EXCLUSIVE: Ferrari poised to announce Hewlett-Packard as title sponsor

(Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
(Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Formula 1’s Scuderia Ferrari is set to announce Hewlett-Packard (HP) as its new title sponsor, securing a huge financial boost for the team ahead of an expensive 2025 season.

Ferrari’s deal with HP will help the team afford the salary of seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, who will replace Carlos Sainz at the beginning of next season. Driver salaries do not count against Formula 1’s ‘cost cap’, allowing teams an unlimited spend on star acquisitions.

Sources say the deal’s annual value is comparable to Red Bull Racing’s title sponsorship deal with technology company Oracle, which is currently the most valuable of its kind in F1.

HP, a computer hardware brand based in California, will become the Italian team’s first title sponsor since 2021, when it was officially known as Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow as part of a controversial contract with US tobacco giant Philip Morris International.

Scuderia Ferrari has gone without an official title sponsor for the past two seasons but has dipped back into the market as it looks to compete with a dominant Red Bull Racing team – on and off the track.

For HP, the deal further signals its appetite to acquire premium sports sponsorship rights. In February, HP announced that it would become Real Madrid’s first-ever sleeve sponsor. As part of that deal, which covered the men’s, women’s and youth teams, HP technology will be embedded into the LaLiga club’s operations. The Ferrari deal is expected to follow a similar template, given Formula 1’s reputation for showcasing technology brands.

HP manufactures personal computers and printers and was created when the Hewlett-Packard Company spun off its enterprise products and services division to create two new companies: Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) in 2015. HPE specialises in servers, storage, networking, containerisation software and consulting and support. 

HP has a history in F1, having sponsored Williams Racing from 2000 to 2005. It also held an agreement with the Sauber-owned team almost a decade ago.

HPE also has a presence in F1 via deals with Mercedes and the Sauber-owned outfit known as the Stake F1 team.

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In 2017, HPE announced the spin-off of its Enterprise Service segment, and its subsequent merger with Computer Sciences Corporation to become DXC Technology. Notably, DXC Technology is a current sponsor of Scuderia Ferrari as part of a multi-year contract which began in May 2023.

Mission Winnow – a PMI initiative that promoted non-tobacco products – held the team’s title sponsorship rights from the start of the 2019 season. The move to integrate the campaign’s branding within the Ferrari team name was not without controversy. Authorities in markets such as Australia investigated the legality of the campaign on the basis that it was an attempt to circumvent the country’s ban on tobacco advertising, leading to the removal of the Mission Winnow branding for the 2019 Australian Grand Prix.

PMI remains a sponsor of the Italy-based outfit in an agreement understood to be largely focused on hospitality rights.

Ferrari’s title sponsorship history prior to the Mission Winnow agreement was also focused on this long-running PMI association – the company’s Marlboro brand was integrated into the team’s name from 1997 until 2011.

The decision to now sign a title sponsorship with HP comes after Ferrari recruited new personnel to head up its commercial team. In January 2023, former AC Milan executive Lorenzo Giorgetti was appointed as its chief racing revenue officer. Another hire from AC Milan followed in July last year when the Serie A club’s former commercial strategy director George Prior joined as head of partnership asset management.

Recent commercial activity has included a focus of building out a tier of premium partners, which now includes Shell, VGW Play, Santander and Puma. This group currently headlines the portfolio but will sit under HP when the new title sponsorship is formalised.

SportBusiness has contacted Scuderia Ferrari for comment.