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F1’s Speedy New Safety Car Is Basically a 656 HP Aston Martin Vantage

Complaints about Aston Martin’s Formula 1 safety cars should be a thing of the past.

The British sports car maker has just announced that its 2024 safety car—which is one of two used by the competition—will based on the upcoming 2025 Vantage. The vehicle may not look all that different from its predecessors, but some key modifications should have it moving around the track faster than ever.

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One of the harshest critics of the company’s previous safety car has been Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen. Back in April 2022, following the Australian Grand Prix, the three-time driver’s champion slammed the Aston Martin for being slower than Mercedes-AMG’s safety car at the time, which was based on the GT Black Series. Verstappen and other drivers, like Mercedes George Russell, said that the car’s lack of pace made it unnecessarily difficult to keep the temperature in their tires.

Inside the 2024 Aston Martin Vantage Safety Car
2024 Aston Martin Vantage Safety Car

“There’s so little grip and also the safety car was driving so slow, it was like a turtle. Unbelievable,” Verstappen told Motorsport at the time. “For sure the Mercedes safety car is faster because of the extra aero, because this Aston Martin is really slow. It definitely needs more grip, because our tires were stone cold.”

It’s taken nearly two years, but Max’s issue with Aston Martin’s safety car appears to have finally been addressed. The latest Vantage is powered by a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 that pumps out 656 hp, which is 30 percent more than its predecessor, according to the automaker. That’s enough oomph to rocket the car from zero to 60 mph in just 3.2 seconds (0.2 seconds faster than before) and to a top speed of 202 mph (12 mph faster than before).

A rear 3/4 view of the 2024 Aston Martin Vantage Safety Car
A rear 3/4 view of the 2024 Aston Martin Vantage Safety Car

A new powertrain isn’t all that separates the new safety car from its predecessor. The vehicle’s Racing Green and Lime livery may look familiar but an upgraded aero kit with an extended front splitter, redesigned underfloor, and giant rear wing is all new. Even the roof-mounted light bar is more aerodynamic than before. The interior has also received a significant makeover. The center console is equipped with a switchgear that can be used to work the FIA systems, while the dashboard has been fitted with screens that can be used to view track positions, lap times, and a rear camera feed. Finally, the Vantage’s standard seats have been swapped out for racing-style Pole Position Seats.

The modified Vantage will again split safety car duties with an AMG GT Black Series, as it has every season since 2021. The German supercar is also powered by a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8, but its mill produces 720 horses. That means there’s still a performance gap between the two, but Aston Martin’s safety car has closed that gap and is unlikely to slow anyone down this time around.

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