WATCH: Aston Martin celebrates French GP centenary with celebratory lap of ‘Green Pea'

am green pea

Aston Martin has celebrated the 100th anniversary of its entry into the French GP. Last week, the British luxury car brand’s original Grand Prix car TT1 — affectionately nicknamed “Green Pea” — roared back to the French GP, for a thrilling celebratory lap.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Who drove Green Pea in Circuit Paul Ricard in France?

    Green Pea was driven in Circuit Paul Ricard by none other than four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel.
  • Who commisioned the construction of the TT1 Green Pea?

    TT1, alongside TT2, was commisioned by Count Louis Zborowski, who invested £10,000 in their construction and the development of an entirely new 16-valve twin overhead cam four-cylinder race engine.
  • “Aston Martin benefits from the earliest Grand Prix history of any manufacturer currently racing in F1, and we are proud to celebrate that this weekend, 100 years on from making our debut at the French Grand Prix,” commented Aston Martin Chairman and o Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team Owner Lawrence Stroll.

    He added, “Having been born on a racetrack, performance DNA runs through Aston Martin’s bloodline and is something we are re-injecting to the Aston Martin brand through our return to Grand Prix racing with the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula OneTM Team. We continue to climb together, following in the footsteps of those who led the way. I believe we can all look forward to many more seasons of intense competition in what is, today, nothing short of a global sporting phenomenon.”

    am tt1 and tt2

    Originally intended for the 1922 Isle of Man TT (Tourist Trophy) event, TT1 and TT2 were built by founder Lionel Martin following a commission by a wealthy young motor racing driver and pioneer Count Louis Zborowski. The Count invested £10,000 in their construction and the development of an entirely new 16-valve twin overhead cam four-cylinder race engine.

    A delay in the manufacturing process saw them instead make the marque’s international racing debut at the French Grand Prix on July 15, 1992.

    The TT1 had a 1,486cc engine unit that had a maximum power output of 54 horses at 4,200rpm with a top speed of 85mph. The car — built with a body conforming to the voiturette style — weighed in at 750kg, 45kg lighter than today’s AMR22 challenger. It carried two seats, one off-set, as per the Grand Prix regulations of the time, to accommodate the riding mechanic who was an essential member of the team not least because of his job to pressurize the fuel tank via a hand pump.

    Four-time F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel had the chance to drive Green Pea around Circuit Paul Ricard, 100 years on from the storied car taking to the road circuit of Strasbourg for a 60-lap, 800km race as one of two Aston Martin entries.

    You can check out a short clip of Vettel piloting the TT1 here.

    vettel driving green pea

    “It was an incredible honor to drive this car, exactly 100 years on from its last taking to the starting line at the French Grand Prix. Green Pea holds a very special place in Aston Martin’s heritage, and you can almost feel that century of history beneath your fingertips when at the wheel,” Vettel said.

    “The racing spirit and will to win is something that defines Aston Martin, and it’s fantastic to celebrate it this weekend as we bring Green Pea and our heritage in motorsport together with the cutting-edge technology and performance of today’s AMR22 car,” he added.

    Photos from Aston Martin

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