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How MS Amlin and Andretti’s vision for a sustainable future combine to drive the Formula E growth story

|Driver: Robin Frijns| Team: MS Amlin Andretti| Number: 27| Car: ATEC-02|

Photographer: Adam Warner | Event: Mexico City ePrix| Circuit: Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez| Location: Mexico City| Series: FIA Formula E| Season: 2016-2017| Country: MX|

MS Amlin has supported Formula E since 2014. We are the only insurer to sponsor a racing team in Formula E – MS Amlin Andretti - in what has become the most environmentally conscious alternative to traditional motor sport. 

Formula E has cars that exceed 220kmh and highly professional teams that compete across five continents in the heart of some of the greatest cities in the world. Formula E delivers drama and action in a more sustainable format than other types of motor racing – and develops technology that translates to road cars. 

At MS Amlin we have enjoyed watching the sport grow in popularity since we began our involvement, which goes beyond traditional sponsorship and involves partnering with the Andretti team to share our expertise. Data analysis and sophisticated software tool development by MS Amlin employees have enabled the Andretti Formula E team to time their pitstops to perfection. 

One of the MS Amlin Andretti drivers, António Félix da Costa, has noticed a significant change in attitude among his fellow professionals during his time in the sport. 

“Formula E is getting a lot of recognition,” he said. “When we started Formula E was seen as a little bit of a joke. But now you can’t imagine the number of calls I get from drivers in other formulae asking me how they can get a seat in Formula E.” 

Roger Griffiths, Andretti’s Director of Motorsport Development and Co Team Principal, has also become aware of a change in the way the sport is regarded by the automotive business. 

“A number of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are looking at Formula E,” he said. “We’ve seen the announcement from Audi that they have stopped their Le Mans programme and they’re now concentrating on Formula E and BMW has recognized that Formula E is directly relevant to what they do with road cars. 

“I think that’s the key – while everybody likes to tell the story of ‘race on Sunday, sell on Monday’, Formula E is actually showing that we are getting back to that direct relevance. Like it or not, future passenger cars are going to be focusing on electrification and there are some cities that will only be allowing electric cars in. 

“I don’t think we are ever going to lose conventional motorsport. But the budgets associated with being competitive in Formula E are nowhere near as high as those necessary to be competitive in the World Endurance championship or with Formula One. 

“OEMs look at Formula E and find that the return on their investment and the relevance of their investment is greater. The holy grail for most drivers is either to be Formula One World Champion or be intrinsically linked to a major manufacturer because that gives stability of employment. The drivers are starting to see major manufacturers getting involved in Formula E, salaries are rising and it looks like a very good career move.” 

Roger Griffiths added: “The money from the sponsorship is what helps operate the team but the added benefits are the intangibles that you can’t put a value on and that, for me, is what makes a difference between somebody that’s a sponsor and somebody that’s a partner. MS Amlin are most certainly a partner. It’s about so much more than MS Amlin giving us money and us putting their stickers on the side of the car.” 

The bigger picture – how the battle against climate change drives our support for Formula E 

At MS Amlin we recognise that climate change is probably one of the biggest global threats of the 21st century. Since 2007 MS Amlin has been part of ClimateWise - a growing global network of 29 leading insurers, reinsurers, brokers and industry service providers who share a commitment to reduce the impact of climate change on society and the insurance industry. 

Our commitment to Formula E demonstrates our long-held belief that positive measures need to be implemented to address climate change. 

Since the 1950s, the frequency of weather-related catastrophes, such as windstorms and floods, has increased six-fold. As climate-related risks occur more often and predictably, previously insurable assets are becoming uninsurable, or those already underinsured further compromised.

The economic impact of these natural catastrophes is growing quickly, with total losses increasing five-fold since the 1980s to around $170bn today. Over the same period, the average annual protection gap has widened quickly from $23bn to $100bn today. 

MS Amlin is looking to bring the power of insurance to change the way things are done, acting as a partner in risk mitigation, investment, and infrastructure to become a true ally in the fight against climate change. 

The role of the insurance sector needs to be reconsidered in society given the changing nature of the risks posed by climate change, as well as other systemic risks such as increased global trade and the need to ensure the economic means of production. 

MS Amlin were one of just three insurers who last year called for G20 leaders to implement a timeframe for ending fossil fuel subsidies. Our sponsorship of Formula E is aligned with that aim and helps to highlight the credible alternatives to fossil fuel free motorsport and zero emission motoring. Formula E has a number of key differentiators over other types of motor sport. 

  • Energy: Powering the cars with a virtually zero emission and 100% renewable fuel, from revolutionary Formula E Glycerine Generators. 

  • Tyres: The unique tyres are hybrids specially designed by Michelin, suitable for all weather conditions, last the entire race, and are all recycled at the end of the day. 

  • Tracks: Formula E is the city street racing series, racing on temporary tracks in the hearts of some of the coolest cities in the world such as Mexico, Paris, Berlin, Montreal and New York.  

  • Spectators: Formula E is bringing the race to fans in city centres to encourage the use of public transport. The sport also has a great online platform where fans can watch the race live and in 360°. 

  • Calendar: The race map has been designed to have a cluster approach region by region to optimise our freight movements. 

The fan experience in Formula E is family friendly. The entire series, from practice, qualifying and racing, takes place in one day – so no overnight stays are required for the watching public. There are also support events throughout the event so adults and children can be entertained even when the cars are not on the track. And, of course, the cars are quiet so delicate, young ears do not need to be protected. 

Social media also plays a part with people able to vote for their favourite driver and give them a temporary power boost during the race. 

At MS Amlin we recognise that this new generation of fans will be our clients and employees of the future. It is important we look after them. 

We always try to stand out from our competitors by doing something different. We have been in business for 400 years and our long-term approach means we are always looking to the future. That is why we carefully choose our sponsorship partners for alignment with our philosophy and who demonstrate the levels of innovation that we implement in the way we work. 

That is why we choose to partner with Andretti in Formula E.