Red Bull Racing is getting a major tune-up from one of the largest cloud computing companies.
Oracle (NYSE: ORCL) is doubling down on its partnership with Red Bull Racing (RBR) in a deal that makes the software company the title sponsor for Red Bull’s Formula One (F1) team. The deal is worth $300 million over five years, according to people familiar with the situation. The partnership, which includes rolling out a new car (RB18 for next season), expands Oracle’s current agreement to further implement computing strategies.
RBR is coming off a strong 2021 season, culminating with Max Verstappen’s F1 championship. Verstappen looks to defend his title when the 2022 season starts next month, with added firepower through Oracle Cloud. The Texas-based company plans to build on last year using Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), ranging from analytics-based strategy to AI.
RBR says OCI was crucial last season by efficiently running simulations to improve prediction accuracy and sharpen decision-making. The OCI also proved to be cost-effective by increasing the number of simulations needed to compete at a high level, particularly after strict spending regulations set by F1, which is owned by Liberty Media (NASDAQ: FWONA). RBR will continue to leverage OCI even more this season to expand volume and offer a greater variety of analyzed data.
Oracle extending its relationship with RBR also potentially bodes well for engine-development initiatives, as the company is already working with new manufacturer division Red Bull Powertrains to develop the next generation of F1 engines. OCI will help Powertrains optimize combustion chamber modeling ahead of its scheduled debut in 2026. Honda (NYSE: HMC) opted to leave F1 as an engine supplier last year but agreed to supply parts and provide support for Powertrains through at least this upcoming season.
The new partnership extends beyond on the track and includes expanding Red Bull Paddock, a fan loyalty program launched last season. This OCI-driven program is expected to provide more personalization for fans this year through features like user-generated content.
The 2022 F1 season opens on March 18 with the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix in Bahrain.
(This article was corrected in the fourth paragraph to clarify that OCI increased the number of simulations to become more cost-efficient.)