Tag Archives: Force India

Formula One: Premium partners flock to Force India

Screen Shot 2017-03-05 at 11.37.45.png

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.

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.

Screen Shot 2017-03-05 at 11.52.47.png

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.

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.

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.

With online gambling partner W88.com and digital technology partner Orangebus also joining the team, the Force India marketing team should be more than satisfied with an impressive winter work rate!

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.

Advertisements

Formula One: F1 tickets for your BLOOD!

Screen Shot 2017-02-20 at 20.30.58.png

It’s been quite the day in the world of F1. Mercedes AMG Petronas have confirmed contract extensions for F1 team shareholders Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda, cementing their positions with the team until 2020.

Sahara Force India have announced a partnership with forex trading firm FXTM, a partnership which will see FXTM branding feature on the rear section of the sidepods of the 2017 contender.

Spanish Insurance giant Mapfre have confirmed a new partnership with the Renault Sport F1 team, the partnership will see Mapfre branding feature on the nose and wings of theRS17 and on the helmet and overalls of Jolyon Palmer.

Sauber released stunning images of the C36-Ferrari, becoming the first team to release images (not renderings) of a 2017 F1 car,

Screen Shot 2017-02-20 at 20.38.00.png

and Mobil One’s the grid have released complete steering wheel perspective footage of Daniel Ricciardo’s demonstration run at the ExxonMobil HQ.

For the news obsessed F1 fan, February 20th should be regarded as a more than satisfactory day, but by far and away the biggest news of the day came from the Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya. Whilst other circuits are announcing payment plans to pay for F1 tickets in instalments, the home of the Spanish Grand Prix is offering entry to F1 testing in exchange for blood donations.  Donation points will be set up around the circuit throughout the two pre-season tests, the circuit is working in collaboration with the Catalonian blood and tissue bank for the campaign. In Catalonia, it takes 1,000 blood donations a day to cover the needs of hospitals. In general, anyone who is in good health, who is of legal age, weighs more than 50 kilos and, in the case of women, who is not pregnant, can donate blood. Three people benefit from each donor, since the blood is separated into three components: white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets.

To find out more about this initiative please follow this link

Can the F1 world top this tomorrow?

Formula One: The Final Seats

Screen Shot 2016-12-14 at 23.06.54.png

As the  F1 world rapidly heads towards the winter break. The sport finds its self in a highly unusual position of having for seats still to be confirmed on the 2017 grid.

Whilst it is not out of the ordinary for seats at the lower end of the field to still be open at this point on in the year, for a seat to be open with the championship winning team is almost unimaginable. Nico Rosberg’s shock retirement from the sport has effectively stalled the driver market with no driver or team wanting to make a commitment before Mercedes conclude a deal with whoever their new driver will be.

At the time of writing favourites for the drive alongside Lewis Hamilton with the Silver Arrows in 2017 are; Valtteri Bottas, Pascal Wehrlein, and my own favourite Sergio Perez. Which ever driver is awarded the drive will have a knock on effect for the teams they are currently or likely to be driving for.

Should Mercedes manage to agree terms with Williams and they release Bottas, the team will be left with serious lack of experience in their driver line up as they head towards one of the most technically challenging regulation changes in two decades., As such working with Pascal Wehrlein who has only taken part in 21 races in unlikely to be their first choice.  More likely would be development driver Paul Di Resta taking the role or recently retired Felipe Massa or Jenson Button making an unexpected return.

In the scenario in which Mercedes take the brave move of putting Pascal Wehrlein in the second seat of the W08, Manor Racing will be left with two seats to fill. The team are likely to be secure drivers with funding, which could lead to a return of a funded Rio Haryanto to the grid. Anther option could be Felipe Nasr should, a driver Bernie Ecclestone has commented he is keen to keep on the grid to assure Brazilian interest in the Championship. Manor Racing development driver Jordan King is likely to find a role within the team. Dependant on the budget he brings this could be in the role of reserve or second driver.

Moving to Sauber, with Marcus Ericsson confirmed the rejuvenated Swiss team have one seat still to fill. 2017 will be a season of rebuilding for the team, as such their focus will be on ensuring consistency and strong feedback. In an ideal world I can imagine the team would like to work with a driver already familiar with the world of F1. Critics may dismiss this option but I would not rule out Pastor Maldonado finding a new home in Hinwil. Should the team head down the rookie route GP2 vice champion Antonio Giovinazzi would be a bold move and one demonstrating the team’s commitment to the future.

