Aston Martin Red Bull Racing aces Max Verstappen and Alex Albon get first taste of hypercar
Aston Martin and Red Bull Advanced Technologies physical development programme gathers pace
Aston Martin has unleashed the power of three Aston Martin Valkyrie models, while providing Aston Martin Red Bull Racing drivers Max Verstappen and Alex Albon their first taste of the revolutionary hypercar.
With each Formula One driver taking the wheel of the first verification prototype (VP) that made its public debut at last year’s British Grand Prix - Aston Martin Valkyrie VP1 - both VP2 and VP3 were fittingly given their first turn at the world-famous home of British motorsport too at the hands of Aston Martin high-performance test driver Chris Goodwin and Aston Martin Racing WEC drivers Darren Turner and Alex Lynn, signalling the next step in the car’s physical development programme.
Each verification prototype, of which there will be eight built in total, is subjected to a variety of intense testing programmes designed to develop and validate specific attributes that contribute to achieving the performance of the world’s fastest ever road-going hypercar. These programmes are focussed on supporting first customer deliveries starting in H2 2020.
Max and Alex’s first taste of Aston Martin Valkyrie provided a vital opportunity for them to provide a range of initial feedback to Aston Martin’s High-Performance Development Driver, Chris Goodwin and both Aston Martin and Red Bull Advanced Technologies’ engineering teams.
Goodwin said, “This event has been an incredibly important step in Aston Martin Valkyrie’s story. To have three cars now running will see the rate of physical development for this exceptional hypercar increase exponentially. Both Max and Alex were both really positive of the direction that we’re currently taking and could see that the ingredients for an exceptionally high-performing car are already there ready to be untapped. To have that second opinion and validation doesn’t mean the hard work is done already, but this is a great step on our journey”.
Eight-time Grand Prix winner Max Verstappen came away elated by his first laps in the Valkyrie. He said, “I was here at Silverstone to watch the first runs of the Aston Martin Valkyrie at the British Grand Prix last year but of course it’s always better to be behind the wheel yourself, and to be one of the first guys to drive an insane car like this was really exciting. It was amazing to get a first taste of it”.
He added, “Of course it’s still in the development phase but you can already feel the pace, which compared to a normal car is… pretty different! The Aston Martin Valkyrie and its levels of downforce are incredible, and it looks super aggressive. It was a lot of fun out there.”
For Alex Albon, the Silverstone outing was a first opportunity to see the hypercar in the flesh, and the young star wasn’t disappointed.
Albon said, “It was incredibly exciting to have this opportunity to drive the Aston Martin Valkyrie and the first thing that struck me was the visual aspect – it looks awesome! It also really feels like a racing car,” said the Thai driver. “Max had a go before me, so the anticipation was building, and to get a chance to drive it was really special. Obviously there’s still some development to do, but already it feels very good, especially the balance between the corners. It’s light; it feels sharp. Sure, compared to an F1TM car, you’re missing the outright downforce, but you still feel the Gs in the corners and it definitely reacts closer to an F1TM car than a normal road car. It’s pretty special. I just need to get my hands on one!”.
Aston Martin will continue to build further verification prototypes as the organisation continues to bring customer examples to life in H2 2020.