LONDON: The Aston Martin Formula 1 team announced a new title sponsorship with U.S. IT services giant Cognizant on Thursday that will help them beat higher and harder this season.
The Silverstone-based team finished fourth as Racing Point last year, seven points behind McLaren after docking from Renault 15 following a protest, and are now aiming to crack the top three.
Aston Martin billionaire Lawrence Stroll said Cognizant, a Fortune 500 company with $ 17 billion in sales, would play a “digitally transformative” role.
“In IT there are lap times … it gives us a digital engineering know-how to help the team reach a new level,” the Canadian told Reuters.
“This team has always punched beyond its weight. Now that we are Aston Martin and with the support and assistance of Cognizant, not only will we hit beyond the weight, but we will have the weight to hit harder.”
Stroll, who is also the CEO of the British sports car maker, who is returning to Formula 1 as a designer for the first time since 1960, said the road car side would benefit too.
“Cognizant is a global partner for everything to do with Aston Martin in IT, whether Formula 1 or road car,” he added.
Brian Humphries, CEO of Cognizant, told Reuters that Formula 1’s reach, with a record of 23 races scheduled around the world this year and a possible second US run in 2022, is in line with the company’s global ambitions.
“When I think of the footprint of current races in the years to come, it is very much aligned with what I want to achieve as a global company. In a way, it’s a heavenly marriage, ”he said.
“If Formula 1 builds a wider fan base in the US, that’s even better.”
Financial details were not given, but Stroll said the partnership was “significantly larger” and broader than a previous one with the Austrian water company BWT, which could continue to sponsor.
The 2021 livery will be unveiled in March.
Racing Point won last year with Mexican Sergio Perez, who has now moved to Red Bull in Bahrain after being replaced by four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel.
“Our ambitions are to pick up where we left off, to fight for third place and, with this help over our weight, to beat for second place,” said Stroll, whose 22-year-old son Lance drives for the team.
He denied Vettel, who finished 13th in the end and was a spent force with a third of the points scored by Ferrari team-mate Charles Leclerc.
“I think psychologically it was challenging to say that your contract won’t be renewed before the season started … it kind of puts you behind,” he said.
“I don’t think Sebastian suddenly forgot how to drive. He’s a four-time world champion … and he brings a lot of knowledge to help our team reach the next level.”
This story was released from a news agency feed with no changes to the text.
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