McLaren tipped to reveal Dell as sponsor

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In the round-up: McLaren is tipped to announce a new deal with former Caterham sponsor Dell.

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Does F1 need to prioritise getting the basics right before pushing ahead with more radical broadcasting technology?

All I want is to watch the races on my TV and get on-board footage comparable to what IndyCar has been doing for years now. So I will have to wait and see what actually happens with that.

Streaming anything called VR, OTT or AR on my phone or tablet is not something I foresee myself doing. Just give me a good TV broadcast.
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75 comments on “McLaren tipped to reveal Dell as sponsor”

  1. Hemingway (@)
    8th February 2018, 0:27

    Pembrey is underrated. I wish it had a bit of funding- a fraction of the proposed cost of the Ebbw Vale track would have transformed that place into somewhere relevant again. Never mind. Also I’m sure either Senna or Schumacher still hold the lap record there haha 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

    1. @theessence indeed Senna still holds the record with 44.43 seconds, although it is not officially recognised as it was set in a test session.

      I don’t think Pembrey is a particularly exciting circuit in its current form, but I’d take it over Ebbw Vale any day; a very costly dull layout. As you say, Pembrey could be transformed at a fraction of the cost (especially to the taxpayer)

    2. I’d quite like to see an F1 car go round the Anglesey circuit for a demonstration run.

  2. Yesterdays F1 team, now sponsored by yesterdays computer company.

    1. Indeeed.
      2 fake news articles today, when someone’s bias becomes a fact.

    2. @hohum on the contrary, from what I’ve heard / experienced, Dell continues to manufacture the most robust and reliable consumer hardware readily available.

      A few years ago Apple nearly struck a major deal with McLaren. I’d have no doubt Dell is a better partner if they want more than just marketing.

      1. @strontium, a well kept secret, no doubt.

      2. For what it’s worth, a number of folks I know who were formerly very loyal to Dell and would buy only Dell, are no longer. Build quality and subsequent customer service the most frequent complaints.

        However, Dell still remains a fairly viable tech company and I’m glad to see McLaren able to attract (reportedly) a valuable major sponsor. After so many false starts with ghost sponsors, this would be a good catch.

      3. I can see the Dell sponsorship being multiple brands, consumers don’t care for pc’s anymore so they will target the business market.
        Dell infrastructure
        VMware platforms
        SAN solutions
        Dell owns a lot of other pieces to the pie

      4. on the contrary, from what I’ve heard / experienced, Dell continues to manufacture the most robust and reliable consumer hardware readily available.

        Ya think?

    3. I think ‘sponsored’ is stretching it quite a bit. From my read of the article no money is actually changing hands, just some computers and easily copied software. McLaren’s rate book needs another think. I remember Ron Dennis telling us that McLaren had no sponsorship (for a number of years) because they didn’t want to drive the rate down; can’t drive it down, it’s already there.

      1. So it’s the same as other tech companies who “sponsor” F1 teams then. AT&T don’t give Red Bull cash, they give them the tech they need to run their mission control room. Epson don’t give Mercedes Cash, they assist with 3D printing tech.

        McLaren aren’t unique in this.

        1. good point there @geemac. I doubt SAP pays a lot of money towards the Mercedes team too (although they might, as a tie in to them supplying the car company with the SW), rather they let them use their SW.

          To me it makes a “partnership” make far more sense this way. Wouldn’t it be awkward in today’S world, if McLaren had Dell sponsorship but used say HP hardware! Surely the best value for both is to work together this way. Dell supplies what they are good at, get to show it off etc. Far better than just dumping money in a black hole

      2. @SteveR I wouldn’t have expected to see published the actual contract, so I don’t know how you can claim no money is being transferred, nor that the word ‘sponsored’ is taking license, and I don’t know how you would know about ‘easily copied software.’

        1. From the actual announcement:

          “The partnership will seamlessly integrate Dell Technologies’ wide-ranging platform of solutions into McLaren’s day-to-day operations, including support for design and manufacturing, trackside operations, telemetry, safety-critical ecosystems, storage, esports and simulation, fan engagement and guest experience.”

