Aston Martin F1 signs Alfa Romeo's chief designer

Aston Martin announced the signing of Alfa Romeo's chief designer Luca Furbatto on Thursday in what the expanding Formula One team said was the first of a number of significant new appointments.

Furbatto, who will take the role of engineering director, is expected to join the Silverstone-based team ahead of the 2022 season.

Aston Martin technical director Andrew Green will become chief technical officer with immediate effect.

Furbatto has worked previously at McLaren and Red Bull-owned Toro Rosso, now AlphaTauri, in more than two decades in the sport.

"This is the first of many key appointments we are making in line with our ambition to establish Aston Martin at the front of the grid," said Green in a statement at the French Grand Prix.

Aston Martin team principal Otmar Szafnauer has said the team expect to add some 250 staff before a move to a new factory in 2022.

"We are at about 535 people now and we will get to about the region of 800 or whatever the right size is under the cost cap and we are strategically working on that now," he told www.formula1.com.

The team competed as Racing Point last year, after taking over the assets of now-defunct Force India which went into administration in 2018, and changed their name to Aston Martin for 2021.