BMW Williams Formula One has signed a sponsorship deal with insurance giant Allianz, which it claims will lead to the development of safer cars for consumers.
The move has been backed by the sport’s governing body, Formula One Association (FIA). It is the first time the body has linked with an F1 team.
The partnership with FIA and Williams, which is understood to be costing Allianz more than $25m (&15m) a year, will bring together a six-strong think-tank to adapt safety measures developed for F1 cars to road vehicles. All resulting products will be officially endorsed by Allianz’s safety testing arm AZT and the FIA.
The think-tank will include FIA safety chief Professor Sid Watkins, BMW Williams technical director Patrick Head, two further FIA members and two Allianz members.
The sponsorship deal will also include Allianz branding on Williams F1 cars.
Williams F1 media manager Nav Sidhu says: “If we can transfer the sort of technology which allows an F1 driver to walk away from a 185mph crash with little more than a few scratches, then this deal could ultimately save hundreds, if not thousands, of lives on our roads.”