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Aston Martin cool plans to re-enter F1 with Force India tie-up

Final decision on Force India partnership yet to be taken, but shareholders understood to have reservations

Image: Aston Martin's shareholders are unsure whether an F1 re-entry would improve its wider business performance

Aston Martin are close to ending their interest in an F1 tie-up with Force India for 2016, according to Sky News.

Shareholders in Aston Martin are understood to have expressed reservations about a putative tie-up with the Force India team.

Sky News sources said that an Aston Martin board meeting last week had concluded with directors leaning towards a decision not to re-enter F1 for the first time since 1960.

They cautioned that a final decision had not yet been taken and that Aston Martin's board could still be persuaded to change its mind.

"There is a definite inclination not to do it - in 2016, at least," said a Sky News source.

"But it could certainly be revisited in future."

The likely decision not to return to F1 comes in the wake of a global branding campaign fuelled by Aston Martin's prominent presence in Spectre, the recently released Bond movie.

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Image: Force India finished fifth in this year's Constructors' Championship - their best-ever finish

Aston Martin, which has been perennially loss-making, is largely owned by Kuwaiti and Italian shareholders, with a lack of consensus about whether being in F1 would improve its wider business performance.

The company is run by Andy Palmer, a former Nissan executive who has drawn up ambitious plans to expand the business.

Bankers have been angling for a role on a flotation of Aston Martin, although such a move is unlikely to take place for some time.

The company is in the process of developing its first electric car in conjunction with Chinese partners, a development that Aston Martin's investors will open a new growth opportunity for the business.

A spokesman for Aston Martin declined to comment.

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