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How Mercedes F1 is powering Britain's America's Cup bid

How Mercedes F1 is powering Britain's America's Cup bid


How Mercedes F1 is powering Britain's America's Cup bid

How Mercedes F1 is powering Britain's America's Cup bid

Mercedes has been the dominant force in Formula 1 over the years, powering its way to seven consecutive drivers' and constructors' championships, spearheaded by Lewis Hamilton.

Ahead of the new F1 campaign that is fast approaching, Mercedes competitive spirit is continuing unabated away from the racetrack as it is playing a major role in one of sport's oldest and leading competitions - the America's Cup.

It is a series that dates back to 1851, and this year the event to win the 'Auld Mug' is reaching a climax in New Zealand, who are the defending champions.

As to the challenger, after a round-robin preliminary, it has come down to a shoot-out between the Italian Luna Rossa team, and British entry 'Britannia' from INEOS Team UK.

In the build-up to the round-robin schedule, INEOS and Mercedes forged additional links via the former simply playing a leading partner role with the Formula 1 team.

For 18 months, up to 30 members of Mercedes' Applied Science team based in the F1 team's Brackley headquarters were involved in helping to deliver what has been described as "some of the most sophisticated technology ever seen in the America’s Cup".

One particular area that has caught the eye has been the wing foils of the AC75 race boat that lifts the hull off the water as it powers along at speeds of up to 90kph.

The striking design helped INEOS Team UK, skippered by four-time Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie, win all six of its round-robin races that has set up the 'semi-final' - otherwise known as the Prada Cup Final - with the Italians.

INEOS Team UK chief designer Nick Holroyd said: “The attention to detail at Mercedes F1 is phenomenal.

"Even the smallest details of design and build can add up to be quite a significant performance gain and they have brought that exactness to our campaign.

"Previously, we have tended to look at the big performance opportunities and how we can manipulate those but with Mercedes F1 Applied Science support we have been able to push to the finest of levels and this can be seen first-hand in our foil wing programme which we have really pushed to the leading edge."

The wing foil project was just one area the Applied Science team worked on, with support also added across simulation, manufacturing, and control systems, as the team took its F1 know-how and capability to the sea.

If Britannia overcomes Luna Rossa in the best-of-13 series that started on Saturday - albeit going 2-0 down after the first two races - and continues throughout the week, it will go on to face New Zealand for the America's Cup in March.

Despite numerous challengers over the years, Britain has never won the event.

Graham Miller, director of Applied Science at Mercedes F1, is naturally hoping Mercedes can lay claim to finally helping to end such ignominy.

“One of the things we bring to the table is extra bandwidth which has meant increased reliability and efficiency and has led to time-saving on the project," said Miller, who has two members of his team on secondment in Auckland.

“We also noticed there was not a big in-house manufacturing capability within the team compared to our HQ.

"Therefore, we were able to take the foil build project in-house at Brackley using some of the world’s best manufacturing tools to drive the project to meet specific timelines.

“It was a proud moment for the whole Mercedes F1 team at Brackley to see the wings lifting Britannia out of the water for the first time.

"As the saying goes in the America’s Cup ‘there is no second’ and our Applied Science team in the UK and NZ will be working right up until the last race day to help Ben and the team bring the Cup home for the first time.”


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