Sebastian Vettel needs to help Aston Martin on and off the track
Thursday 11th March, 2021 - 8:00am
Aston Martin has wasted little time putting Sebatian Vettel to work – even before the Formula 1 season officially begins.
The German has joined the British brand not only as an F1 driver but also a brand ambassador, and it’s in the latter role that he’s already busy. The brand released a teaser video (below) for what’s likely to be a ‘Vettel’ branded special edition of the DBX SUV, set to be revealed at the end of March.
Aston Martin is banking on the four-time world champion to bring some much-needed attention to the brand in a bid to help its declining sales. While winning on the track would be a bonus, Vettel’s reputation as an F1 star and its hoped that will help sell more road cars.
For his part Vettel seems fully committed to the project, selling a fleet of his Ferrari supercars as he begins his new role with Aston Martin.
It will be a big challenge to turn Aston Martin’s fortunes around, however, so Vettel won’t be solely responsible. Since buying the controlling-stake in the famed sports car maker, Canadian businessman Lawrence Stroll has installed former Mercedes-AMG boss, Tobies Moers as new CEO, further strengthening ties between Aston Martin and AMG that includes both road car and F1 powertrain supply.
Aston Martin will need all the help it can get from Vettel, and Moers’ experience. The brand’s sales dropped by more than 30 per cent in 2020 as the pandemic softened supply for the company’s models.
The arrival of the DBX was timely, the brand’s long-awaited first SUV helped turn around sales in the final quarter of the year. In addition to the Vettel-branded DBX, Moers and co. have big plans for the SUV, with more variants on the way to try and grow its appeal; including a coupe-style version, a plug-in hybrid and possibly a seven-seater.
Despite the focus on the DBX, that doesn’t mean the company is giving up on its sports car heritage. Moers has plans for more variants of the Vantage, possibly a V12-powered model, and a facelift is in the works for the DB11 in the next 18 months.
Aston Martin is also preparing to expand its range with mid-engined supercars, starting with the F1-inspired Valkyrie and followed by the Valhalla and Vanquish. Given these new models will go head-to-head against the best Ferrari has to offer, who better to try and sell Aston Martin’s new generation of sports cars than a man who spent the last six years driving for the Prancing Horse…