Sebastian Vettel took advantage of this Thursday at the French Grand Prix to drive in the 1922 Aston Martin, the ‘Green Pea’, to celebrate 100 years of the British brand in competition.
A century after its racing debut, Aston Martin’s original Grand Prix car returned today to the French Grand Prix, for a demonstration lap with Sebastian Vettel and Johnny Herbert as a passenger.
Sebastian Vettel on track with the Aston Martin ‘Green Pea’
This weekend, Aston Martin will mark the centenary of its first challenge at the 1922 French Grand Prix. No current Formula 1 constructor boasts such a long history of top-level competition.
Ahead of Sunday’s Grand Prix, four-time Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel had the opportunity to drive the TT1 (affectionately nicknamed “Green Pea”) at Circuit Paul Ricard, 100 years after the legendary car took to the Strasbourg road circuit for a 60 lap, 800 km race, as one of two Aston Martins entered.
The cars were built by founder Lionel Martin following a commission from the young and wealthy racing driver and trailblazer Count Louis Zborowski, who invested £10,000 in their construction and the development of an all-new racing engine at four-cylinder, double overhead camshaft, 16 valves.
The TT1 and TT2 were originally intended for the Isle of Man TT (Tourist Trophy) event in 1922, but due to a delay made the marque’s international debut at the Grand Prix of France on July 15, 1922, Zborowski driving the TT1. He then designed “Chitty Bang Bang”, the car that inspired the book, film and musical Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang.
Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team Driver Sebastian Vettel said:
It was an incredible honor to drive this car, exactly 100 years after it last started at the French Grand Prix. The ‘Green Pea’ holds a very special place in Aston Martin’s heritage, and you can almost feel that century of history at your fingertips when you’re behind the wheel.
Racing spirit and the will to win are things that define Aston Martin, and it’s fantastic to celebrate them this weekend by pairing the Green Pea and our motorsport heritage with cutting-edge technology and performance. of today’s AMR22 car.
This weekend, the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team will race with the original 1913 Aston Martin logo on the nose of its cars, mirroring the branding featured on the ‘Green Pea’. The symbolic change comes the week Aston Martin is launching a bold new creative identity, including an update to its iconic wings logo, created by renowned British art director and graphic designer Peter Saville. New Aston Martin fenders feature on the monocoque sides of the AMR22 car.
The first Aston Martin Grand Prix, fitted with a 1,486 cc engine, developed around 55 bhp at 4,200 rpm. The car (built with a cart-style body) weighed 750 kg, 45 kg less than the current AMR22 single-seater.
It could reach a top speed of 137 km/h and was fitted with two seats, one of which was offset, in accordance with the regulations of the Grands Prix at the time, to accommodate the mechanic of the car, who was an essential member. of the team, in particular because he had to pressurize the gas tank using a hand pump.
The experience was exhilarating enough for the newly created team, based in Abingdon Road (Kensington), to continue their Grand Prix adventure and pave the way for Aston Martin’s future success in international motor racing.
Lawrence Stroll, Executive Chairman of Aston Martin and owner of the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team, said:
Aston Martin boasts the oldest Grand Prix history of any manufacturer currently racing in F1, and we are proud to celebrate that this weekend, 100 years after making our French Grand Prix debut.
Born on a racing circuit, performance DNA runs through Aston Martin’s veins and it’s something we’re injecting back into the Aston Martin brand through our return to Grand Prix racing with the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula. OneTeam.
We continue to grow together, following in the footsteps of those who paved the way. I believe we can all look forward to many more seasons of intense competition in what is, today, nothing less than a global sporting phenomenon.