• Mercedes Announces Performance Partnership with INEOS Sailing and Cycling Teams

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport is delighted to announce today a new performance partnership with INEOS Sports sailing and cycling teams: Team INEOS, the seven-times winner of the Tour de France and INEOS TEAM UK, who are aiming to win sport’s oldest international trophy, the America’s Cup.

“Tapping into the unrivalled expertise and success of the Mercedes Formula One team to support our sporting ambitions across sailing and cycling is an exciting proposition for us,” said Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Founder and Chairman of INEOS.

“As with cycling and sailing, Formula One is a sport that successfully blends human and machine performance, so we are in a strong position to learn from each other. Collaboration and innovation is a key part of success across our sports teams, which is strengthened by this partnership with Mercedes.”

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The collaboration is founded on three core principles: a shared belief that no limits should be placed on what is possible in performance; a desire for the technical excellence and winning cultural attributes of each team to be shared for the benefit of the three partners; and a belief that the best technical support enables great athletes to create the greatest racing moments.

The partnership will see the teams work together to develop and implement innovations in engineering, human science, simulation and data analysis, leveraging the human and technological capability that has delivered six consecutive double world championships in Formula One.

“The technological demands of Formula 1 mean we are well-placed to support with advanced technical challenges in specific areas of sailing and cycling, with a particular focus on aerodynamics and the manufacturing capability around key components,” explained Mercedes Team Principal and CEO Toto Wolff.

Today’s announcement unveils a new division of Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, called Mercedes-Benz Applied Science (MBAS). Formed in March 2019, MBAS leverages the best of aerospace and motorsport technologies to deliver performance across the domains of land, sea and air. MBAS has been working with INEOS TEAM UK since August 2019.

“When Sir Jim Ratcliffe approached us with the concept of bringing together the three organisations, all with proven track records of excellence and high ambitions for the future, we immediately saw the opportunity to grow and diversify our business – and to learn from some of the most successful teams in world sport,” said Toto. “We are very excited about this agreement’s potential in the months and years ahead.”   

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MBAS began working with INEOS TEAM UK, led by Great Britain’s most successful ever Olympic sailor Sir Ben Ainslie, in August 2019. Currently a total of 18 engineers are dedicated to projects with the team aiming to win this unique sporting challenge, which is often referred to as ‘Formula One on water’ and will be held in Auckland, New Zealand in 2021.

The British America’s Cup team recently launched their first ‘AC75’ race boat named Britannia, a monohull that foils on wings, presenting a challenge in both aero- and hydrodynamics. A second race boat, the most technical ever built, will be launched in 2020; the 75-foot boat will contain an estimated 30,000 components, with the aim of enabling the 11-strong crew to achieve 100% flight time during racing. This design challenge includes a strong reliance on the virtual world and simulation, machine learning and data analytics, all of which will see cross-learnings.

A significant suite of technical projects is underway between INEOS TEAM UK and MBAS, including: supporting the development of the 2020 race boat in hull and deck aerodynamics, foils, drivetrain and hydraulics, FEA simulation and validation tools, control systems; implementing CFD software support; the manufacture of major parts; mechanical design and fit out (within electronics and hydraulics); and best practice processes for procurement, quality control and reliability management.

Sir Ben Ainslie, Team Principal and Skipper of INEOS TEAM UK “There’s an incredible amount of synergy across all the sports, Formula 1, cycling and the America’s Cup – it’s a fascinating mixture of pushing the boundaries of technical innovation alongside sporting prowess. Mercedes have been phenomenally successful in Formula 1 and there is undoubtedly much we can learn from their organisation. Being able to access their technical resource and experience will be a huge boost for our team. We look forward to a strong collaboration as we work together to get the Cup back to British waters.”

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The collaboration with Team INEOS cycling will include several projects to increase the team’s performance, from the optimisation of aerodynamic performance, to the use of enhanced electronic and sensor technologies to gain a wider understanding of the rider and equipment performance, to generating performance insights from data and optimising the human and machine interface.

Sir Dave Brailsford, Team Principal of Team INEOS, concluded: “At the very heart of these three great teams lies a shared passion for racing, for winning and creating great sporting moments. Our unrelenting determination to drive, sail and pedal faster and outwit the ever-improving competition will benefit hugely from this partnership. We can cross-pollinate our collective knowledge in science, technology, human performance and racing strategy to create even stronger winning environments. It is massively exciting to be working with such brilliant and successful people in other sports – led by Mercedes the best team in F1 – and we can’t wait to get started and be greater together.”

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