Tag Archives: Red Bull

Formula One: Turning the Red Bull Racing Aston Martin story on its head

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Amongst the #ToroHondaRenaultMcLarenRosso hype during the Singapore Grand Prix weekend, news of around Aston Martin increasing its involvement in Formula One with Red Bull Racing has started to solidify. Andy Palmer, Aston Martin CEO, when quizzed on the grid by Sky Sports F1’s Martin Brundle confirmed the business is keeping a watching brief on 2021 engine regulations, which should they fall favourably towards independent manufacturers, could lead to increased involvement of the brand. Should this be the case Palmer confirmed Aston Martin may seek to preemptt the regulation change by enhancing their visibility with Red Bull Racing possibly from as early as 2018.

This news comes at a time in which the media are speculating Red Bull’s long-term interest in Formula One may be dwindling, which has lead some observers to suggest a change of ownership of Red Bull Racing under the guise of Aston Martin. Whilst this is entirely possible, there are, in my opinion, a few to many creative leaps being taken for this outcome to be viable.

Firstly, lets address Red Bull or more specifically Dietrich Mateschitz’s diminished interest in Formula One. Red Bull entered F1 to sell a product, this objective is the same today as it was 30 years ago. In 2016 the Red Bull achieved more than $1,000M in media coverage from through Formula One. This far exceeds any investment the brand makes into the sport. With budget caps on the horizon, the business rationale for a marketing focused business to be involved with F1 will only increase. Should a $150M budget cap be achieved, Red Bull Racing can be assured of achieving this investment through existing sponsors, and prize funds. Red Bull stand to benefit from $1000M in free advertising.

2017 saw Aston Martin return to profit for the first time in over a decade. The business has stated ambitions around going public in the coming 5 years and are focused on expanding their automotive range to increase revenues. At this time, and in the mid term they are not a business capable of sustaining any form of Formula One engine development plan. Aston Martin Racing is a completely separate business to the Aston Martin which sponsors Red Bull Racing.

Returning to Dietrich Mateschitz. A serial entrepreneurr and self made billionaire. In recent years, he has seen the likes of McLaren diversify into the production of cars, and Williams create successful businesses in the application of their technology within a commercial environment. He is aware that the technical capability of the Red Bull Racing group is under utilised, something which will only increase under a F1 budget cap.  Projects such as Newey’s America’s Cup Project and the Aston Martin Valkyrie Hypercar project show an evaluation of ways in which the team can direct resources to other projects. Could this lead to an alternative direction for Red Bull Racing?

Rather than Aston Martin becoming title sponsor of Red Bull Racing, with a view to producing a power unit under the 2021 regulations. Could Red Bull be considering buying Aston Martin, supporting them in the acceleration of their automotive expansion plans, facilitating F1 power unit development, through their partnership with AVL, and using the proven brand power of Formula One allow Dietrich Mateschitz to evolve Aston Martin into a genuine competitor to the entire Ferrari Group.

Dietrich Mateschitz acquiring Aston Martin and reshaping his position in Formula One towards a Red Bull owned Aston Martin F1 Team, from a business perspective appears entirely more feasible than a company reporting $16M profit, having committed $550M to new road cars, suddenly investing $20M per annum in title sponsorship then paying to develop  an F1 engine.

All that being said, Red Bull, through offering half stories and snippets of information continue to dominate F1 news despite being unable to challenge for a world championship. The business continues to offer a master class in media manipulation. As in 2014, when F1 news was dominated by stories of Red Bull looking set to quit Formula One, Red Bull have an ability to create their own news to ensure they dominate the F1 headlines between the races.

Finally, despite quotes to the contrary, Red Bull Racing are very well aware that the best chance they have of securing a return to a championship challenging position is with a fully funded manufacturer. Talk of Aston Martin, in my opinion, is nothing more than a negotiating tactic around the terms under which the Volkswagen Group will enter Formula One.

Credit to Sean Bull for the fantastic livery creation supporting this article. 

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Formula E: Why Audi don’t need Formula One

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Following on from yesterday’s post suggesting that after their success in the World Endurance Championship, Porsche may be considering a future in Formula One, Livery designer extraordinaire & MsportXtra partner Sean Bull went on to post livery concepts around a Future for Audi in F1 again partnering with Red Bull Racing.

Whilst I’m a huge fan of the livery concept. To me, Audi’s future in motorsport sits within Formula E. Earlier this month Audi became the first German Automotive manufacturer to officially commit to the championship, taking over the Abt team license.

As an automotive manufacturer, Audi has recognised the trend towards Electric Vehicles and are embracing it. In motorsports, with Formula One, Audi would be forced into a battle of the budget in order to compete and to be seen as a success. With Formula E, they can engage with a younger audience demographic within a cost controlled environment, in a sport supported by governments and industry. They have an opportunity to lead, not follow.

