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Formula 1, Austin continue to build ties as Oracle buys title rights for Red Bull Racing

Red Bull Racing's new car features title rights from Austin-based Oracle. (Oracle Red Bull Racing/Twitter)

Formula 1 now has even more Austin ties: Austin-headquartered tech giant Oracle announced Thursday that it bought title sponsorship rights for the famed Red Bull Racing brand.

Oracle, whose headquarters sit less than 20 miles from Austin's Circuit of the Americas racing track, bought the premier sponsor title on a five-year deal worth around $500 million. The England-based Red Bull Racing brand will now go by Oracle Red Bull Racing.

The newly-named company wasted no time in dropping its latest car, the RB18, with Oracle emblazoned boldly on the side.

The premier racing brand gained even more acclaim last season as Max Verstappen took the spotlight on the way to taking Formula 1's World Championship. Red Bull Racing has claimed five F1 championships in the last 11 years and hosted star racers including Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel.

According to Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing's Team Principal and CEO, Oracle Cloud technology was a key element in leading Verstappen to his first underdog victory.

“Oracle Cloud enabled us to make race-day decisions that helped Max Verstappen win the 2021 Drivers’ Championship,” Horner said. “Discovering and reacting to opportunities quickly is crucial to our success on and off the track, and Oracle is integral in that effort. Every element of our performance is driven by data analysis. Having Oracle as our title partner shows the confidence we have in their expertise and their ability to deliver a true competitive advantage.”

In last season's championship run, the team used Oracle's Cloud tech to "lead the technology race on track," upping its racing prediction simulations by 1,000x, and power a free loyalty club called The Red Bull Racing Paddock.

Oracle moved its headquarters to Austin in 2020. (Shutterstock)

In 2022, the team will expand to involve Oracle's "analytics-based race strategy, optimized engine development, AI and machine learning-powered driver training and a tailored fan experience." The tech company is also working with Red Bull Powertrains to build the next generation of F1 engines come 2026, and Oracle's AI and machine learning are currently helping to train junior drivers through Red Bull Advanced Technologies.

Finally, OCI analytics are helping the company to cash in on the rapidly-growing esports industry with its Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports team.

Alongside the Circuit of the America's, North America's only purpose-built F1 track, Formula 1 continues to grow its presence in Austin. The sport has seen a rapidly-growing fanbase after the release of Netflix's popular "Drive to Survive" documentary about the sport, and a star-studded crowd of 400,000 reportedly watched Verstappen beat his famed rival Lewis Hamilton at the U.S. Grand Prix in October 2021.

Formula 1's 2022 season begins March 18-20 in Bahrain, while F1's contract is working on a new deal with COTA. If everything goes to plan, the sport will be back in Austin on October 20-23 for the next U.S. Grand Prix.


With deposition and trial looming, Elon Musk has offered $44B for Twitter, again

Elon Musk has proposed once again to buy Twitter for $54.20 a share.

The news that Musk is offering to carry on with the $44 billion buyout was first reported by Bloomberg. Now, a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows Musk made the proposal in a letter to the tech giant on Monday.

The New York Stock Exchange temporarily halted trading in Twitter stock twice Tuesday, first because of a big price move and the second time for a news event, presumably the announcement of Musk's renewed offer.

While the per share offer price on this latest proposal remains the same as the original offer, it’s unclear if Musk has made other term changes or if Twitter would reject it. According to other reports, a deal could be reached this week.

The stock closed at $52.00/share Tuesday, indicating market uncertainty around the $54.20 offer.

After Musk informed Twitter of plans to terminate the original agreement in July, Twitter sued. A trial has been expected in Delaware Chancery Court on Oct. 17.

With the proposition of a buyout on the table again, it revives the question of whether Musk might move Twitter from San Francisco to Central Texas.

He’s done so with some of his other companies. Tesla’s headquarters in southeast Travis County had its grand opening earlier this year and tunneling business The Boring Company moved to Pflugerville. At least two other Musk companies, SpaceX and Neuralink, have a Central Texas presence without being headquartered here.

Technology journalist Nilay Patel this afternoon voiced concerns that owning Twitter and Tesla together could be problematic for Musk, as his Tesla manufacturing facilities in Germany and China are both in countries that have disputes with Twitter over content moderation and censorship.

Telsa shares fell after the Twitter news became public, before rallying to close up, at $249.44.

Austin rents nearly double in a year and are now in the top 5 nationwide

While searching for a place to live, Austin renters will face monthly rates of nearly $3,000, a recent guide from rental marketplace Dwellsy shows.

The median rent in August this year was $2,930, a more than 86% increase since August 2021. That’s $820 more than the nationwide median asking rent in August and puts Austin just below the Bay Area, Boston and New York for large cities with the most expensive asking rent.

“Within this group, Austin, TX stands out for the highest increases in asking rent, which has nearly doubled since this time last year,” the study notes.

Outside of those large cities, however, others are seeing even higher rent spikes. Metro areas that ranked above Austin in one-year increases include those like Kansas City, MO with a 112% change in rent since last August and Tucson, AZ with a 124% change.

The data reflects large apartment communities, single-family homes and 2-6 unit buildings.