The 2017 Italian Grand Prix served to highlight once again that current Formula 1 regulations around grid penalties for exceeding…
The Formula One circus springs back into life this weekend with the championship heading to Spa for the iconic Belgian Grand Prix. If history is anything to go by we can expect to see Red Bull Racing have made a step forward in performance through the break, and for Lewis Hamilton’s form to kick into high gear.
For the F1 fan during a Grand Prix weekend, it can easy to forget other forms of motorsport exist let alone other forms of sport, but this weekend it will be nigh on impossible to miss the relentless coverage of Mayweather vs McGregor.
Everyone loves a cross over! Mayweather vs McGregor is the sporting world’s ultimate cross over. The undefeated heavyweight boxing champion Floyd Mayweather coming out of retirement to answer the challenge of UFC legend Conner McGregor. Cynics would say it’s all about the money with each fighter set to earn in the region of $200 Million for the night and let’s face it, it is, but who cares?
Give the fans what they want and the world will talk about it. Prepare for every social media record ever set to be broken! It costs more for a sponsor to have their name on Conor McGregor’s elasticated waist for 1 night than it does to be title sponsor of a leading F1 team for an entire season!
How can any other sport compete? Has there ever been a comparable event in motorsport? Could F1 or any other category put on a similar show?
What the world of boxing and UFC have in Mayweather and McGregor are personalities. Neither are backward in coming forward, both believe they are the best in everything they do and both have a constant need to tell the world. Their respective categories embrace this, encouraging them to build their names, which in effect will build the category. They are showman, they are entertainers. Within Motorsports this level of self-adulation isn’t overtly encouraged, the sport is about the team and is often attached to an automotive manufacturer whose reputation could be tarnished by an extrovert driver. In the coming years, should F1 elect to move away from it’s mandate of acting as a basis for automotive development and focus more on entertainment, the Mayweather and McGregor characters could emerge. Until then, we’re stuck with drivers being forced to apologise for sneezing in a way which could damage the brand they represent.
Motorsports is no stranger to a crossover. This year alone, Fernando Alonso was given the opportunity to try his hand in Indycar and proved to be no slouch, drivers often compete in multiple categories such as Jean Eric Vergne racing in Formula E and the World Endurance Championship this season. But when did a champion of one series last race directly against another champion? The simple answer is the annual Race of Champions event, which can attract a high calibre of driver including the likes of Vettel and 2016 champion Montoya, but given the knock out style of the event do they really get to race against each other? Is it really want the fans want?
Motorsport can do better than the Race of Champions. Liberty Media should take inspiration from Mayweather vs McGregor and go all out. What would you like to see them do? Who would you like to see compete?
Finally, how many F1 drivers will be getting up at 5AM / staying up until 5AM on Sunday morning to watch the arguably the greatest sporting event of the year, and how many drivers will dare tweet about it?
— ShellMotorsportTeam (@ShellMotorsport) March 24, 2017
As the 2017 Formula One season got underway earlier today, Shell Motorsport & Scuderia Ferrari sat down to answers a series of questions from fans submitted through Twitter to Shell Motorsport. With Kimi, Seb and Shell’s Guy Lovett there is a sense of optimisation coupled with quiet confidence around their 2017 challenge.
Thanks to Guy for answering my question (@jonnywilde) in full and not giving the short response suggested by Sebastian!
Shell Motorsport will run more fan engagement sessions similar to this through the season, follow them on social media to get involved!
Indian Formula E Team Mahindra Racing have announced a new partnership with British watch manufacturer Omologato. This new partnership will see Omologato branding feature extensively on the M3Electro, on drivers Nick Heidfeld and Felix Rosenqvist’s gloves and within the team environment with Omologato wall clocks.
Within the partnership Omologato have designed a unique Mahindra Racing timepiece collection, which can be found here. Omologato believe “everyone should have a watch with a story” as such they have positioned their products at a price which the everyday motorsport fan can afford. Omologato and Mahindra Racing set out to engage with their fans and followers with this partnership, combining a mutual passion for motorsport with a desire to pioneer new concepts and enhance awareness of Formula E in new markets.
Commenting on the new partnership Dilbagh Gill, Team Principal, Mahindra Racing Formula E Team remarked, “We are delighted to welcome Omologato into the Mahindra Racing family. The Omologato brand is highly regarded in the motorsport community; we both share the same passion for delivering exciting motor racing and heritage to fans across the globe. We look forward to engaging with fans at Omologato events and having their logo on our cars from the next race in Mexico City.”
