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Mercedes intensify America's Cup drive as Allison joins British bid

Mercedes intensify America's Cup drive as Allison joins British bid

F1 News

Mercedes intensify America's Cup drive as Allison joins British bid

Mercedes intensify America's Cup drive as Allison joins British bid

The Mercedes F1 team is to increase its involvement in Britain's attempt to finally win the America's Cup, with James Allison to serve as technical lead in the project.

Mercedes played a supportive role in this year's bid to claim back the oldest trophy in international sport that dates back to 1851.

Funded by Sir Jim Ratcliffe, with the British billionaire a one-third partner in Mercedes F1, INEOS Britannia was comfortably beaten in the final by New Zealand.

For the 37th edition of the competition, via its Applied Science division, Mercedes will be more immersive in the technical engineering element of the programme.

Allison, who recently became chief technical officer at Mercedes after a long spell as technical director of the F1 team, will oversee matters.

“When people talk about the America's Cup being like Formula 1 on water, I think most people are immediately thinking, well it's a bit hydrodynamic, it's a bit aerodynamic, it’s technological, it's all of those things," said Allison.

“But actually the most striking comparison to me is that it's difficult. The way in which it's worked okay for us in F1 is having the humility to admit that it's difficult, that your competitors will eat you up if for one moment you stop remembering that it's difficult.

"This challenge is proper difficult.

"There's a team of experienced America's Cup engineers who are absolutely at the heart of what we're doing, and Mercedes are bringing our own engineers to it as well, all of them capable, skilful engineers.

"Hopefully, working with people who've done this Cup before and understand it, working together we can create something pretty special, good enough for this really difficult challenge."

Explaining the thinking in Allison's involvement, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said: "It comes from the ambition to be successful in the America's Cup.

"James has been technical director of the team for a long time, and obviously developed an organisation, with his team, that was able to keep us at the top.

"James has moved to the next role, which is overseeing all of the technical organisation in Brackley, he is a sparring partner for the guys in HPP who do the engines, and a similar role will be within the America's Cup structure, with all his expertise as a technical director in Mercedes Formula 1."

Wolff is hoping a more hands-on role from Mercedes on this occasion will prove to be more successful.

"I've always shared a passion for engineering, and there's not a lot of difference between trying to put the best car on the road and racing others, and Formula 1 on water, and that is the America's Cup," added Wolff.

“We slowly merged into the project, pretty late into the last campaign, but we loved it.

"I could see the buzz within the organisation that people started to follow the America's Cup and embraced it as our own project, and now we're doing it properly next time around.

“I think we have to say the mindset is about trying to do the best possible job, hopefully, good enough to be right there.”

Leading INEOS Britannia on and off the water will be four-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Ben Ainslie who will serve as team principal and CEO.

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