As Audi works driver Lucas Di Grassi tweeted last month, drivers might miss the 1000bhp LMP1 beasts of Le Mans but the future is Electric, and Audi have embraced their future.

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Formula One: Throwback Thursday – Red Bull Racing (don’t) split from Renault

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If you’ve caught more than 10 minutes F1 coverage or spent anytime on popular F1 news aggregator sites over the last few weeks you would be forgiven for thinking the Mclaren Honda divorce was complete. Based on all confirmed sources this is not the case.

F1 media, as with any media, has a tendency towards sensationalism. A controversial headline will attract readership.  I have to admit, I’m not adverse to the occasional sensationalist headline here on JWGP.

So, whilst the F1 world awaits formal confirmation from both Mclaren and Honda around future plans, now seems as good a time as ever to reflect on the last “SENSATIONAL” Team and power unit supplier fall out. When with no official word from either Red Bull Racing or Renault, after 18 months of continuous headlines around a fallout, their split was announced by the media. Except it wasn’t. Two seasons later the partnership is still alive. Yes it has been modified, but the fact remains Red Bull Racing and Renault are partners.  Below is a screen grab of just a few of the credible outlets that “confirmed” the news.

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So while we wait for official news from Mclaren and Honda about the future of their partnership, one fact to bare in mind;

As per FIA sporting regulations, Honda and Mercedes have already confirmed power unit supply plans to the FIA for 2018 (see story with verified sources here). Within this confirmation, Mercedes will supply the same teams they are in 2017, Honda will supply Mclaren and Sauber.

In retrospect Looking back at the “confirmed” Red Bull Racing Renault split, the story ensured continual press coverage for a team performing well below expectations over a 12 month period. This coverage was arguably greater than that which Mercedes received whilst fighting for the championship. A masterstroke in marketing by a true marketeer Dietrich Mateschitz. In November last year, Mclaren replaced Ron Dennis with marketing guru Zak Brown.

How many newspapers are giving midweek coverage to Mercedes win on Sunday?

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Formula One: Red Bull Racing ready to fight for the championship – Ricciardo

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Heading into the second and final pre-season test ahead of the 2017 Formula One World Championship confidence is sky high on Daniel Ricciardo’s side of the Red Bull Racing Garage. From the bold ‘My time’ statement made by the Australian in his latest helmet design to his confident demeanour in recent interviews, Ricciardo is  projecting the air of a driver destinted to challenge for the drivers crown this season.

In his first in depth interview for Mobil One’s the Grid, Ricciardo speaks candidly about his expectations for the season ahead and why he believes 2017 will be his year.

Formula One: Ricciardo’s first run of the year

Red Bull Racing and Daniel Ricciardo recently completed a demonstration run at the ExxonMobil head office in Houston with Mobil One’s the grid there to film all the action. In this first public event between Red Bull Racing and ExxonMobil staff and guests were treated to a series of demonstration laps in the infamous Red bull Racing show car.

Fans of F1 livery design will note this is the first official time ExxonMobil branding, in the form of Mobil One, Esso & Exxon have been seen on a Red Bull Racing F1 car. The positioning replicates that of the teams previous fuel and lubricant supplier. It is highly likely that the livery seen in this demonstration run will be the livery the team use across 2017.

Getting behind the wheel of any racing machinery after the long winter break is always a thrill for F1 drivers, Ricciardo’s joy in taking part in this event (despite the temperatures) is clear for all to see!

As the season gets underway it is expected that similar to other sponsors transitioning from rival teams to Red Bull Racing, ExxonMobil will be keen to embrace the party lifestyle of the brand in a bid to engage with a younger demographic. It will be interesting to monitor how this evolution in Formula One activation by the brand takes shape.

From a business to business perspective, Red Bull Racing don’t (yet) have an automotive manufacturer backing the team, a typical B2B partnership opportunity for a Fuel & Lubricant supplier. The form of partnership we can expect Red Bull and ExxonMobil will be around the Energy drink becoming a prominently displayed / preferred beverage in all Esso / Exxon service stations in the months and years to come.

 

Formula One: Scuderia Toro Rosso switch to ExxonMobil

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Following the announcement that Red Bull Racing have entered into partnership with ExxonMobil from 2017 as the teams Fuel and Lubricant supplier, JWGP can confirm the partnership will extend to a supply agreement for Scuderia Toro Rosso.

At this time it is not clear if the supply agreement will include the use of ExxonMobil or associated businesses branding on the STR 12, but sources at Red Bull Racing have confirmed the supply partnership.

With Scuderia Toro Rosso returning to Renault power unit supply for 2017, following the 2016 campaign in which a 2015 Ferrari power unit was used, Italy’s second team is expected to make significant strides up the grid. Toro Rosso are yet to indicate how the 2017 power unit will be badged. It is understood the power unit has been made available under the same agreement as Red Bull Racing allowing the team to sell the naming rights for the Power Unit, as seen with Tag Heuer and Red Bull Racing. With performance improvements expected such naming rights could prove highly valuable to an existing team sponsor seeking to increase exposure.