Shami Kalra, Founder of Omologato added, “We are delighted to become an Official Partner of the Mahindra Racing Formula E Team in one of the world’s most forward-thinking sports championships. We welcomed the challenge of designing these special timepieces for the team to take to iconic cities across the globe. One of our aims at Omologato is to give motorsport enthusiasts the chance to immerse themselves in motorsport, through our chronographs and our #ChronosAndCars events. This exciting partnership will give Omologato fans the opportunity to get closer to the Mahindra Racing Formula E Team.”
To check out the Omologato Mahindra Racing collection follow this link
Judging by additional branding adorning the VJM10 and partnership announcements in the off season, plaudits surrounding Sahara Force India’s forth place finish in the 2016 Formula One Constructors Championship have extended far beyond the commentators and fans.
With an increasing number of leading teams in Formula One struggling to secure new partners Force India are bucking the trend. The teams ability to attract new partners can be attributed in part to their success on track, but perhaps of more relevance, the way in which the success has been achieved. It is a well known fact the Force India operate on a significantly lower budget than the majority of other teams on the grid. Rather than complaining about a lack of finances, the team focus there efforts on maximising what they do have. The ratio of investment to performance gain and as a consequence exposure gain is far higher with Force India than with any other team on the grid. No doubt the marketing team of the Silverstone based team use this information as a key factor in presenting to new partners. The approach is paying off!
Diageo, have upgraded their relationship with Force India, increasing branding space and influence on the 2017 livery and shifting the brand they are seeking to promote through the partnership from mass market offering Smirnoff, to premium brand Johnnie Walker.
— Johnnie Walker (@johnniewalker_) February 23, 2017
Innovative premium watch brand Felio Siby have extended their partnership with Force India for a second year, with promises of unique brand activation events through the season.
— Felio Siby (@FelioSiby) February 23, 2017
Hype Energy Drink have expanded their partnership within the sport for the third season in succession. With increased branding on the VJM1o in premium exposure positions.
— Hype Energy Drinks (@hypeenergy) February 22, 2017
New clothing partner Farah have joined the team, supplying a unique range of travel wear and fan range to be launched later in the season.
— FARAH (@farahmenswear) March 1, 2017
Eye Respect – LDNR eyewear join Force India as the official sunglasses / eyewear partner for the team, taking brand positioning on the wing mirrors of the VJM10
Forex Trading partner FXTM also join the team with branding on the rear sidepod of the car. As forex trading moves into the mainstream Force India have done well to secure a leader in the sector.
— ForexTime – FXTM (@ItsForexTime) February 22, 2017
Another interesting component of the partnerships Force India have established ahead of the 2017 season is the amount of deals which are customer facing. Increasingly partnerships within Formula One are focused on business to business relationship building or hosting high net worth individuals. Force India are establishing partnerships which incorporate a consumer facing offering. They are achieving this whilst also introducing partners with aspirational product offerings.
Italian Clothing brand Erreà Sport continue to expand their position in Motorsport in announcing a new partnership in Formula One with the Sauber F1 Team. This multi-year partnership will see Erreà Sport supply the team with all race and travel wear alongside developing a unique range of merchandise for fans of the Swiss team.
Erreà branding will be present on all teamwear clothing as well as the car covers for the Sauber C36-Ferrari set to be revealed later this month. Erreà branding will also feature on the drivers headrest of the 2017 contender and within the team environment.
Speaking on the new partnership Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal commented:
“We are very pleased to welcome Erreà on board as an Official Partner to the Sauber F1 Team. A successful family business, Erreà maintains its position as an important player in the competitive sporting goods industry. State-of-the-art manufacturing techniques are the key for success – not only in the sporting goods industry, but also in Formula One. Erreà and Sauber have valuable attributes in common: the ambition to strive for innovation, quality and perfection combine the values that both brands live by every day. We are looking forward to a successful partnership in the future.”
