Ferrari and crypto company Velas will not continue their partnership after an acrimonious first year, RacingNews365 has learned. The blockchain brand has been removed from Ferrari’s partner list, as has the logo of chip semi-conductor company Snapdragon. Both were ranked as premium sponsors of the Scuderia. Ferrari announced a long-term deal with crypto company Velas in late 2021, with branding appearing on cars and driver suits. However, a source close to both companies has indicated that Ferrari did not comply with clauses that permit Velas to create NFT images, while the latter is said to be in financial breach. According to the source legal action is being contemplated by the parties.
Recent crypto collapses
The crypto space has collapsed recently, with Mercedes F1 Team partner FTX declaring bankruptcy in December, owing that team an estimated $15m. Mercedes F1 removed all FTX branding from its branded assets in November, with Team Principal Toto Wolff at the time suggesting that most F1 teams could be similarly impacted. "Every team has sponsors like that, and so does the Formula 1 organization as such. So everyone would be affected," the Austrian said. In February 2022, RacingNews365 analysed the F1/crypto dynamic, suggesting it was the sport’s "latest addiction ." Regarding Snapdragon, another source indicated to RacingNews365 that the split is mutual, with a joint statement expected in due course. Ferrari CEO Benedetto Vigna joined the company in July 2021 from semi-conductor rival STMicro, but it is unclear whether the two are connected. Snapdragon is likely to move to another F1 team, potentially returning to Mercedes after the semi-conductor’s parent company Qualcomm and Mercedes recently announced a major ‘cockpit’ electronics joint venture.
Ferrari loses major sponsors
The loss of Velas and Snapdragon means that Ferrari needs to plug a significant hole in its portfolio, with estimates suggesting that the Velas deal was worth $30m per annum, with Snapdragon’s contribution said to total $25m in terms of cash and technical support. Together the two brands contributed around a quarter of the Scuderia’s commercial income. Ferrari will present its 2023 car on Valentine's Day on February 14th, but has not yet revealed the location. For the third successive year Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz make up the Scuderia’s driver pairing, but this season under incoming Team Principal Frédéric Vasseur, who joins from Sauber (Alfa Romeo) as replacement after Mattia Binotto resigned from the team at the end of December 2022. RacingNews365 reached out to all three parties for comment, but none had responded 24 hour later.