          Don’t see any mention of actual money here, just corporate speak. A copy of software costs Dell nothing except an accounting entry. What I’m suggesting is that McLaren aren’t getting cash out of this deal, just as many other ‘sponsors’ to F1 teams get a sticker on the car in exchange for gear. For example, all the hype about Alfa Romeo ‘returning’ to F1 was just that, hype. Dell gets their name mentioned for very little cost, McLaren makes it appear they have come commercial appeal; good for both sides.

          “……and I don’t know how you would know about ‘easily copied software.” You don’t think it’s easy and cheap for Dell to provide a copy of their own software? Not sure why you feel the need to make a personal attack ……..

          1. @SteveR I don’t know where you are getting some ‘personal attack’ from my response other than I merely question your need for such pessimism. Why do you need to sell us on your opinion that this is just smoke and mirrors and an exchange of a copy of software for placement of a sticker? Do you have motivation to verbally hold Mac down or something? Why do you need to make this Dell deal seems as though there’s nothing to see here? Not sure why you feel the need to make an attack against Mac and Dell, like you are taking that personally too.

          2. Well Robbie, “and I don’t know how you would know about ‘easily copied software.” sounds like an implication that I pirate software. You know, I can have an opinion too. Not sure why you feel the need for your aggressive response(s). Oh well.

    4. @hohum – Touché!

    5. What is today’s F1team?

      1. I’ll give you a clue; It’s German.

    6. Consumer sales are such a small piece of the pie and Dell’s enterprise solutions are arguably second to none (perhaps HP/Acer/Lenovo, etc…). To call them yesterdays computer company is to be massively uninformed.

      1. Guilty as charged M’lord.

    7. @hohum, Dell has a massive reach in enterprise, corporate and personal computing sales. Specially in data-centers Dell has a massive market share. They are also one of the top 3 in notebook and pre-built PC manufacturers.

      Oh, and don’t forget that tiny Dell subsidy, Alienware .

      1. @praxis
        I was thinking the same myself, I knew they were still pretty huge, but, didn’t realise they were the brand behind Alienware.

        1. @maddme, they acquired Alienware.
          Other brands have tried to follow suite, like Acer has ‘Predator’, Asus has ‘ROG’, Gigabyte has ‘Aorus’ etc.

          Kind of like sports or luxury oriented subsidies of major Manufacturers like the ‘Lexus’ (Toyota) or ‘Ferrari'(FIAT).

    8. A nice negative statement on a company worth $24 billion that has remained the 3rd largest PC manufacturer for many years now, in a massively competitive market, only behind Lenovo and HP. And another nice negative statement on a racing team with massive pedigree with is reaching up for the top once more. I’m not even a fan of theirs, particularly, but I like to see any racing team do well. McLaren have taken a long time securing a new primary sponsor for their F1 team. I would have thought it is a reason for all F1 racing fans to celebrate because it will strengthen the grid.

      So I’d like to know @hohum where you’re coming from?

      1. @shimks, Is it negative or is it reality, both companies were once the biggest names (or fastest rising) in their field, but for non fans are no longer visible. Seems from the pro Dell comments that they definitely need or deserve some publicity, and I’m not coming from anywhere, merely commenting on the symmetry.

        1. Okay. Well, I don’t agree, obviously. I think Dell is a massive win as a partner. This deal will help McLaren’s quest to resurge. How many years have McLaren been without a main sponsor? Four? I don’t know. But any big name as a sponsor from just about any industry is much better than none.

          Thanks for replying!

  3. Heaven forbid that an engineer might find a way to cool the intake air charge that costs less energy than the extra energy generated, we have to nip that idea in the bud right ?, can’t have a manufacturer gaining an advantage by being clever, that would never do.

