Aramco eye Aston Martin takeover, target Verstappen and Newey

Jaden Diaz
19 Mar, 2024

The internal turbulence at Red Bull could affect the future of key figures such as Max Verstappen and Adrian Newey. Aston Martin is among the teams that could approach them, especially if Armaco purchase the team from Lawrence Stroll, which would bring in new capital and create an even more ambitious project.

The 2026 regulations represent an opportunity for everyone. Everything starts from zero at the end of 2025, with a fresh chapter in Formula 1 ahead.

Rumours have been circulating in the paddock for some time about the Saudi Arabian oil company’s willingness to make acquisitions in Formula 1.

In November, Lawrence Stroll sold a minority stake in the Aston Martin Formula 1 team to the private equity firm for the first time to US-based Arctos Partners. It is speculated this could be the first sign of disengagement from his team.

In addition to this, Aramco has been a strongly committed global partner in Formula 1 since 2020. This season was a critical moment due to the pandemic, a time when there was some speculation Aramco could take over F1 from Liberty Media.

Ultimately, this did not happen. The American company and F1’s teams were rewarded. After all, the value of Formula 1 has tripled since then. Nonetheless, the same Saudi company became Aston Martin’s new title sponsor this winter, strengthening a more direct long-term commitment. 

This collaboration extends to both media presence and technological development. This will be critical ahead of 2026, when 100% sustainable fuels will be mandatory.

In Jeddah, it became clear that Saudi interest in a massive commitment is growing. The state directly controls this giant, and Aramco is therefore connected to a fund established to promote the country worldwide through large acquisitions.

It is said that the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was the ideal ground to confidentially approach some very high-profile figures.

They analysed the feasibility of making certain moves and gave blank checks for future engagements in due course.

In this context, Red Bull’s heavyweights are in their sights. These include the triple world champion Max Verstappen and engineering genius Adrian Newey. The fact these two are seen as feasible targets shows how much has changed in recent months.

Formula 1’s budget cap excludes the salaries of the three most senior figures in the team – and, of course, the drivers as well.

Aston Martin is collectively valued at over £1 billion. They have more than enough resources to offer adequate financial incentives to such big names. In 2022, meanwhile, Aramco became the largest company in the world by market capitalization.

Every scenario is possible, but everything will depend on who survives in Red Bull.

“If Christian Horner remains in command at Red Bull, anything is possible,” said Toto Wolff, who has a free seat for 2025.

However, the Mercedes team principal has his own technical problems to resolve so that his team can return to winning ways.

The 2026 F1 season promises to be more attractive for everyone, thanks to the regulatory reset. At the same time, Aston Martin will leave Mercedes to join Honda.

This gives them the support of a manufacturer, a fundamental ingredient for winning in F1. From the perspective of Max Verstappen’s team, the presence of Honda can only be positive.

With Marko’s position confirmed, mainly thanks to Verstappen’s words, Red Bull’s internal troubles seem to have cooled down. However, for the good of the team, it seems unlikely everyone will remain unscathed from this crossfire.

Furthermore, the suspended employee who reported Horner has filed an appeal. The team’s Thai ownership, which holds a 51% stake, supports the English team principal and is not bowing to the pressure of the Austrians led by Mintzlaff. 

Mintzlaff himself was present last weekend in Saudi Arabia.

The power war in Milton Keynes continues. Amidst this uncertainty, the Austrian group has confirmed that Red Bull F1 will depend totally on the decisions of the majority shareholder.

Max Verstappen could not avoid questions on the sidelines as Red Bull’s divisions became increasingly public.

For the rest of the Formula 1 field, these unprecedented conditions could create an opportunity to sign Max Verstappen and Adrian Newey. 

If Aramco completes a takeover, Aston Martin and Honda should be considered top contenders to seize every opportunity ahead of 2026.



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