Toro Rosso and Sauber have both preceded their new car launches by announcing tie-ups with technical partners for the 2013 season.
STR has renewed its agreement with OMP Racing for another year, ensuring that the Italian company will continue to supply safety equipment and technical clothing for its drivers, Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne, and the rest of the team
The agreement, however, also provides for the possibility of installing new super-light seatbelts inside the cockpit of the new STR8, which will be officially presented on 4 February. The seatbelts have been produced by OMP using Dyneema, self-proclaimed as 'the world's strongest fibre', after two years of study and research.
Ricciardo and Vergne, meanwhile, will be kitted out with racesuits, boots, underwear and gloves made by OMP, as will other team personnel.
"We are pleased to continue our relationship with OMP," team manager Gianfranco Fantuzzi commented, "Over the years, we have developed an excellent relationship and OMP is always attentive to our requests, supplying items to our specific needs to the highest standards, while always meeting the tight deadlines that are part of working in the F1 environment. And, of course, as an Italian team, we appreciate not only the excellent quality but also the Italian style element of everything we get from OMP."
Sauber, meanwhile, has signed DEKRA as an 'official partner', building on the company's existing relationship with new recruit Nico Hulkenberg.
“It's gratifying to be able to combine the interests of all three parties in this way,” team CEO Monisha Kaltenborn noted, “In DEKRA, the team welcomes a partner that has been a firm fixture of the F1 scene for many years. We keenly anticipate this new partnership and look forward to a successful season.”
While minor partnership deals will continue to be revealed between now and the start of the season, one that the F1 world was widely anticipating to have already been made public remains under wraps.
According to Pitpass
, the expected tie-up between Lotus and Honeywell, which could have seen the US-based IT company become the team's new title sponsor, has yet to be finalised. Talks between the two parties have been widely reported, but team boss Eric Boullier confirmed at Lotus' launch on Monday night that nothing has been signed.