Ainslie’s Ineos Britannia teams up with F1’s Mercedes for America’s Cup

Ineos Britannia has confirmed its core team to lead the British challenge for the 37th America’s Cup.

As part of the group, the British America’s Cup team joins forces with Mercedes-AMG F1 Applied Science, a division of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team, to form Ineos Britannia, which Ineos says will bring together the best of the worlds of high-performance marine and automotive engineering, with the goal to win the America’s Cup for Britain.

Leading Ineos Britannia on and off the water into the 37th America’s Cup will be Sir Ben Ainslie, four-time Olympic gold medallist and one of only two British sailors to have won the America’s Cup (with Oracle Team USA in 2013) as team principal/CEO and skipper.

Backing the team again is Ineos and Ineos’ chairman and founder Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who previously supported the team’s 36th America’s Cup challenge. Sir Ratcliffe says: “The America’s Cup has been 170 years of pain for us in Britain. We’ve had fantastic sailors in this country, but we’ve never had the boat that could win. We believe that assembling this unique collection of elite sports teams will give us a stronger chance of achieving what has never been done before. There are many synergies across our sporting family and what Mercedes F1’s engineering and organisational expertise can add to our America’s Cup challenge is one of the strongest examples of that.”

“The America’s Cup is the ultimate team sport and to be successful you need continuity,” says Ainslie. “It takes time to develop the IP, skills and know-how necessary to be a winning team, especially when you are up against teams with over 25 years’ experience. As we enter our third campaign, we have taken a lot of learnings from our previous challenges and assembled a world class team combining talent from Formula 1 and the America’s Cup. Mercedes-AMG F1 Applied Science bring a legacy of design to the table. They are proven winners, it’s in their DNA, it’s in their culture.”

Leading the design concept for Ineos Britannia’s AC75 boat for the 37th America’s Cup campaign will be naval designer, Martin Fischer. German-born Fischer was most recently a key part of Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli’s design team for two America’s Cup campaigns, after spending 14 years working on the design of hulls and appendages for numerous projects.

Dave Endean, project director for the team’s 36th America’s Cup campaign, completes the leadership team as COO, responsible for the day-to-day running and operations of the team’s campaign alongside Ainslie.

James Allison will be the technical lead as chief technical officer of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team and Ineos Britannia. Through Mercedes-AMG F1 Applied Science, Geoffrey Willis will be working with Ineos Britannia as technical director, having previously worked in the America’s Cup with Peter de Savary’s Blue Arrow Challenge.

“Our involvement in the 36th America’s Cup campaign certainly whetted our appetite,” says Allison. “For that campaign we came in quite late into the process and tried to add as much as we could through the design and engineering expertise of our applied science division.

“It was immediately clear to us that the America’s Cup is a very exciting, and very difficult, challenge. This time we are one team, Ineos Britannia, with the team’s design base embedded in our Formula 1 HQ, and the clear goal to bring the America’s Cup back to Britain. We feel very lucky to be involved in this opportunity and we can’t wait for the challenge ahead, it’s a mouth-watering prospect.”

The Ineos Britannia sailing team is currently in the process of reforming following the conclusion of the 36th America’s Cup. Giles Scott, the team’s tactician in Auckland, has become one of the first sailors to re-sign with the team following his gold medal in the Finn Class in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

As Challenger of Record, Ineos Britannia and Royal Yacht Squadron Ltd are currently working closely with the defender Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) and the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (RNZYS) to define a fair Protocol for the 37th America’s Cup due to be published 17 November. This will include retention of the AC75 class, cost reduction measures to attract a higher number of Challengers, a new crew nationality rule and the Women’s and Youth America’s Cup regattas announced last month.

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This article was written and/or edited by the UK-based MIN team.

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