America’s Cup: at least two Formula 1 teams team up with Challengers for AC37

by Richard Gladwell / Sail-World NZ Oct 4 03:49 UTC
October 4, 2021

INEOS Team UK – Waitemata Harbor – January 29 – 36th America’s Cup © Richard Gladwell /

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Max Verstappen (NED) and Red Bull Racing © Mark Thompson / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Sail-World understands that two Formula 1 teams are about to team up with challenger teams for the next America’s Cup.

The first Mercedes-AMGs are expected to announce their partnership in a few hours with the INEOS-Britannia team led by Ben Ainslie, who is the Challenger of Record for the 37th America’s Cup.

Their F1 rivals Red Bull Racing are also set to join in the unannounced challenge of Alinghi, winner of the 2003 and 2007 America’s Cup.

This decision leads to the America’s Cup, one of the great sporting rivalries between Christian Horner of Red Bull and Toto Wolff of Mercedes-AMG.

This decision will obviously increase the budgets of the America’s Cup teams, but at the same time will also increase media interest in the event on the water, which builds on the synergies of the two sports.

The challengers had little choice but to tap into the resources of the F1 teams if they wanted to bridge the technology gap between themselves and Emirates Team New Zealand, as they needed to take a technological leap, rather than catch up. , with the likelihood that the Kiwi team would have only expanded further.

The overlapping areas of expertise are likely design, including parasitic drag reduction, composite engineering, the use of artificial intelligence and simulation, and the introduction of tracking and monitoring. F1 performance monitoring – at least during training and development. INEOS F1 connections are widely credited for providing the design analysis and direction that helped pull INEOS Team UK out of a performance black hole highlighted in the America’s Cup World Series. At the start of the Round Robin phase, the British were the first to qualify for the Prada Cup final. But Luna Rossa (ITA) managed to close the performance gap in the three weeks leading up to the start of the finals.

Alinghi is also said to have signed Nick Holroyd, former head of design with Emirates Team New Zealand for the America’s Cup 2013, who then joined Softbank Team Japan, then INEOS Team UK in the last Cup and brings his knowledge of experiences and mistakes in as long as the sport has moved from traditional IACC displacement monohulls to catamarans with rigid foil sails and now to foil monohulls with soft double wall sails.

It is interesting to note that Martin Whitmarsh, team manager at McLaren for 24 years and previously with the British team LandRover BAR until the America’s Cup 2017, recently returned to the head of the Aston Martin team. F1. During his six years at McLaren, current Emirates Team NZ chief design officer Dan Bernasconi reported to Whitmarsh.

Fans are also likely to be the winners as America’s Cup TV coverage, and its construction is expected to be open due to F1 influence – with a more open approach to filming and access to stand areas by expert commentators, able to analyze and identify technical developments.

For sponsors, the move increased exposure, with the America’s Cup regatta lasting three or four months and fitting in well with bam-bam coverage of F1 as it moves circuits around a 22-race schedule – and that has continued to meet its TV programming requirements despite restrictions related to the COVID pandemic.

With ten teams in F1, there are plenty of opportunities for other challengers to build relationships with F1 teams and share the technology and exposure of spectacular F1 and AC75 racing.

The AC75s allow F1 sponsors to sail aboard boats with professional racing crews, providing a unique experience not possible aboard an F1 racer.

More information is expected to be revealed on the Inside Tack Show, which is broadcast live by Team INEOS Britannia from the Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 team headquarters in Bracknell on October 4 at 12:30 p.m. BST.

The announcement and prospect of more F1 teams being involved is likely to raise the stakes in the bid process for the 37th America’s Cup venue, which has yet to be determined.

The preferred location was not announced on the scheduled date of September 17, with negotiations continuing between the shortlisted locations.

This process has likely been opened up to other interested parties by UK-based Origin Sports, which works with incumbents Emirates Team New Zealand and Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.

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