So the crossover between the pinnacle of motorsport, Formula 1 and sailing, the America’s Cup continues.
The link between INEOS Britannia (GBR) and the Mercedes F1 team is already well known but they are now joined by Alinghi Red Bull Racing and Red Bull Formula 1 Team. The announcement of Alinghi Red Bull Racing Team into America’s Cup 37 was made on the shores of Lake Geneva at the Societe Nautique de Geneve club.
On stage were Ernesto Bertarelli of Alinghi and Heinz Peter Steinacher of Red Bull , principals of their respective teams, and they were joined via weblink by Christian Horner, CEO of the Red Bull Formula 1 team, winners of the F-1 Driver Championship, and runners up in this year’s FIA Formula 1 World Constructor’s Championship.
The noises a week or so ago that Alinghi was hiring.
So with the Protocol for America’s Cup only a couple of weeks old we have two challengers backed by Billionaires on the stage, Luna Rossa apparently making noises about being keen to return and American Magic’s principal, Doug De Voss saying he likes the Protocol, and it is already starting to look as if the naysayers with no skin in the game are starting to be trumped by people keen to be involved and the money to do so.
It may also be worrying for the poor relations, the defenders that 4 likely well-funded teams are already making moves or noises to be lined up against each other, sharpening their gameplay at this early stage.
And they are 4 teams that have been there before, made mistakes, and likely learned from them and it should also be remembered that the nationality rules do not extend beyond the sailors.
Alinghi may not have sailed the AC75 before, but the Swiss Lakes see some remarkable foiling boats and I would be surprised if Alinghi had not already been in some meaningful conversations on the designer front.
Red Bull Vs Mercedes – all over again, thank goodness Hamilton & Verstappen are not likely to be the helmsmen. ☺