Marelli named F1 telemetry sponsor as Brawn welcomes Hamilton input on rule changes
Marelli, the Italian automotive components specialist, today deepened its role in Formula 1 by becoming a sponsor in the category of telemetry services, a role that will entail providing in-race information to audiences worldwide.
Under the deal, Marelli and Formula 1 will work together to ensure the transfer of more live data from the competing cars to the broadcast centre at each grand prix.
It is claimed that this will improve the quality and quantity of information that can be shared with television and digital viewers, and give them a better insight into developments during the races.
As the official telemetry services supplier of Formula 1, Marelli will be providing the technologies and services behind the data, and will have rights to imagery and intellectual property to promote the new partnership worldwide.
Marelli is by no means new to Formula 1 having supplied components to various teams over the years, and in February became an official partner of the Swiss Alfa Romeo Racing team (formerly Sauber).
Ross Brawn, managing director, motorsports at Formula 1, said on Thursday: “We are delighted to increase the scope of our long term relationship with Marelli utilising their advanced technologies to improve our telemetry systems. With this enhanced system, Formula 1 will be able to transfer a higher volume of live information from the F1 cars, improving the race watching experience for our fans, giving them greater insight and more detail about what it is happening during a Formula 1 race.”
Murray Barnett, the sport’s director of sponsorship and commercial partnerships, added: “Marelli embodies the history and innovation of F1. We are delighted to call them an Integrated Official Supplier of F1. This partnership is further evidence Formula 1 is creating bespoke, inspiring partnerships for each partner. We look forward to a strong, mutually beneficial relationship for many years to come.”
The new partnership comes as Formula 1 seeks to increase engagement with audiences, including via F1 TV, the over-the-top streaming service that launched last year and is now available in more than 60 markets.
However, there have been some technical glitches with the service, as well as concerns over the on-track product, with the German Mercedes team having continued their domination in 2019.
Following a largely processional win in last weekend’s French Grand Prix, Mercedes’ defending world champion Lewis Hamilton admitted that new financial and technical rules were required to help revive interest in Formula 1.
Liberty Media, the US media giant that acquired the sport at the start of 2017, is looking to make changes in 2021 to ensure more competitive racing, and the Briton is willing to contribute to the debate.
Speaking to reporters after the race at Paul Ricard, Hamilton said: “Don't point fingers at the drivers because we don't write the rules. We have nothing to do with the money and all that kind of stuff. You should put the pressure on the people at the head who should be doing their job. I think they are trying to, but for many, many years they have made bad decisions."
Hamilton was encouraged by a recent meeting in Paris that he and Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg held with Formula One Management and the FIA, motor racing’s international governing body, to discuss the proposed rules changes, and further talks are planned.
Hamilton said: "I had nothing to gain by going there, but if there is anything I can do to help, I will. They've been making all these decisions and never had a driver's input once. So, if that can be decisive and help the fans to get better racing, then I would be proud."
Brawn has welcomed the five-time world champion’s involvement, saying this week: "I'm happy Lewis has confirmed his willingness to make his own contribution in the coming months, and we can't wait to work with him, particularly in each of the three meetings now scheduled. We know well that Formula 1 needs to make an important change in direction if it wants to maintain its position as one of the most followed sporting spectacles in the world.
"All of the key stakeholders - ourselves, the FIA and the teams - agree on the objectives and there is broad agreement on the major principles, such as the introduction of the budget cap and a fairer distribution of the revenue, while on the technical aspects we, and the FIA, have worked together with engineers from all the teams. It will be great to have an input directly from the drivers.”