Aston Martin is still diligently recruiting employees for its new factory and has now even been able to hire Eric Blandin, the chief aerodynamicist at Mercedes. Blandin is currently still working in Brackley and is not expected to join his new team until October next year.
His appointment comes as a surprise as he is the first key figure to be poached by Mercedes, Aston Martin’s engine and transmission supplier.
An Aston spokesman told Motorsport.com: “We can confirm that Eric Blandin will work for the Aston Martin Formula 1 team next year. His exact start date has not yet been confirmed. The transition from Mercedes -Team to us will be a more amicable one. ”
No information has yet been given about his exact role or his job title.
The Frenchman Blandin began his career in 1998 with the Italian wind tunnel company Fondmetal Technologies before moving to Jaguar Racing as an aerodynamicist in 2002. He remained loyal to the Milton Keynes team during the transition to Red Bull Racing and became head of the aerodynamics team.
Blandin meets an old friend at Aston
During this time he also worked with Dan Fallows, who will become Aston Martin’s technical director early next season. Blandin left Red Bull at the end of 2009 and joined Ferrari as an aero team leader.
However, this collaboration only lasted 14 months. In May 2011, Blandin moved to Mercedes, where he was promoted to chief aerodynamicist in September 2017.
The seasoned Frenchman joins a long list of high-profile newcomers to Aston Martin that team owner Lawrence Stroll is pushing forward to become a real contender for the title. In addition to Blandin and Fallows, they also include Luca Furbatto from Alfa Romeo and Andrew Alessi from Red Bull.
Team boss Otmar Szafnauer recently made it clear that Aston Martin is continuing to hire staff to prepare for the fight for the world championship. He admitted that recruiting had slowed down, “but we don’t announce everyone unless they are very high-ranking employees.”
Szafnauer: “Want to win the World Cup in four years”
“We hired over 150 people this year and we will continue to hire. If we want to win a World Cup in four years’ time, we need people, infrastructure, a factory, a wind tunnel, just like the top teams, and we are on the best Way to achieve that, “said Szafnauer.
He also announced Furbatto’s imminent arrival: “Luca will be joining us in the next few weeks. As with everyone else, there are periods of notice that must be observed. In a few weeks, Luca will be able to start with us.”
With images from Motorsport Images.