British luxury car manufacturing giants Aston Martin's rumoured return to the starting grid of the 2016 F1 season took a huge blow as recent reports indicate that they plan not to enter the F1 season next year.
According to reports coming in last month, Aston Martin were close to finalising a deal with the Vijay Mallya-owned Force India that would have seen the European car giants re-enter the F1 arena after a staggering 55-year gap. However, according to fresh reports coming in, the return seems very unlikely in the next calendar year.
Aston Martin's Director of Marketing, Simon Sproule, said in an interview that the company is considering the decision under a broader discussion about motorsport event as a whole. He said, “We have not made any decision, and we are not likely to make any final decision about either F1 or the broader motorsport strategy until the new year. We also have to figure out what our path forward in sportscar racing is, and where we go with that. We are not looking at F1 in isolation,” Motorsport.com reports.
The decision not to return to Formula 1 comes in the wake of a global branding campaign fuelled by Aston Martin's prominent presence in Spectre, the recently released Bond movie.
A source has told SkyNews that in the recent board members meeting, the majority of the board members are leaning against the tie-up. He said, “There is a definite inclination not to do it - in 2016, at least, But it could certainly be revisited in future," according to Sky News.
Aston Martin has only featured in 2 full Formula 1 seasons, with their last outing coming in the 1960 season, where the manufacturers finished a disappointing 8th, with British international Roy Salvadori as their 1st choice driver.
Force India claimed fifth in the constructors' championship this year, thanks primarily to the introduction of the B-spec for the second half of the campaign. Their drivers, Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg, together had a 59 point strike rate in scoring points over the upgraded car's 11 races, including finishing fifth and seventh in Abu Dhabi.
A spokesman for Aston Martin declined to comment.