The biggest race in motorsports, the 2022 U.S. Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas (COTA), will feature brands from Austin-based companies such as Cadence Design Systems, Dell, and AMD.
The world of Formula 1 (F1) is coming to Austin; with it, many tech companies are getting in on the action. F1 is known for its cutting-edge technology and precision engineering, so it’s no surprise that some of Austin’s top tech firms want to get involved. As technology sponsors of the event, companies like Cadence Design Systems, Dell, AMD, and others gain valuable brand recognition while demonstrating their latest tech advances.
Automotive tech has taken up speed in the last several years, and many category winners are City of the Violet Crown-based. Although F1 is out of my fintech and retail tech “swim lanes,” as we call it at Moor Insights & Strategy, automotive tech crosses into many sectors, particularly retail logistics, and will do so even more in the future (think cars that will have payment methods stored to buy gas, pay for repairs, etc., the way smart tags do now for tolls). Plus, I like fast cars and Netflix’s Drive to Survive series, so let’s take this topic for a spin.
I was honored to attend Cadence’s F1 McLaren technology partner preview breakfast this week with McLaren’s F1 driver, Daniel Ricciardo, and McLaren CEO Zak Brown. The event featured a real-life simulation of the race car and track and an overview of the partnership and the future of High Performance Computing (HPC) capabilities to study, test, and prototype aerodynamic changes to the car to enhance technical performance capacity.
Cadence wasn’t the only Austin company logo on McLaren’s CEO’s sponsor-embroidered shirt. The company also has a tech partnership with Dell.
Dell has a long history of supporting the racing industry, and it sees the event as a perfect platform to showcase its efforts on and off the track. Dell and McLaren are “working together to show the power of technology in racing and society,” said Liz Matthews, Senior Vice President of Global Brand & Creative at Dell Technologies, “from our education efforts to better prepare the next generation for the workforce of the future, to creating the fastest Edge device at 220+ MPH.”
For AMD, it’s a chance to show off its latest products and technologies to an audience passionate about cutting-edge automotive engineering. Because of recent rule changes, teams competing in F1 are cost-constrained regarding the hardware used to improve their cars. Mercedes uses AMD EPYC processors to boost aerodynamics development for its F1 cars to more effectively and affordably shorten lap times.
Formula 1 Grand Prix is one of the most popular sporting events in the world. Every year, millions of people tune in to watch the races. The event has a massive following among fans and continues to grow in popularity. Brand engagement will be at an all-time high as teams and drivers battle it out for the coveted title.
Beyond the obvious marketing benefits, there’s something else these companies get from their F1 sponsorships: association with one of the most technically-sophisticated sports worldwide.
Being involved with F1 is a way for tech giants to show they are at the forefront of automotive technology. Lenovo, while not an Austin-based company, is an Official Formula 1 Partner using Lenovo’s technology across Formula 1’s operations as it continues to bring the highest level of racing and entertainment to its worldwide fanbase. F1 will increasingly integrate Lenovo’s hardware devices, HPC, and server solutions throughout the organization’s operations. Plans to leverage Lenovo’s next-generation technology, such as augmented and virtual reality, are in motion to connect fans with the sport more engagingly.
F1 recently announced that it had extended its commitment to creating employment and education opportunities for underrepresented groups through ten engineering scholarships. It has partnered with Lenovo and other tech partners to deliver this annually through 2025.
So while the 2022 Formula One United States Grand Prix may be an excellent opportunity for some fun and excitement, it’s also a chance for tech companies to showcase their ESG initiatives to a global audience.
McLaren collaborates with Dell and Cadence on societal and environmental impact programs to drive success across the industry and help achieve its 2030 goals, focusing on STEM education, diversity and inclusion, and sustainable practices. Happily, we’re seeing Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull, HPE, Snapdragon, AWS, IBM, Cisco, and nearly every other sponsor at the race committed to the same.
The Formula One Grand Prix is always an exciting event, and this year is no exception. As you watch the race, be sure to check out some of Austin's latest tech innovations. These companies are leading the way in bringing new technologies to market, leveling up the industry while putting sustainability, diversity, and inclusion on the fast track.
Note: Moor Insights & Strategy writers and editors may have contributed to this article.