    1. This one has me wondering how far out of date I am with technology: ” Active control valves between any part of the power unit and the engine intake air will be banned.” As I read that the FIA are banning the use of the butterfly valve that’s normally attached to the accelerator or throttle on all petrol engines, mind you that’s on an engine with a carburettor. I thought they used one on a fuel injected petrol engines as well. I’m told Diesel engines don’t use a butterfly valve, so maybe F1 power units, being very high compression engines, don’t need one either.

      1. true, f1 power units are similar to diesel engines in the combustion chamber. which, actually is promising road-relevant tech also. they just don’t talk about that, though.

    2. @hohum More energy at no cost? I think the invention of perpetual motion is stretching even the technical excellence of F1!

      1. @psynrg, read again, less cost not no cost, think superchargers, xhp to drive, 3xhp gain.

  4. F1, just copy the MotoGP video streaming app and make it available in the UK as soon as you can.

  5. I couldn’t agree more with COTD @gpfacts. I don’t care for an app to track where the cars are and what tyres they have on, or any of this high tech 4K streaming or whatever they have planned.

    I’m not even that bothered for all the graphics that appear on the television screen, as interesting as they may be. I just want to be able to sit down, watch the race with good directing and good commentating.

    If in 2019 I can’t do that, I will stop following

    1. Pretty much how I feel, but I might pay a modest fee to watch online if ever Australia’s broadband network delivers a decent service.

      1. Live 360 is just a distraction, the rest can be fine but 360 you spend your time playing around without much attention to the action. Could be interesting for replay though.

        Otherwise I second my fellow fanatics to focus on producing a good broadcast first (which can be coupled with new technologies).

        1. all i wan’t is all motorsports to stop cutting away to the pits or the crowd in the middle of an on track battle.

          Or to follow the leader across the line for the whole lap while there is a wheel to wheel battle for 3rd..

          achieve that and i will be happy

          1. that is the only thing I want that tv directors stop thinking that they are going to win an Oscar award for “best drama show in a F1 Race”. We want to see the race no the crowd or the pit crew every 5 seconds. Remember Marc Marquez incredible save in the last year last MotoGP race? did we see it when it happened?, no… why? because they were showing something unimportant in the pits.

    2. Sadly, as a fan of F1 racing, Formula One’s desire for media camflauge is frustrating. From an F1 perspective, the most important brand that looses recognition when F1 fines people for watching their races is their own brand. Where I live most people confuse Indycar with Formula One. A secondary consequence of their avid desire to blend in with the insignificant is sponsors of Formula One, both those who support the whole brand and those who support teams, find the brand recognition they should get from F1 is lost by the paywall event horizon.

    3. It’s quite hilarious actually!! Suddenly f1 is into every single new-technology in the world except the one application that fans actually want. A key to this is the actual technology fellow from Tata, Mehul, as he speaks about initiatives that are technically interesting and useful. Sadly though, most of them are un-recognized and their developers are left un-rewarded by the f1 ‘experts’ such as brundle, brawn, coulthard, hamilton, et al, who are only able to look at pictures and somehow equate credibility with fancy graphics on shiny paper.

  6. Any team getting a Dell sponsorship would be a huge and long overdue step in the right direction for the sport. I’m really hoping now that Ecclestone is gone and there’s been the move into America; bridges can be built with the tech industry.

    There are so many opportunities for shared investment and the branding that comes along with that. I really believe that road relevance for technology investment will be replaced with computing relevance. If it’s not the Intel, AMD, Microsoft or Amazon’s of the world that will be pushing F1 forward in the far future as much as Ferrari and Mercedes, I really do wonder if there will be an F1 at all. It’s already a game where the teams with the biggest/best compute with regards to CFD/strategy are coming out on top.

    I still imagine putting on some glasses and feeling as though I’m at the race watching live, if not in the drivers seat on a hotlap and the absolute thrill to the senses that will provide. Looking at where we were only 20 years ago, I really don’t think it’s impossible. I’d be amazed if there’s not at least a few people on the inside of both tech and racing that’d be thinking the same.

