F1 Edition

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Last weekend was the Monaco F1 which I enjoyed watching (in our basement) and was amused at the results:

Ferrari. McLaren. Ferrari. McLaren. Mercedes.

These are the cars that I have in my garage!

                                                                                             

These were also the Top 5 in Saturday’s Qualifiers, which, in Monaco, is a pretty good forecast for the real race. Unless there is a crash, or something strange happens. There was a crash, in the first lap! But it was behind the first 5 cars, and it was a Standing (Re)Start. The Tyre History tells you a lot about the strategy in the race: The first 4 took the crash opportunity to swap their tires to H, and pretty much did not take any further pit stops.

Since I had taken the McLaren out the day before to North Park, it was doubly right day to take the Ferrari for a spin last Sunday!

                                                                                             

Obviously, I was curious about Aston Martin (came in at #11 and #14), given my life-long interest in 007, see The Artist of Bond, and I do miss my DB7 Vantage Volante.

                                                                                   

 Are the F1 Editions, now available, worth it?

Here is a fun review:

THE ASTON MARTIN VANTAGE F1 EDITION ISN’T A SUPERCAR

The Aston Martin Vantage F1 Edition carries a very special badge, along with a mix of Mercedes engineering with British style. But is it special?

So there I was, driving this thing on the Garden State Parkway, when a blue Dodge Durango (it’s always a Hemi bro) pulls up next to me, hangs out his window, and starts snapping photos. I’ve been in weird things before, but driving a car like the Aston brought out new levels of enthusiasm.

Is it worthy of your lust?

Let’s focus on the racing, because this isn’t just a plain ol’ Vantage. What you see here is the F1 Edition, and it was developed alongside the actual Vantage pace car used for F1 races. Now, being a pace car in F1 isn’t for pomp and circumstance – you need to pull in front of a pack of 20 of the fastest cars on the planet and hold them at a velocity that keeps their tires warm, but is still within safe limits. Of course, pace cars are street cars, so while Max Verstappen is having a picnic in his cockpit, Bernd Mayländer is driving at 10/10s like his hair is on fire.

I would love to tell you that Aston has transformed this motor, but that’s not really the case. It’s certainly fast, and with peak power available at 6,000 RPM, revving it is an enjoyable event. Turbo lag is nonexistent, with excellent throttle response that never lets you overpower the wheels (even if you want to). Overall, it’s a magnificent motor – in an SL. But if you’re looking for a Ferrari driving experience, the Aston isn’t going to leave you feeling satisfied. Remember, at this price point and level of exclusivity, we want more than capable – we want memorable.

Will you downshift for the hell of it in a tunnel? Absolutely.

The best part here is the steering. Nicely weighted, probably one of the heavier racks I’ve turned, which is perfect for the seriousness this car brings. Its direct and precise response is Porsche-level accurate.

Look at the dashboard and see a tiny screen plopped right on top. It’s framed by what looks like the thing they use on my daughter’s pretend iPad. Turn it on, and you’ll see graphics from 1992. No Apple CarPlay. No touchscreen. Use that damn Mercedes wheel to navigate through the menus. Unacceptable in any car at this price point, boutique or not.

As I pulled into the gas station for the second time in two days, a young man got out of his car and walked over, mouth agape. I tell you this story in closing because reactions like this become part of the experience of owning a car like this Aston Martin. People gawk and stare, whipping out their phones. It’s an ego boost to be sure. And isn’t that part of the deal when we throw down a $200,000 check? This car will make you feel good when you drive it, and when people react to it.

Is this just one person’s viewpoint? No: Here is another.

Tested: 2023 Aston Martin Vantage F1 Edition

Racing for the podium but missing the win.

Much like Formula 1 racing itself, the Vantage F1 Edition is a hilly telemetry chart of thrills and disappointments. One minute you’re captivated by the vocal range of the Mercedes-sourced twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8, growling and spitting through slower traffic; the next you’re rudely brought back to earth by the unavoidable rasp of the front splitter as it skims another layer of carbon fiber off its bottom on even the mildest driveway incline.

If Aston would include such niceties as Apple CarPlay and a nose lift, the F1 could better woo Porsche 911 shoppers seeking a less common ride. It looks and sounds great, but weak tech leaves the F1 Edition a lap behind.

