Skip links

America’s Cup: in Barcelona in the name of speed

Between F1 and America’s Cup the common denominator whether on asphalt or at sea is speed. And so in Barcelona the week just concluded with the Spanish Formula 1 Grand Prix won by Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racingwas the occasion for a series of meetings between great champions and great teams. On the one hand, those who will be involved in the Barcelona Preliminary Regatta on August 22nd, the first opportunity to see all together (including the defender) the new AC75 protagonists of the Louis Vuitton 37th America’s Cup and on the other drivers and teams who were engaged in the tenth round of the F1 World Championship. But others too.

America's Cup
Daniel Ricciardo driver of the Visa Cash App RB F1, at the helm of the Alinghi Red Bull Racing AC40. Photo © Samo Vidic/Alinghi Red Bull Racing

America’s Cup: F1 VS MotoGP at Alinghi Red Bull Racing

In fact, Alinghi Red Bull Racing, which last year had made its base known to Max Verstappen, this time did not limit itself to showing its AC75 but organized a real AC40 regatta between champions such as Daniel Ricciardo, eight times winner of a Grand Prix in Formula 1 and Marc Márques, six times dominator of MotoGP.  Two champions of the great Red Bull Racing family which also includes Alinghi Red Bull Racing which has worked closely with Red Bull Advanced Technologies, the high performance vehicle engineering division. Under the guidance of skipper Arnaud Psarofaghis, Ricciardo and Márques first became familiar with the AC40s, then the regatta which saw an equal start but then the victory of the Australian driver. Márques, beaten on home waters, commented on the experience as follows: ” The speed is completely different. Maybe in kilometres per hour it’s slower, but the feeling of the speed was super high. When you’re in it, you don’t feel like you are flying. But then I saw Daniel’s boat flying by our side, and I realised I was too. We were foiling super smoothly”.

Daniel Ricciardo (right) and Marc Marquez during their visit to the Alinghi Red Bull Racing base. Photo © Samo Vidic/Alinghi Red Bull Racing

And at INEOS Britannia the big names from Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS

Another team that has close collaborations with the world of F1, INEOS Britannia which in its challenge at the Auld Mug can count on the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team Applied Science Division. So the visit to the base of the English team of drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell with the Team Principal and CEO of Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team Toto Wolff could not be missed. Doing the honors will be the founder of INEOS, Sir Jim Ratcliffe together with the team principal and skipper Sir Ben Ainslie. For Amilton, Russel and Wolff, after the visit to the base, a trip to sea aboard the INEOS Britannia. With Russell experiencing the thrills of being at the helm, and Toto Wolff joining the cyclor team. “What an incredible experience! To get the opportunity to sail with Sir Ben and get a true sense of the speed and manoeuvrability of the INEOS Britannia AC75 Race Boat was amazing. It felt like we were floating through the air; it definitely got the blood pumping!” George Hamilton’s commentary.

From left, Lewis Hamilton, Ben Ainslie, Toto Wolff and George Russell ready for the INEOS Britannia boat. Photo © Ineos Britannia

America’s Cup: more champions for the other teams

Also in conjunction with the Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix, the drivers of the Alpine BWT F1 Team (the all-French team in its second season in F1) Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon visited the Orient Express base and followed a session of sea trials of the AC75. “A crazy experience,” said Esteban Ocon.  “I have some sailing experience having been with François Gabart. When I saw the boat flying in front of me, I felt like we had just landed in an episode of Star Wars! You couldn’t keep up, it was going so fast! It was great.”

Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon with (center) Quentin Delapierre, skipper of Orient Express. Photo © Alexander Champy-Mclean/Orient Express Racing Team

Many champions like The Cup challenge

To the parade of champions who took the opportunity of the Spanish GP to visit the teams competing in the America’s Cup, many others who wanted to get to know the world and the boats of the oldest sporting trophy in the world must be added. Like Francesco “Pecco” Bagnania, twice winner of the MotoGP world title with the Ducati Lenovo Team, who after visiting Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli at its base in Cagliari last year sailed with the AC40, Te Kākahi of Emirates Team New Zealand.  Or, leaving the engines, Gianmarco Tamberi, reconfirmed European high jump champion at the European Championships in Rome 2024, who on the eve of the preliminary regattas in Vilanova i la Geltrú took the helm of the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli AC40. “He appeared to be driving his car. Fantastic” was the comment of those who were on board with him.

Francesco “Pecco” Bagnania on Te Kākahi (left) and Gianmarco Tamberi on the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli AC40.

America’s Cup: Taihoro has landed

On Wednesday 19 June, after 12 days of crossing the Atlantic, the Baltic Spring freighter carrying Taihoro, the AC75 of Emirates Team New Zealand, arrived in Spain, docking in the port of Tarragona after a 28-day journey and a journey of over 13,000 miles from the New Zealand port of Tauranga. Taihoro, his mast, the hydrogen-powered chase boat and all the other equipment were disembarked and loaded onto articulated trucks that traveled the 100 kilometers that separate Tarragona from Barcelona. The convoy arrived at the Emirates Team New Zealand base in the early hours of Friday 21 June.

Taihoro’s arrival at the Emirates Team New Zealand base in Barcelona. Photo © Emirates Team New Zealand

Now all six AC75s that will participate in the Barcelona Preliminary Regatta on August 22 are in Barcelona. 

Emilio Martinelli

Leave a comment