    1. @Tristan,
      Absolutely agree.
      Each team in F1 pays millions a year to tech giants like Intel, Amazon, IBM, AMD, Microsoft, Oracle and the manufacturers like HP, Dell, Asus etc for their services and products. Yet I don’t remember those names among the list of sponsors anywhere. Imagine a team like Force India landing a sponsorship deal with AMD. Or Dell allowing Ailenware’s logo appear on the Mclaren F1 car.

      FIA keeps talking about road-relevance, but that’s a tiny part of the whole picture.

      1. @praxis, quite a few of the companies that you list have either already been involved in F1 in the past, or are actually active sponsors now.

        In terms of historical sponsorship, AMD sponsored Ferrari from the early 2000’s into the early 2010’s, HP used to sponsor Williams in the early 2000’s: as for current sponsorship, Citrix and AT&T are both sponsoring Red Bull right now, whilst they also have a partnership with IBM.

        1. And SAP, the world’s 3rd largest software company last I checked, has been a McLaren sponsor for many years and still is.

          1. I remember Sun microsystems on the McLaren at the same time.

            @praxis Intel was a big sponsor for BMW Sauber and their name was prominent on the cars.

          2. @krommenaas, a company like SAP is way too big to be one of the minor sponsor for McLaren.

            Probably, there’s no point in marketing in this way for a company who mainly sells ERP solutions and middleware products on enterprise levels. I’d guess that this partnership has a lot to do with McLaren being a long-time customer for SAP. After all, if you’re large enough…. you go to either SAP or Oracle for those kind of systems.

          3. @the-last-pope,
            As my previous comment, that partnership with SUN was more about McLaren using/buying their solutions. With companies like Oracle, IBM, CA…. you become a partner if you buy a large enough solution or implement/integrate it yourselves. They don’t actually require you to “collaborate”.

            Mostly likely, these minor sponsorships were part of the actual sale of those solutions.

          4. @praxis: whether they get an amount of money, or goods and services worth that amount of money, doesn’t really matter if they were gonna buy those goods and services anyway, and a company like McLaren was probably gonna use SAP anyway. Either way SAP is giving them something to get its logo on the car, and clearly they think it’s worth it as they’ve been doing it for a long time. Most spectators won’t know what SAP is, but that also goes for other brands on F1 cars. E.g. I didn’t know what Richard Mille was until I looked it up.

      2. Renault ( and Lotus before) i.e has a long standing sponsorship deal with Microsoft Dynamics,

        1. Yes, they did a really good job with that sponsorship too, it stood out like a sore thumb in the many many press opportunities Jolyon Palmer had over the last couple years.

    2. Teams have already courted tech companies in the past during the “Ecclestone era”, as you term it – for example, since you mention AMD, Ferrari formed a partnership with AMD back in 2002 that ran up to the start of 2013.

      1. That’s a fair point. I think the essence of my argument of being for such sponsorship’s holds. It would surely be much easier to sell F1 as a sponsor opportunity to these companies when it is a more environmentally (and morally) conscious affair as it is appearing to become. Even more so when a digital product is available to reach a more tech-inclined audience.

        Surely when Ecclestone was targetting the “exclusive rolex” market it would be a hard sell to any tech company.

    3. I feel like you’re confusing collaboration and sponsoring. Not every brand an F1 teams works with is on the car, the teams don’t develop every bit of software themselves and now in the case of McLaren suddenly Dell will do it,… You don’t see the catering for example on the car yet it’s at every GP.

      1. Still, a sponsor indicates a financial investment on the part of the company in the team, and therefore in the sport. In general that means a lot more than a customer relationship. Plus it indicates health and that a sponsor sees value in the audience and market that’s being targeted.

        I really think though that with new efforts to bring around F1 away from the complete waste of money it has been, targetting old rich people as Ecclestone has stated many times in the past. And instead turning into something more family friendly and exciting for people interested in technology, it will be able to generate more interest from that industry.

      2. @flatsix,
        I’m not confusing between collaboration and sponsoring at all.

        Sponsorships for large tech companies is a topic as relevant as you cat get in modern times. It’d indicate a major improvement of this sport’s health.

