Tracking the influx of tech money into Formula 1, a racing series famous for its high costs and reputation-laundering for authoritarian governments, has been a fun game in recent years.
Tech concerns, flush with capital and power, have poured money into F1 teams and F1 branding because they can afford it — and the sport has a global fanbase. Put money into F1, and you get global exposure to a certain degree.
So it’s not a surprise that watching the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team — yes, that’s its real name — unveil its new car today, I noticed that the new set of wheels had a Crypto.com sticker on it. I was also reminded that IT and consulting giant Cognizant is one of the team’s leading sponsors.
Nor is it surprising that Oracle just signed up for a half-decade with Red Bull’s team — now called Oracle Red Bull Racing — to the reported tune of around $100 million per year. It was previously a sponsor. Now it’s the leading sponsor, apart from the drinks company. Oracle’s logo is rather large on the new team car.
What else? Ah yes, Ferrari’s F1 team just landed a deal with Palantir, it announced today.
I could go on and on. Mercedes’ F1 team is backed by TeamViewer, AMD and CrowdStrike. McLaren’s F1 team is backed by everyone, including Webex, Splunk, Alteryx, DataRobot and Smartsheet, among others. Lots of tech money is already in my beloved racing circuit, in other words.
But the Crypto.com branding on the new Aston Martin got me thinking. Tezos, another company in the blockchain space, backs McLaren and Red Bull, while FTX backs Mercedes and more. That means that there’s already a good amount of crypto capital in the F1 space, not just money from traditional technology firms.
I have an idea. In light of the news that Binance is putting $200 million into the Forbes SPAC deal, TV ads for crypto trading and more, it’s time for a bold blockchain company to succeed where so many others have failed: building a new F1 team.
Admit it, it’s brilliant. Tech companies have been content to merely work with F1 teams thus far, perhaps bringing some tech along with their checkbook. But crypto companies appear hellbent on making a big splash now. So why not cut the crap and really get the money flowing?
Crypto.com spent more than $100 million sponsoring F1 for five years. Cool. But cooler would be to have a Crypto.com F1 team. Or a Coinbase F1 team. Or a Binance F1 team. Or an FTX F1 team. C’mon y’all, dream bigger than naming a stadium or not paying a dividend!
Blockchains are, to the firm believers, the future of much of the economy. If that expectation is going to hold up, certainly we’ll see crypto-backed F1 teams in time, right? So why not get a jump on the matter?
Time to put some fiat where the token beliefs really are and get us an 11th team. I volunteer as a mascot if this happens. I will even wear a silly costume. Let’s go!