The Aston Martin Formula 1 team announced a new title sponsorship with U.S.-based IT services giant Cognizant on Thursday that they said will help them punch higher and harder this season.
The Silverstone-based team finished fourth as Racing Point last year, seven points behind McLaren after being docked 15 following a Renault protest, and are now aiming to crack the top three.
Aston Martin’s billionaire owner Lawrence Stroll said Cognizant, a Fortune 500 company with $17 billion in revenues, would play a ‘digitally transformative’ role.
“My aim with this, like the other businesses I’ve owned, is to win. There´s lap time in IT… it gives us a digital engineering expertise to help the team go to a new level,” the Canadian told Reuters.
“This team has always punched above its weight. Now that we are Aston Martin and with the backing and support of Cognizant, we will not only punch above the weight but have the weight to punch harder.”
— Cognizant (@Cognizant) January 7, 2021
Stroll is also executive chairman of the British sportscar company that is returning to F1 as a constructor for the first time since 1960, said the road car side would benefit as well.
“Cognizant is a global partner for everything to be done in IT with Aston Martin, whether it be Formula One or road car,” he added.
Cognizant CEO Brian Humphries told Reuters Formula One’s reach, with a record 23 races planned worldwide this year and a possible second U.S. round in 2022, matched the company’s global ambitions.
“When I think about the footprint of the current set of races for the coming years, it’s very much aligned to what I´m trying to achieve as a global company. In some regards it´s a marriage made in heaven,” he said.
“If Formula One builds out a broader fan base in the United States, that´s even better.”
No financial details were given but Stroll said the partnership was “significantly larger” and broader than a previous one with Austrian water company BWT, who could still continue as a sponsor.
Introducing the Aston Martin Formula 1 Team.
61 years after we last competed in @F1, Aston Martin is back on the grid in 2021.
— Aston Martin (@astonmartin) January 1, 2021
The 2021 team livery and clothing will be unveiled in March.
Racing Point won last year with Mexican Sergio Perez, who has now joined Red Bull after being replaced by four times world champion Sebastian Vettel, in Bahrain.
“Our ambitions are to pick up where we left off, fighting for third and punching with this help above our weight for second,” said Stroll, whose 22-year-old son Lance races for the team.
He denied Vettel, who ended up 13th and with a third of the points scored by Ferrari team mate Charles Leclerc, was a spent force.
“I think psychologically it was challenging when you´re told your contract is not going to be renewed before the season started… it kind of puts you on the back foot,” he said.
“I don´t think Sebastian all of a sudden forgot how to drive. He´s a four time world champion… and he comes with a wealth of knowledge to help our team go up to the next level.”
With anticipation building for almost 12 months and a monumental amount of work undertaken behind the scenes, Aston Martin is back in Formula One. The new era has officially begun.
We couldn’t be more excited to finally reveal the first look at our new identity while setting out our vision for the journey ahead. And what better way to begin the new age than by welcoming a new title partner, Cognizant, an American multinational IT brand with ambitious plans to broaden its global reach.
The team will be known as Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team when it lines up on the starting grid for the new season.
In a sport where technology and innovation take centre stage, Cognizant will play a key role, not merely as a sponsor, nor even as a behind-the-scenes service provider, but as a true digital transformation partner with a real purpose. The multi-year association brings real energy to the new era of Aston Martin in Formula One with Cognizant ideally placed to empower the team with the best IT infrastructure and software solutions on the market.
Today’s news coincides with the first elements of a brand-new website going live and facelifts to the team’s social media channels, with greater insights than ever before coming soon to the official Aston Martin Formula One Team Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, TikTok and LinkedIn channels.
Over the coming weeks, we’ll be taking you behind the scenes, allowing everybody to share in the excitement of seeing the first Aston Martin to race at a Grand Prix weekend in more than six decades.
In March, we’ll be unveiling our car livery to the world at Aston Martin’s global HQ in Gaydon, including the introduction to our driver line-up, featuring four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel and multiple Grand Prix podium finisher Lance Stroll.
Lawrence Stroll, Chairman: “The return of Aston Martin to Formula One after more than 60 years away is a landmark moment in the history of the sport. Everyone knows what Aston Martin stands for, but the Formula One team will allow us to take the essence of the brand to new places, building on the strong foundations laid by the previous iterations of the team. I’m hugely proud that we can start this new chapter with the support of Cognizant. In today’s world, as the digital revolution continues, I can’t think of a more suitable or valuable partner to work with us as we strive to make Aston Martin one of the greatest teams in the sport.”
Brian Humphries, CEO of Cognizant: “We are absolutely thrilled to be the title partner of Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team. Our global brands have much in common. We are both innovative, forward-looking firms that like to move fast, stay focused, and lead from the front. We understand the incredible power of today’s advanced technologies and how to harness them to engineer unique customer experiences. We’re excited by the promise of this deep and mutually beneficial partnership.”
Otmar Szafnauer, CEO & Team Principal, “We’re just two months away from the start of the season, so it’s fantastic to celebrate the new era of Aston Martin in Formula One by welcoming Cognizant as our title partner. Innovation and technology are central pillars for any Formula One team and this long-term partnership is more than just a branding exercise. With a new factory already under construction, Cognizant’s expertise and resources will add value in all areas of our IT operations and make a valuable contribution to our performance on-track.”
Jefferson Slack, Managing Director – Commercial & Marketing: “This is a really special moment as we welcome Cognizant as the primary partner of the Aston Martin Formula One Team. As we take this iconic brand back to the pinnacle of racing, it’s hugely motivating to have the support of a true powerhouse in Cognizant, a Fortune 200 company with nearly 300,000 employees. It’s a multinational that’s making a real impact across the globe with great vision from Brian Humphries and the senior leadership team. Cognizant will be integral to our future success and a partner in the truest sense, unleashing its capabilities as a digital transformation agent. Like Aston Martin, it’s a company with aggressive targets and ambitions, and will flourish in the global spotlight of Formula One.”
Sebastian Vettel, Driver: “I can’t wait to start working with Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team. There’s so much for me to discover over the next few months and I’m incredibly determined to help make this team even more successful. Before we know it, we will be at the first race, seeing this famous name back where it belongs. I’m proud to be part of this journey.”
Lance Stroll, Driver: “Seeing Aston Martin back in Formula One is a huge deal – especially with a new title partner, Cognizant. Whenever I’m at the factory, you can feel the buzz and energy. We’re ready for this. There’s so much hunger in the team and I just can’t wait to get the season started.”
Cognizant (Nasdaq-100: CTSH) is one of the world’s leading professional services companies, transforming clients’ business, operating, and technology models for the digital era. Our unique industry-based, consultative approach helps clients envision, build, and run more innovative and efficient businesses. Headquartered in the U.S., Cognizant is ranked 194 on the Fortune 500 and is consistently listed among the most admired companies in the world.
About Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team
After more than 60 years away from Formula One, Aston Martin returns to Grand Prix racing in 2021. With one of the most iconic emblems in the world emblazoned above the garages and a team of over 450 passionate men and women at its heart, this is a team with both a rich heritage and a fresh perspective – bringing new energy to the sport with a determination to shake up the order and compete at the sharp end.
A growing family, where like-minded people from all walks of life are encouraged to be a part of our journey and given a platform to thrive, our mission is to use the global platform of motorsport to engage a new wave of fans – showcasing the technology and innovation which live at our core while representing the values that resonate with the changing world in which we live.