Oracle signs F1 title sponsorship deal with Red Bull

Feb 9 (Reuters) - Software giant Oracle has signed on as title sponsor to newly-crowned Formula One champion Max Verstappen's Red Bull team in a broadening out of the partnership the two parties struck last year.

The new deal, announced to coincide with the launch of Red Bull's 2022 car on Wednesday with which Verstappen hopes to defend his title, will see the team renamed Oracle Red Bull Racing.

The Milton Keynes-based outfit will also make greater use of Oracle's cloud infrastructure to hone race strategy and engine development, including work on the team's new 2026 power units, and help Red Bull drive greater fan engagement.

It will involve applying artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to groom its junior drivers and the setting up of gaming partnership Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports, the team said in a statement.

Oracle's scaled up partnership with Red Bull further boosts the profile of American companies in Formula One, which was acquired by U.S.-based Liberty Media in 2017.

Red Bull count retail giant Walmart among its partners, while U.S.-headquartered multinational Cognizant are joint title sponsors of the Aston Martin team.

New York-based investment group MSP Sports Capital has a significant minority stake in McLaren while Dorilton Capital acquired Williams in 2020, making them the second U.S.-owned team after Haas.

America, where the sport has been steadily gaining popularity thanks in part to Netflix series 'Drive to Survive', is an important market for Formula One.

The country will have two races on the calendar this year with the Miami Grand Prix, scheduled for May, joining October's U.S. Grand Prix in Austin, Texas.

Reporting by Abhishek Takle; Editing by William Maclean

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