Aston Martin TT1 to return at French Grand Prix 100 years on from debut

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Ahead of Sunday's race around Circuit Paul Ricard, four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel will take the team's original car TT1 - affectionately known as 'Green Pea' - for a celebratory lap.

The cars were built by founder Lionel Martin following a commission by wealthy young motor racing driver and pioneer Count Louis Zborowski, who invested GBP 10,000 in their construction and the development of an entirely new 16-valve twin overhead cam four-cylinder race engine.

Vettel says he's very excited to put 'Green Pea' through its paces.

“It's crazy to imagine how long it's been around, but great to see that it's still there, and I'm very much looking forward to getting behind the wheel. I guess it will be very, very different to what I'm used to, but that's the whole idea of it.”

The first Aston Martin Grand Prix car, featuring a 1,486cc engine unit, was good for around 55 bhp at 4,200 rpm. The car – built with a body conforming to the voiturette style – weighed in at 750kg, 45kg lighter than today’s AMR22 challenger. It had a top speed of 85 mph and 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 pressurise the fuel tank via a hand pump.

Vettel said: “I think Aston Martin, at least that's the way I see it, but I think it's the way a lot of people see it, stands for elegance. I think it will be a subtle way of celebrating the history of the brand and racing history as well, so I think it's a very nice idea and definitely a nice link to the roots.”

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