During last year, there was a lot of talk about AMD leaving Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, even confirmed by AMD spokepersons and some executives. However, once that you enter the famiglia Ferrari it is hard to get out, due to prestige sponsoring company gets for being aligned with the Ferrari. Secondly, you would have to be mad to get out of a deal that doesn’t cost you any serious money, since you’re a technological partner and only have to supply all the latest and greatest to the HPC room and small change for the logo on the car. In fact, AMD has one of cheapest sponsorship deals in Formula One circus.
Yes, AMD didn’t pay more money to Ferrari in all of years of cooperation (2001-2009) than Hector Jesus ” Anti-Christ” Ruiz (comment from unnamed AMD employee from Austin, TX) took in bonuses in 2005 and 2006 alone. We won’t mention 2007 and 2008 here, it would be inappropriate. Thus, AMD is staying onboard with Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro in 2009 and beyond, and all those voices that are saying that AMD and Ferrari split… well, they can recheck their sauces.
On the other hand, Intel came onboard BMW Sauber and deployed Albert2, supercomputer that greatly helped the team. BMW Sauber was also sponsored by Dell, but when the 2009 car saw the light of the day in Spanish town of Valencia, Dell’s logo was nowhere to be found.
In fact, Intel’s logo was also hard to find on the car. As you can see in these images, Intel went from having top places on the car in terms of exposure (engine cover, side deflector, front spoiler) to having a logo on the same place that AMD has – just the side on the back spoiler. Truth to be told, Intel’s logo is significantly larger than AMD’s one. Can anybody say… sponsorship reduction? We’re in hard times indeed, and it is clear that Formula One season will feature not just cleaner bodywork (due to all changes in aerodynamic regulations), but also bodywork will be “cleaner” from big sponsors.
From a F1 fan perspective, all that I can say is that if you want to point the finger, point it to no other than Bernard Charles Ecclestone and his greedy demands that saw F1 disappearing from the North American continent, all in the name of gov’t sponsored events in Middle East and Asia. Still, it’s going to be one helluwa season, with slicks back. Can’t wait for Melbourne in 64 days time 😉