Mercedes team boss and drivers visit INEOS America's Cup base in Barcelona

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Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff and the Brackley-based outfit's two drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell visited INEOS Britannia's America's Cup base in Barcelona, ahead of today's Spanish Grand Prix.

On Wednesday, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff and the two drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell visited INEOS Britannia's base in Barcelona as preparations continue ahead of the 37th America's Cup.

The project has seen INEOS Sport and Mercedes' Applied Science division come together to compete for the oldest international trophy in world sport.

INEOS Britannia Team Principal and Skipper Sir Ben Ainslie, along with INEOS founder, Sir Jim Ratcliffe served as guides for Wolff and two drivers. The trio were shown around the facilities, met the wider team and spent time in the team's simulator, before Russell and Wolff joined Sir Ben on the water.

Commenting on the experience, Wolff noted: "Today has been an amazing experience. We've got our headquarters at Brackley where a lot of the INEOS Britannia design work takes place, but it has been brilliant to see the base here in Barcelona.

"This is where the action will take place later this year and the facilities the team has are excellent.

"I also thoroughly enjoyed my experience as a 'cyclor' (cycling sailor) on the team's AC75 race boat too. It is a real physical test and it's easy to forget just how athletic the team must be.

"We are all out-and-out racers. Whilst our core objective as a business is winning on land in F1, this is an exciting project with Sir Ben and Sir Jim, and we are delighted to be a part of it."

Hamilton said: "It has been so exciting seeing the work of INEOS Britannia at the factory in Brackley over the past few years. To come here to Barcelona and see it all coming together, including the race boat for the first time, was so impressive.

"The technology involved is incredible and my mind is absolutely blown! I'm really excited to see how the team gets on later this year and I want to wish them the very best of luck in their pursuit of the America's Cup."

Russell added: "What an incredible experience! To get the opportunity to sail with Sir Ben and get a true sense of the speed and manoeuvrability of the INEOS Britannia AC75 Race Boat was amazing. It felt like we were floating through the air; it definitely got the blood pumping!

"There are many similarities between F1 and the America's Cup. They are the pinnacle of their respective sports and technical innovation is vital in both.

"The dedication and effort of the whole INEOS Britannia team was also clear to see, and I can't wait to watch them compete later in the year."

Sir Ben Ainslie said: "It was a privilege for all of us at INEOS Britannia to show Toto, Lewis, and George around our base here in Barcelona. They have been supporters of the project throughout, and it was therefore very fitting for us to give them a closer look at our race boat for the first time.

"It was great to get the guys out on the water today too; they know their way around a car but made sailing our AC75 look a touch too easy for my liking.

"We're always looking for new and emerging talent to take the helm, but I didn't realise we'd find it in the F1 paddock! It was a brilliant day and I look forward to supporting them all this weekend at the Spanish Grand Prix."