The AM-RB 001 shares a lead designer with the Red Bull Racing F1 car in the background—Adrian Newey.
5 more images in gallery
Seemingly, there comes a time in every great Formula 1 car designer’s life when he (and sadly they are almost always a he) gets a little bored of the straightjacket of rules that bound creativity. Inevitably, thoughts soon turn to applying some of that race-bred knowledge to “the ultimate road car,” sometimes to extremely good effect. Gordon Murray and the McLaren F1 is the best known example, although Ferrari’s F50 deserves a mention too. Its V12 is based on an actual Formula 1 engine, and that engine is fully stressed (i.e. rigidly mounted to the carbon fiber tub, with the suspension attached to it). Now Adrian Newey and Red Bull Racing—along with Aston Martin—want to join this club with the AM-RB 001.
Now, Aston Martin is a company that is no stranger to the hypercar, having built the One-77 and more recently the Vulcan. But that car is not street legal. Its racing experience comes from competing against versions of the company’s production cars at Le Mans and elsewhere. The AM-RB 001 on the other hand was born in more rarefied air, which is where Newey and Red Bull enter the picture.
Newey is probably the most successful engineer working in Formula 1 right now. His designs have won 10 World Drivers Championships and 10 World Constructors’ Championships since 1991 (first at Williams, then McLaren, and with Red Bull Racing since 2006). But Formula 1 recently got a bit boring for Newey. Fears that he would leave (possibly for the challenge of working at Ferrari) earned him a pair of golden handcuffs from the team, with an expanded portfolio (Red Bull Advanced Technologies) giving him some creative freedom outside the sport.