As suggested over the past few weeks, Deutsche Telekom has swapped its cycling sponsorship for Formula One, but will be a technology partner rather than major backer.

T-Systems, the business customer subsidiary of the German telecoms giant, will help the team to develop 'innovative information and communication technology solutions' ahead of the 2008 F1 campaign, and has already set up a high-performance data link to connect the team's two bases in Munich and Hinwil.

A parts logistics system based on radio frequency identification technology is currently in the pilot phase, while further research and development projects are in the pipeline, including data security and service life solutions.

"The latest IT and telecommunications technology represents an integral part of motor racing," BMW Motorsport director Mario Theissen explained, "The partnership of T-Systems and BMW brings together two leaders in innovation to create tailor-made solutions for our team.

"Our new partner possesses both IT and telecommunications know-how and experience and expertise in the automotive sector. This makes T-Systems an ideal partner for us in the development of future technologies which can also offer key benefits for series production."

The T-Systems logo will appear on both the outside and inside of the soon-to-be-launched BMW Sauber F1.08 cockpit area and on the car's nose section, as well as on team clothing and the drivers' helmets, but the company sees the new sponsoring partnership as a platform for conducting research and development work under extreme conditions.

"Instead of relying solely on laboratory trials, practical testing on the ground - under the toughest conditions - is also incorporated into the development process," revealed -Systems CEO Reinhard Clemens, "This co-operation is a key milestone in the company's drive to become the leading ICT service provider for the automotive sector."