Angelo Gandolfi, President, Erreà Sport Added:
“In Sauber F1 Team, we see a like-minded, ambitious team. We look forward to bringing our experience in the development of unique merchandise and original teamwear design from other sports such as football, volleyball, basketball and rugby to the team. We are tremendously excited to be working with the team as they set out to return to former successes. We are proud to have been selected as a partner to join them on this journey. 2017 will see Formula One race cars look radically different to anything seen in recent years. We look forward to the launch of the Sauber C36-Ferrari and the Erreà brand taking position on what promises to be a dynamic new livery for our Swiss partners. The Sauber F1 Team represents a level of professionalism we have experienced only at the very pinnacle of other sports in which we work. We look forward to launching our first range of merchandise to fans of the team and fans of the sport in the coming weeks.”
For more information on Erreà Sport follow this link
Whilst some drivers in the F1 paddock will have spent the week between the United States and Mexico Grand Prix relaxing on a beach, Scuderia Ferrari drivers, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen have been working hard on their very own “Top Gear” style race. Working with team partner UPS, drivers were challenged to deliver goods from Austin to Mexico city. Fastest delivery wins!
Dealing with customs, language barriers, and a distinct lack of humour, who will take the crown in the teams first race of the weekend?
Excellent piece of work from the UPS team!
Formula One legend Heinz Harald Frentzen became one of this first drivers to experience a race prepared Tesla in a test at the Paul Ricard circuit earlier this week. Frentzen took part in the test as the Electric GT championship continues to prepare for its inaugural season in 2017.
“As a long time owner of this manufacturer it was great fun to drive one of the first race-prepared Teslas, It was a fantastic opportunity to experience the potential of E-racing performance cars. Mark [Gemmell, CEO] and his EGT team are definitely heading in the right.”
The test showed a lot of promise, with the series’ organisers able to better understand the tyres, as well as get an idea of how the car itself will perform following the feedback from Frentzen.
“We were glad to have Heinz-Harald come to the track,” Electric Championship CEO Mark Gemmell said during the presentation of the race car at the Sportel TV fair in Monaco. “Other than the fact he’s a supremely talented driver, he is a fan of Tesla and owns two cars himself, which is great. We were able to meet up and talk him through the championship, before arranging a test drive for him later in the day. He gave us some great feedback.”
The Electric GT Championship is set to get underway in 2017, with Stefan Wilson, Vittoria Piria, Dani Clos and Lellani Münter already confirmed as part of the Drivers’ Selection Club.
For more on the Electric GT Championship head to the series website here
Joining Lewis Hamilton in victory at the United States Grand Prix this weekend was Datu YogaBrata. Winner of the 2016 Tata Communications F1 Connectivity Innovation Prize. Working in collaboration with Formula One Management and Mercedes AMG Petronas, Tata Communications challenges fans of the sport to rethink the way in which Formula One is consumed.
Now in its 3rd year the F1 Connectivity Innovation Prize has seen over 200,000 entries from participants all over the world. This year has seen the competition focus on challenges around fan immersion through Virtual and Augmented reality technology.
Datu’s winning entry is a live, 360-degree virtual trackside experience that transports fans to the exhilarating world of a Grand Prix. The ultra-immersive VR application is enabled by a group of roaming commentators with wearable cameras, capturing the excitement of the trackside to make fans thousands of miles away feel like they are part of the action. The application also harnesses AR, encouraging fans to collect ‘hidden stars’ at the trackside, and enabling them to seamlessly glean additional insights on their favourite driver, team car, or anything else they see around them in the virtual Grand Prix environment.
Lewis Hamilton, one of the judges in the process commented “It is great to be a part of the F1® Connectivity Innovation Prize and to see first-hand fans become part of the F1 action in real time, in addition to watching it on their TV or phone. The winning solution, from Datu YogaBrata gives us a glimpse of what the future of F1® could look like – and how we will be able to share so much more of our race weekend at the track with people at home. I would love it as a fan!”
Datu YogaBrata said, “There’s no bigger or more powerful showcase for technological innovation than F1 and VR and AR will push the excitement of the sport even further. My idea aims to capitalise on that by bringing fans closer to the exciting world of F1 than ever before. I’m thrilled that the judges saw the potential of my virtual trackside experience for fans.”
Julie Woods-Moss, Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer, Tata Communications, said, “We created the F1® Connectivity Innovation Prize to show the immense potential of virtual reality and other technology advancements to transform the sporting experience. These disruptive ideas from fans that are powered by data and superfast connectivity continue to inspire and excite us for the future of F1″
To see more on the F1 Connectivity Innovation Prize check out this film