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SAP joins Mercedes F1 team as official partner from 2024

Business software giant SAP has joined forces with the Mercedes Formula 1 team as an official partner in a multi-year deal that begins next season.

Mercedes garage with SAP branding

Autosport Business

Covering industry news and insight into the business of motorsport

SAP previously had a long involvement with McLaren that ran between 1997-2020 and saw the company involved in F1 world championship titles for Mika Hakkinen in 1998 and 1999, and Lewis Hamilton in 2008.

The company was also a supporter of the now defunct Mercedes Formula E outfit, in an arrangement that began in 2018.

While it hasn’t had a commercial deal, the Mercedes F1 team has been an SAP customer for some time. However the new partnership will give the Brackley outfit access to innovations that will in effect be proof tested before they gain wider use.

Mercedes said SAP will contribute to improving operational efficiency, especially in the context of the cost cap and the extra layers of complexity that the FIA financial regulations have added to running an F1 team.

The team will use SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition, which will help it “to explore how artificial intelligence, and cloud solutions from SAP can inform and predict decisions, optimise resources, and future-proof their IT infrastructure”.

With regard to the specific challenges of the cost cap SAP’s AI capabilities will allow the team to “forecast costs, predict the final budget needs, and optimise both the supply chain and stocked items accordingly”.

Mercedes garage with SAP branding

Photo by: Mercedes GP Petronas Formula One Team

Mercedes garage with SAP branding

The team will also use SAP Build and the SAP Business Technology Platform to “bring together a seamless view of data and systems from various sources across the organisation,” which will help to get components to the track faster.

“We have a shared heritage and commitment to innovation and improvement which will meaningfully contribute to our on-track performance,” said team principal Toto Wolff of the new partnership.

“SAP is a global leader in its field, and we could not think of a better partner to help us improve our efficiencies in 2024 and beyond.“

Mercedes F1 chief commercial officer Richard Sanders added: “SAP has a long-standing history of brilliant partnerships with some of the best teams and leagues across elite level sport.

“We are proud to become the latest to join forces with one of the world's leading companies. Their knowledge, expertise, and services will be vital in enabling greater efficiencies within the team.“

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Julia White, SAP chief marketing and solutions officer and board member, stressed that F1 was the perfect environment for the company.

“F1 is one of the most technologically innovative sports in the world, where incremental gains yield significant results,” she said.

“Given the extreme conditions under which F1 teams operate, motorsports provide a global platform to showcase skill and engineering excellence. But beyond the race day performance, there's a lot going on behind the scenes.“

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