbon fibre plinth, raised above the roof line. Bright orange lights on the outer edges of the light-bar illuminate when the official safety car joins the track. A centrally positioned amber flashing light then illuminates once the safety car is in position ahead of the race leader, indicating that no one should overtake. Two centrally positioned green lights are illuminated once it is safe for the F1 cars to pass. The headlamps and taillamps also flash to aid the safe deployment of the car. The rear number plate displays ‘Safety Car’ illuminated by LED’s, making it clear to see from vehicles behind in all weather conditions. A rear-facing camera is also fixed to the light-bar that feeds a live image into a second rear-view mirror located inside the cabin, allowing the co-driver to monitor any activity at the rear.
Inside the cabin, the production seats of the Vantage have been replaced by FIA-approved racing seats equipped with a 6-point safety harness, the same as those found in the F1 team cars. Two screens are mounted on the dashboard, providing the driver and co-driver with a live television feed and a variety of customisable information displays, including live lap timing and the track positioning of all active race cars. The centre console has been modified significantly. The rotary dial has been moved back to where the cup holder was positioned, and in its place sits a switch control system used to execute a number of actions, including activating the siren, radio communications, and controlling the light-bar LED’s. The Marshalling System is integrated into the instrument cluster and the dashboard, allowing both the driver and co-driver to see which colour flag is being shown on the track, by the illumination of the same-coloured LED light; mirroring the system that also features by regulation in all F1 team cars. TV cameras are also mounted on top of and inside the car, to provide live TV footage.
Similar to the safety car, the DBX medical car is distinguishable by its 2021 Aston Martin Racing Green paint with Lime Green accents, as well as the prominent FIA medical car livery, LED rear number plate, and roof-mounted LED light-bar which sits upon the roof rails.
The official medical car of Formula 1 is required to carry a large medical bag, a defibrillator, two fire extinguishers, and a burn kit. Whilst the interior trim is fully representative of a customer vehicle, the central rear seat has been removed, and the remaining four have been replaced with sport bucket seats, each equipped with a six-point safety harness. These provide seating for the driver and the medical response coordinator, as well as a local doctor, leaving one seat spare, in case an incident that requires a racing driver to be driven back to the pit lane. Much like the safety car, two screens have been mounted onto the dashboard to provide live race footage. An additional screen is used to read live biometric data delivered via technology in the drivers’ gloves, which in the event of an accident, provides critical information on their condition. The Marshalling System and the rear-view mirror camera display have also been installed into the medical car.