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New Aston Martin Vantage takes over as F1 safety car from old Aston Martin Vantage

The Aston Martin Vantage is the new F1 safety car and it’s set to make its debut on track this weekend

Following the launch of the new Aston Martin Vantage in the middle of February, the British brand has confirmed that the new model will also take over the duties of the official Formula 1 Safety Car from its predecessor. It’ll make its debut this weekend at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in Jeddah. As before, Aston Martin will alternate course car duties with Mercedes-AMG throughout the season. 

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Like the outgoing model, the Vantage Safety Car gains a few subtle upgrades to make it suitable for leading the F1 pack around a racetrack. Revised underfloor aerodynamics aim to smooth airflow at high speeds, while an extended front splitter and a dramatic rear wing boost downforce. Even the FIA lightbar hasn’t gone unaltered, with a reshaped, more aero-efficient unit sitting on the car’s roof. 

Inside, safety car driver Bernd Mayländer is strapped into more heavily bolstered seats by Schroth harnesses. A couple of displays sit ahead of the passenger; one shows each driver’s position on track via GPS, while the other relays images from a rear-view camera. The centre console is then adapted to house a series of FIA-specific controls. The seats and the dashboard maintain the lime accents that can be found on the marque’s own AMR24 raced by Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll this season. 

While Aston hasn’t quoted any upgrades to the road car’s powertrain, the latest Vantage produces 656bhp and 800Nm from its 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 - up a significant 153bhp and 116Nm over the previous version. 

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Chief reviewer

Alex joined Auto Express as staff writer in early 2018, helping out with news, drives, features, and the occasional sports report. His current role of Chief reviewer sees him head up our road test team, which gives readers the full lowdown on our comparison tests.

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