        Sponsorships from brands like Martini or Swiss watchmakers are awesome, but a major sponsorship from someone like Intel or Nvidia would have a far larger reach and influence in this era.

  7. Regarding Halo.
    I don’t know will i cry,laugh but probably both when some sharp object at speed ricochet from that idiocy called HALO and stabs and injures driver. Is it possible that all people that come up with this stupid solution or support it didn’t think about something obvious like that? Why are Americans always more pragmatic and more capable then F1 people and they have series that have better racing,nice looking cars after aero changes and finally better solution then halo abomination?

    1. @dex022
      Of course they have thought of that. The helmet and visor should deflect small pieces of debris that the Halo can’t. Since Massa’s incident the visors have improved, that loose spring would not injure him now as 9 years ago. Same goes for the helmets, It’s probable that Senna would have survived had he wearing a current spec helmet.

      1. To add to my comment. I think the Halo is really ugly but it’s probably much stronger than a shield. What happens to a shield when it hits a wheel at high speed?

    2. It’s a very good thing you’re not in charge of F1 safety. The Halo isn’t designed to deflect really small object. Plus if you’re going to ‘laugh’ when a driver get seriously injured then you need your head examined.

    3. I am not a strong advocate for the halo however the indycar solution is yet to be tested and looking at the failure of aeroscreen and the shield I’d be surprised if it is as strong as needed.

      The issue you mention about a small piece hitting the driver due to deflection from the halo: well one just has to look at the shape of the halo and see that it would protect the drivers head from that little sharp object and deflect to a lesser important area of the body like the shoulder. Anyhow the halo is meant to protect against large debris like wheels and wings. In your situation, had the halo not been there that tiny piece would have gone straight into his head.

      1. iirc, the halo has a high density foam surrounding, that will be capable of absorbing much of the energy of a deflected object. They’re not pretty and you see less of the driver, but, this has been the case since 1995 anyway. In a few years you won’t see much difference…

    4. @dex022, if the reports from the poster GT-Racer here are an indication, it seems that the Indycar solution is not designed to offer the same level of protection as the Halo given that the Indycar screen failed the FIA’s impact requirements (it appears that, when subject to the same tyre impact test, the screen shattered and would have offered very little protection to the driver).

      Basically, the reason why Indycar have gone down that route is that they appear to have ultimately placed a higher value on the aesthetic potential, and a lower value on the maximum level of protection offered by the screen for larger pieces of debris, than the FIA chose to adopt.

    5. Also @dex022 Americans aren’t ‘always more pragmatic and more capable than F1 people’….Indycar is a spec series that has a fraction of the costs and technologies of F1 and many like that about F1 but it means the cars aren’t all the same nor nearly so close to each other in performance….and Indycar has not come up with a better solution than the halo. Their windscreen is only just being tested for now, and for all we know they may have to abandon the idea depending on what testing reveals, and as has been pointed out their testing standards will be different than those of F1.

  8. I don’t agree with COTD. As a youg(ish) consumer of F1 what they have planned does nothing but excite me. Streaming services definitely needs to happen, to be able to have a choice of how I watch the sport would be amazing.

    Whilst I appreciate there will be comments saying”I just want a good TV feed” however in this day and age, particularly when F1 is trying to attract a younger TV audience, just having a good TV feed isn’t going to cut it. F1 needs to attract younger viewers. I work in a school and I volunteer as a Scout Leader, there are only 1 or 2 kids who watch F1 now. If F1 doesn’t attract a TV audience then it will die a slow death. Relaxing of Social Media rules is a start and this is why things like VR, AR and OTT are the next step and so important to F1.

