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Swiss high-tech company supports Red Bull Racing with cutting-edge technology

Oerlikon is new Technology Partner of Red Bull Racing

Salzburg, January 23, 2007 - Swiss industrial high-tech company, OC Oerlikon Corporation AG in Pfäffikon, today announced a comprehensive technology partnership with the Red Bull Racing Formula One team. "Formula One and Red Bull Racing both embody values that Oerlikon also stands for: innovation, speed and passion," says Oerlikon CEO Thomas Limberger. "Oerlikon has an admirable history and an extremely good reputation in the motor sport industry," says Red Bull Racing Team Principal, Christian Horner. "Red Bull Racing is pleased to welcome it as a technology partner and is very much looking forward to the on-track benefits that will inevitably result from a closer relationship between our two organizations."

For Oerlikon, the partnership with Red Bull Racing provides an ideal platform from which to present the Group's qualities and technologies to a wider public. The technology partnership provides Red Bull immediate access to around 1,500 scientists and engineers who develop innovations of tomorrow. Like no other company, Oerlikon is able to bring into the partnership a comprehensive palette of key technologies that are decisive for Formula One success:

  • Coatings: Extremely hard coatings boost the performance of motor and transmission components.
  • New ultralight materials: Technical fibers, such as those made from carbon, in combination with ultralight sandwich construction, save weight and enhance safety.
  • Transmission technology: The transfer of power from the engine can be further increased to provide more horse power on the track with new concepts.
  • Electronics and information technology: The miniaturization of electronic components and faster data transmission provide greater intelligence inside the vehicle.
  • Vacuum technology: Vacuum technology plays an essential role in manufacturing processes, such as production of the chassis.

After all, Oerlikon is already an important supplier to Formula One and the automobile industry in general. Oerlikon Graziano Transmission is a worldwide leader in transmission technology for top-of-the-line cars. The technical fibers that are produced on Oerlikon Saurer Textile's machines are used in the chassis, tires, overalls and seat belts. Oerlikon Balzers Coating develops and manufactures extremely hard and ultra-thin coatings which protect components from wear and tear and clearly enhance their useful life. The high power, low fuel consumption, boosted performance yield and indeed entire components - such as the common rail diesel injection system - of modern car engines would be unthinkable without Oerlikon coating. "Red Bull Racing cars will be an ideal technology showcasing platform for us," says Oerlikon CEO Thomas Limberger.

Also very important are technology sectors that have not been previously associated with the Formula One, but which will now find entry here through the partnership between Red Bull Racing and Oerlikon. For example, for years Oerlikon Space has manufactured the nose of Ariane rockets in a special lightweight construction. "Now, together with Red Bull, we will systematically analyze our technology portfolios and launch appropriate projects," say Oerlikon CEO Limberger. The goal is to boost the performance of the Red Bull Racing fireballs even further with new, innovative components.

The car racing industry was quick to discover the opportunities offered by coating technology. Numerous Formula One teams apply Oerlikon coating to coax maximum performance out of their engines, transmissions and other components. "Engine development as we have witnessed it over the past few years would have been more difficult without Oerlikon's coating technology," explains Red Bull Racing team boss, Horner. In 2006, Oerlikon opened two coating centers in Milton Keynes (UK) and in Rochester (USA) dedicated exclusively to motor car racing. "Motor racing is easily the fastest growing market for our coating business," adds Thomas Limberger.

Oerlikon will be linking up with Red Bull for the American NASCAR series, too. New technological developments will be directly put into practice in these high-profile racing series. The North American market with its strong auto industry is a particularly interesting field with enormous development potential. In the words of Thomas Limberger: "With our racing technology research center in Rochester, USA, we are well established locally and can react very swiftly to our customers' requirements."

For further information, please contact:

Sara Vermeulen-Anastasi

Sara Vermeulen-Anastasi

Head of Group Communications

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