Ben Ainslie on the Ineos Britannia/Mercedes-AMG F1 Applied Science partnership announcement
Immediately after Monday’s live-streamed announcement Ben Ainslie took follow-up questions from invited sailing and motorsport media. Here’s what he had to say.
Some people might be surprised that the British America’s Cup sailing team is now based in landlocked Brackley – 85 miles north of its previous HQ on the edge of the Solent in Portsmouth. What is the thinking behind that?
Just the level of the partnership we have with the Mercedes-AMG F1 Applied Science made it a no brainer, really.
From a design perspective, the 2000 people in this campus here are focused on trying to create the best possible Formula 1 car. For us to bring our designers here was a lot easier than trying to filter people out of out of Brackley down to Portsmouth, or wherever else.
Then there are the resources we can tap into. Things like components testing, or simulation – which we know in our world is as key as it is in Formula One. I think America's Cup in some areas is pretty developed. But in other areas, maybe it's a bit underdeveloped – a bit juvenile.
Within this organisation, when we've got a problem, we have the world's leading experts in any particular area that we can go to and ask that question of and get a response. Whereas before, we would go out to technical partners, and it might take you three or four weeks to get a response. So it's that capability that we're able to tap into that makes such a big difference.
Will the team ever return to its original headquarters at The Camber in Portsmouth?
Camber has got BAR Technologies in there. They are doing really well – as a business it's really taking off. They are not quite full capacity, but there's not actually any space for us – although I think there might be at some point for a reduced team for some different special projects. But we couldn't get to take the whole organisation back now.
All the engineers and the management are based here in Brackley. And then as we get an idea of the venue and the Protocol then we can formulate a sort of timeline and work out where we want to go sailing. We will most likely just have satellite bases wherever we're sailing/testing.