  9. About traction control, in case someone missed the article linked in the comments of the motorsports magazine article, an interesting engineering view about some history of traction control:

  10. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    8th February 2018, 13:31

    Here is my take after watching the video from James Allison on the Halo:

    – It cost a fortune to implement as it requires structural changes to strengthen the chassis
    – It has weight and aerodynamic ramifications
    – Even Mercedes could not improve the look of the 1st generation halo
    – It took so much money and effort to implement that it garnered a video
    – The FIA will need to test the halo at every race to make sure that most teams aren’t using a plastic or other alloy with titanium looks:-)
    – The drivers in the smaller teams must be scared to death that their halo will come undone and kill them in case of an accident. It’s like having a kettlebell on top of your head while you’re racing that will fall and kill you.

    1. @freelittlebirds Hmm, I don’t think it has cost ‘a fortune’ as I’m sure we would have heard about that if it was some unmanageable sum, and it doesn’t cost much to do an educational video updating us on the device.

      Weight and aero ramifications? Sure any such device meant to do what the halo is meant to do would. Lol on the plastic replacement suggestion. And I’m sure you’re being tongue in cheek about the smaller teams’ drivers being scared of it…theirs will undergo the same tests as all the teams.

      My takeaway from the video is that it supports what I have been arguing all along. Even this relatively bolt-on device that is just a few bars really, but is open otherwise, has aero and wake ramifications. Now imagine a windscreen such as Indycar is testing, similar to the one RBR tested which is different from Ferrari’s.

      How can an aeroscreen not hugely affect how air behaves behind it for getting into the airbox and for getting around it and affecting the rear wing? I will continue to maintain for all who insist the aeroscreen is so much better…then get ready for the cars to look completely different at massive expense in terms of aero research, redesign, and remanufacture of the cars. You simply cannot just bolt things onto these cars not meant for them, and expect there to be no consequences.

      It is not that they haven’t bothered or tried to consider the aeroscreen very much. It is that they know one of the huge stumbling blocks to it would be a complete revamp at massive cost due to the huge aero changes an aeroscreen would cause. I’m convinced that’s why Ferrari’s was more complicated in it’s shape and therefore distortion of vision occurred and SV got dizzy. Notice they tried to bend it down toward the top of the drivers helmet and I have no doubt that was so there would still be some chance of some air getting into the airbox. Even then I would not be surprised if at speed all the air would be deflected away from the airbox opening as well as the sides of the airbox, missing the rear wing all together.

      The halo is the best solution because for a relatively small sum it can be bolted on with relatively little negative effect, aesthetics aside :)

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        8th February 2018, 20:47

        @robbie In the video, James said that “adopting [the Halo] has been a significant challenge” which I translated into effort and money. If a team like Mercedes is finding it a challenge with their resources, it has to be a much more expensive upgrade for smaller or teams.

        Is the FIA planning to test the halo for every team? Will they do it on every chassis and every race? That sounds like a lot of work.

        I’m curious to see the impact on vision and peripheral vision where the bars may make it hard to see the front wing or the tire of a car slightly behind your car. Whose fault is it if you can’t see the front wing next to you? Is it the FIA’s and, if so, who will serve the penalty on their behalf?:-)

        1. @freelittlebirds Fair comment. I’m sure it has been a challenge and therefore has cost some money no question. I just don’t recall hearing the teams complain too too much…mostly about the weight, the aesthetics, and a little about time constraints this winter for some teams.

          Wrt testing I was thinking in terms of similar to any other stress tests or impact tests and what have you that they do ahead of the season, ahead of pre-season testing I assume, in that they do the tests, they pass (or go back to the shop to add more carbon fibre) and their car is deemed legal for the new season. Wasn’t thinking in terms of testing it for every race, but certainly for every car ahead of the season like how all the other impact tests are done.

          I could be wrong of course but I can’t see peripheral vision being affected as it looks like aside from the overhead ‘hoop’ the only other bar they will see is the one right in front of them. I would think enough drivers have tried the halo (haven’t all drivers and teams by now? Not sure) that peripheral vision would have come up if it was a problem. I mean…they are going ahead with this no question, so I’m going to assume the only problems are the aesthetics, and the weight, and perhaps the negative aero consequence will be mostly nullified with the farings they’re allowed to employ.

  11. Melinda Messenger’s comments are sparse but spot on.

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