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Aston Martin’s car handling dream team just got stronger
Britain’s got talent: Aston’s poached McLaren’s test driver and Maserati’s handling guru
Since Aston Martin’s 2015 cash-injection partnership with Daimler, the company’s been on something of a roll. Unhinged Vulcan, raffish DB11, a bespoke car for James Bond himself, and now, a new 503bhp Vantage. Work is well underway on a new factory in Wales, and in the coming years Aston will make its first foray into the luxury SUV sector, with the DBX. Oh, and there’s something about a road-going F1 car called the Valkyrie being masterminded by some chap called Adrian Newey. Sounds like fun.
Heady times then, at Aston Martin.
Now, Aston’s CEO Andy Palmer has emerged from the boardroom with two rather promising new signings for the company. Signings that McLaren, Maserati and Alfa Romeo probably won’t be too happy about, because Aston Martin has pinched a couple of their top brains.
Ex-McLaren chief test driver Chris Goodwin jumped ship to Aston Martin, to become Expert High Performance Test Driver. Goodwin has won races at the Goodwood Revival, competed in GT3, endurance and touring cars, and set up the likes of the McLaren P1 and 675LT, plus the upcoming BP23 tri-seater.
He’s spearheaded McLaren Automotive’s shift from clinically capable to genuinely entertaining machines. And now, Aston have him on board to put the most extreme supercar on Earth through their paces…
Meanwhile, Simone Rizzuto has been tempted away from Maserati and Alfa Romeo to be Chief Engineer Vehicle Dynamics, reporting to the company’s chief technical official, Max Szwaj. You may remember Aston’s set-up team already features ex-Lotus handling genius Matt Becker, who arrived late into the DB11’s development but has had a much greater swap over how the new Vantage handles.
We look forward to sampling their work in 2018 and beyond…