Whilst unconfirmed, Renault Sport F1 are not expected to make any changes to their fuel and lubricant supplier TOTAL. The team have confirmed they have made provisions to homologate the 2017 Power Unit for 2 fuel and lubricant suppliers. Such a move will set in motion a separate Power Unit development programme between the Red Bull owned teams and the works Renault Team and could form the basis for an as yet unnamed engine manufacturer entering the sport through the back door….

Formula One: Red Bull Racing confirm ExxonMobil Partnership

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After months of speculation Red Bull Racing and ExxonMobil have confirmed a new partnership from 2017 and beyond. The partnership will see ExxonMobil become the official fuel and lubricant supplier for the team.

At this time it is not clear if the partnership will extend to Scuderia Toro Rosso. It is also not clear if Renault will also switch to ExxonMobil supply, and if Mclaren will retain ExxonMobil supply.

Should Renault maintain the Total fuel and lubricant supply partnership in 2017, Red Bull Racing running alternative fuel supply will necessitate a separate power unit development programme.

As a team partner, official fuel partner, official lubricant partner, and official motor oil partner of the team in 2017, ExxonMobil will provide Red Bull Racing with leading-edge Mobil 1™ lubricants and Synergy Race Fuels. ExxonMobil will deliver engineering support to develop next-generation lubricants designed to improve race car engine and gearbox performance.
The company’s Mobil 1 and Esso brands will feature on  cars, driver overalls and helmets, as well as being displayed at the Red Bull Racing Factory in Milton Keynes, and at trackside events.

Commenting on the partnership Team Principle Christian Horner remarked:

“Mobil 1 and Red Bull Racing are two global brands that share a passion for racing, performance and innovation. Mobil 1 has been an iconic brand in Formula One for more than 30 years and our new partnership provides us with a unique opportunity to tap into ExxonMobil’s world class expertise.”
Christian added: “In addition to welcoming ExxonMobil to the Red Bull Racing stable, I would like to extend my thanks and appreciation to the technical team at TOTAL, who have made a valuable contribution to our success in Formula One during our partnership.”
Matt Bergeron, vice-president of marketing for ExxonMobil Fuels, Lubricants & Specialties Marketing Company, said: “Red Bull Racing provides a dynamic platform to showcase our world-class lubricant and fuels technologies. We are excited about building a relationship with Red Bull’s excellent young drivers who are establishing reputations as competitive racers and who will help showcase our brands to generations of consumers.”
The new ExxonMobil and Red Bull Racing partnership extends the Mobil 1 synthetic lubricant brand’s successful 38-year involvement in Grand Prix racing. Mobil 1 has lubricated more than 100 Grand Prix-winning cars, and has won six Formula One world drivers’ championships and five Formula One world constructors’ championships since entering the sport in 1978.
There will be more news to follow in the coming days on this and related stories.

Formula One: Let the countdown begin!

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As the 2016 Formula One season reached it’s thrilling climax yesterday, Tag Heuer and Red Bull Racing confirmed the extension of their partnership and officially launched the countdown to the 2017 season.

The partnership sees Tag Heuer retain naming rights for the Red Bull Racing power unit alongside extensive branding on the Rb13 challenger, drivers helmet and race suits as well as the team environment and of course on the drivers and team members wrists!

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Commenting on the partnership Marc Biver, Tag Heuer Global Sports Director stated:          ” Formula 1 is part of TAG Heuer’s DNA. Red Bull Racing is a young, dynamic  team, perfectly in tune with our marketing strategy. This extension will give us even greater visibility, with a real focus on the future. We have a lot of different projects ahead of us for 2016, projects with are both creative and exciting. Our motto #DontCrackUnderPressue is our guiding principle in all our actions, with the support of the Red Bull Racing team and its highly contagious enthusiasm.”  

Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing Team Principle added” I am very pleased to be extending our engine partnership with TAG Heuer today. TAG Heuer and Red Bull Racing are two brands which both have a passion for racing and a drive to do things differently, and this forms the basis of our partnership. The TAG Heuer motto of ‘Don’t Crack Under Pressure’ is something that we at Red Bull Racing live by day-to-day, so we look forward to helping TAG Heuer tell that story in the seasons ahead.”

As Formula One regulations shift focus towards an aerodynamics and development race Red Bull Racing and the powerhouse of Adrian Newey are emerging as serious contenders for the 2017 championship.

Formula One: The Honest Interview

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As Formula One heads into the 2016 season climax in Abu Dhabi, Red Bull Racing duo Max Verstappen & Daniel Ricciardo got together to review the season. The highs, the lows, their favourite trophies, their hair! The drivers are at the most open I’ve seen them.

Intriguingly both Max and Daniel, whilst acknowledging the value of their friendship they both comment they would be prepared to sacrifice friendship in return for the ability to challenge for the championship, as they have seen with Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.