Of course, I had previously decided to look into:

The Aston Martin DB10 is a bespoke grand tourer specially developed for the James Bond film Spectre by the British luxury car manufacturer Aston Martin.

Spectre is a 2015 spy film and the twenty-fourth in the James Bond series produced by Eon Productions. The film’s theme song, “Writing’s on the Wall”, won an Academy Award  for Best Original Song. Its box office revenues were $880 million (on a budget of $300 million).

Well, just 10 DB10s were made, and only one was put up for sale. (No, I am not the anonymous buyer. 😏)

James Bond’s Aston Martin DB10 Just Sold for $3.5 Million at Auction

Okay, let us look ahead.

What about the 2025 Vantage, that is slated to hit the market this quarter?

Unveiled on the same day as Aston Martin’s AMR24 Formula 1 car first touching down at Silverstone, the 2025 Aston Martin Vantage is new in all the right ways.

As part of the revamp, the 2025 Aston Martin Vantage’s engine is enhanced – the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 now makes more power than before. Total outputs are 656 hp and 590 lb-ft between 2,750 and 6,000 rpm. This also represents the biggest jump up in power and torque from one model to its successor – a substantial 153 hp which translates to 30% more horsepower than the outgoing model and 15% more torque.

One area where Aston Martin needed to update the Vantage is the interior, and the British marque has done a good job of that with the new model. It features all-new interior architecture and a bespoke infotainment system that was sorely needed. The new interior features all the things needed to truly label this as an ultra-luxury coupe, namely the finest materials, cutting-edge technology, high-end sound systems, and a comfortable space.

So looking forward to test-driving it later this summer, and hopefully, not being disappointed.

I contacted a couple of Aston Martin dealers.

We are ordering 2025 Vantages currently and will have a preview vehicle here July 5-9th.

Recalling U2:

I have runI have crawled

But I still haven’t found what I’m looking forBut I still haven’t found what I’m looking for

In the meantime, I am enjoying evaluating Vespers at various (new to me) bars in Minneapolis:

Mara. 112 Eatery. Minneapolis Club.

                                                                                           

Best Vesper in Pittsburgh: Vivo. Runner Up: Duquesne Club. Of course, I have been to Duke’s in London.

Here is a page from the screenplay where Bond orders a Vesper from:

Casino Royale is a 2006 spy film, the twenty-first in the Eon Productions James Bond series, and the third screen adaptation of Ian Fleming’s 1953 novel of the same name. It grossed over $616 million worldwide (on a budget of $150 million). It stars Daniel Craig in his first appearance as Bond.

                                                                                     

Let me close with an insightful suggestion by Germaine Greer that I have obviously taken to heart:

You’re only young once, but you can be immature forever.☺️

PS. Several junior (and recently tenured) faculty have been asking me how they can Publish Papers and Make Money – this was the title of my 2007 INFORMS Keynote! (Thanks Kathy Stecke and others for inviting me! And, for tracking down the Title/Abstract so many years  later – see below.)  I also discussed this topic in 2008, in my (first) MSOM Plenary – An Academic Capitalist Reflects at Half-Time. Subsequently, Jeff Camm, then EIC of Interfaces, as part of 40th Anniversary of that journal,  “interviewed” me, in what was my First (now upto Seven!) invited articles about my professional life:

How to Monetize the Value of OR.

I hope you find this useful.

Here is the Title/Abstract of my 2007 INFORMS Keynote.

At that time, I had no idea that in 2010, I would get into producing movies, or that in 2011, I would create OrganJet – and become an Academic Philanthropist – and in 2017, add another pillar as an Academic Hedonist, by getting into Quantum Computing and such.

3 comments

  1. I’ve told you about my cars … only 6 so far. The 1st 4 were 1st editions: two 1966 Dodge Chargers (440 engines), a used 1977 1/2 Porsche 924, 1990 Mitsubishi Eclipse … then 2003 Audi A4 and now, 2022 Prius.

  2. P.S. Your 2007 INFORMS Seattle was a Keynote. I chaired it. I just sent you an email.

    1. Thanks! I have added the Title/Abstract to the post.☺️

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