Back on track: Accelleron gears up for new F1 season

F1 partnership update | Baden, Switzerland | Mar 2, 2023

The Accelleron name will return to the racetrack on 5 March, when the 2023 FIA Formula One World Championship gets underway at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The race marks the start of the second year of Accelleron’s technology partnership with Sauber Motorsport and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake – the squad it runs from a motorsport campus in Switzerland, 50 km from Accelleron’s headquarters in Baden.

Last year was a successful one for Sauber’s Alfa Romeo team. It finished sixth in the F1 constructors’ standings – three places higher than 2021 – with drivers Valtteri Bottas and rookie Zhou Guanyu both impressing on track.

For 2023, Valtteri and Zhou will again race with the Accelleron logo on their cars and race suits as they tackle a 23-round season that ends in Abu Dhabi in November.

Positioning Accelleron at the heart of the world’s largest annual global sporting event that has almost one billion fans, has helped to raise awareness of our new identity.

To understand more about the partnership so far, and its targets for 2023, we spoke to Oliver Riemenschneider, Chairman of the Board at Accelleron. He explains:

“Our partnership with Sauber has proved valuable on many different levels. It’s a collaboration that really makes sense, and I’m excited to see what we can achieve together this year.”

“Technology and teamworking will remain at the core, but we will also explore other areas of common ground between our two organisations. We start this year with a solid platform from which to take the next step.”

Highlights of the partnership so far include projects that helped Accelleron get closer and better connected with 3D printing techniques and materials, as well as the application of data modelling and simulation around component testing. It also proved a powerful tool for customer engagement at the racetrack to deliver a greater understanding of how much an F1 company like Sauber and Accelleron really have in common. Oliver says:

“This partnership has to perform for our customers, and it proved to be a good basis for conversations with them about technology, sustainability and how it might be possible to transfer and translate F1 innovations into our business and markets. Our people across the globe realised how much of a benefit this is, they recognised the enthusiasm from our customers to have this collaboration and they will use the programme even more.”

“The collaboration also helped us define our new Accelleron identity. It is about speed, responsiveness, and pushing to be the best in the competition. There were so many elements which people could relate to and say, ‘yes, that makes sense’.” 

Another example of the interplay between F1 and turbocharging – especially in the shipping industry – is a shared focus on sustainability and fuels in their different operating environments.

The current F1 engine already uses a biofuel blend, but the sport’s next generation of cars, to be introduced in 2026, will use an all-new engine and a new fully-synthetic sustainable fuel. Add in the constraints of a cost cap, and you have a situation that has a lot in common with the challenges facing the shipping industry.

“The freedom of optimising performance is as big in marine as it is in F1,” Oliver says. “I think the upcoming power unit changes will mark a big step for F1, the perception of the car industry and engines in general. The chance for F1 to showcase a combustion engine that can be operated sustainably is huge.”

In the racing year ahead, digitalisation will also be a priority F1-related topic for Accelleron. In-house workshops, created jointly with Sauber in 2022, will be developed further and will illustrate how data techniques and processes from F1 can be successfully applied elsewhere.

“Our work in this area started when Sauber demonstrated how data collected by the hundreds of sensors on each car was sent live to its team base in Hinwil and analysed to give a recommendation to the drivers on how best to go through the bends,” Oliver explains. “This interaction connects different locations, different people with different perspectives in a split second. I thought ‘okay, this works convincingly for F1 – so I wanted to explore how we can create opportunity for our industries and customers in a similar way.’”

Also on the agenda for 2023 are ways to use the relationship with Sauber in team working and HR applications. For instance, how to involve Accelleron’s employees in the F1 environment, and expose them to F1 thought, wisdom and a different experience.

Technology remains in the spotlight too, with further developments around 3D printing and the goal of having more products for the aftermarket which are manufactured in this way. 

As the start of the new F1 season in Bahrain approaches, Oliver has a final few words of encouragement for Accelleron’s F1 ambassadors Valtteri and Zhou.

“I think my message to them is to keep on pushing and improving! It was great to see how both drivers performed last year and it was a beautiful season for Alfa Romeo because the team achieved so much. They built a platform, and now it’s time for the next step. It's the same story with our technical partnership. The sky's the limit.”

Oliver Riemenschneider
Chairman, Accelleron

The Bahrain Grand Prix starts on Sunday 5 March at 1800hrs local time. Keep an eye on our partnership page after the race for a selection of the best race photos. 

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