Sergio Perez moving to Mercedes would cause Sahara Force India a great deal of pain. Of course Mercedes would compensate the team, but over the past 3 seasons Force India have focused the majority of their business development efforts around building a profile in Mexico. To loose Perez would be a major blow. As such I can see them looking to replace one Mexican for another and signing Esteban Gutiérrez to the team.

One thing is for sure, the F1 silly season is far from over and it still has a few surprises in store!

Formula One: Force India’s Future?

18 year old Jehan Daruvala might not be a house hold name just yet, but his success on the British & European Go Karting scene and Formula Renault 2.0 over the past two season’s alongside the likes of 2016 Mclaren Autosport BRDC Award Winner Lando Norris, suggest he could be name to watch out for in the coming years.

Finishing 3rd in Sahara Force India “One in a Billion” programme in 2011. A campaign which saw bought together and nurtured the greatest racing prospects across India. Jehan relocated to the UK to pursue a full time career in motorsport. Jehan remains a firm part of the Sahara Force India academy as they support his development through junior categories with a long term ambition which will see him take to the wheel of an F1 car.

Earlier this month Jehan announced he will join Carlin Racing for the 2017 season, taking part in the European F3 championship. A championship which over the past two seasons has become more of a feeder series to F1 than GP2 with Max Verstappen, Esteban Ocon, and Lance Stroll head to the F1 following their success in the ultra competitive championship. Could Jehan sit alongside Esteban Ocon with Sahara Force India in 2018? Only time will tell.

To keep up to date with Jehan’s progress follow him on twitter here

Formula One: Felio Siby join Sahara Force India as official “Lifestyle Partner”

Screen Shot 2016-12-05 at 16.16.50.png

Luxury design house, Felio Siby, has announced its multi year corporate brand sponsorship of the Sahara Force India Formula One race team.

The Miami based luxury purveyor of apparel and high-end accessories for men and women has formed a unique partnership with the UK based team – a business alliance considered to be the first of its kind in the world of Formula One.  Sahara Force India welcomes Felio Siby as the team’s official Lifestyle Partner, whereby the independent fashion house has designed a limited edition timepiece for race team members to commemorate the exclusive partnership.

The Sahara Force India Watch by Felio Siby is the first Formula One team endorsement for the luxury design brand and a crowning achievement by Miami-based company founder and CEO Dominique Siby, from Gabon in Africa. The multi-year lifestyle partnership has given naming rights for the Felio Siby logo to appear on the Sahara Force India Formula One racecar throughout the 2016 season and beyond.


We are thrilled to join forces as the official Lifestyle Partner for Sahara Force India,” says Dominique Siby, Founder and CEO of Felio Siby: “This year comes with great emotional significance for me, being the ten-year anniversary of my father’s passing. Working with a Formula One team was a project we always wanted to do together. I dreamed of being part of this sport since I was a child, watching the timeless battles between Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost.  This partnership represents our joint pursuit of world class performance and precision engineering and we look forward to sharing our Sahara Force India Watch with the world.”

Vijay Mallya, Team Principal and Managing Director of Sahara Force India says: “A luxury watch-maker and a Formula One team are a perfect match: both pursue excellence, have absolute attention to detail and work to produce awe-inspiring machines through the wonder of human ingenuity. We are delighted to welcome Felio Siby to our family and we are looking forward to sharing the successes of a long and fruitful partnership.”

Dominique Siby experienced his first Formula One competition at the Singapore Grand Prix in 2012 and soon converted in to an avid enthusiast.  His dream was to design a watch for an F1 team but this vision turned out to be a much larger corporate venture unbeknown to the founder.  After speaking to the Sahara Force India Team Principal, Vijay Mallya in February 2016, it was agreed that Felio Siby was an ideal match, not only as a team car sponsor, but as the team’s official Lifestyle Partner. By May 2016, Dominique had the team’s official timepiece designed in Switzerland and ready to be unveiled at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Screen Shot 2016-12-05 at 16.15.25.png

Black and orange has been chosen for the Sahara Force India Watch – to reflect the race team’s official colors. The mounted figures 1 and 7, outlines of the two inner circular dials and both hands of the watch itself are all given a distinctive white finish that provide a bold contrast upon the black “Cotes de Geneve” Hexagonal decorative facial engraving, on which the .2-carat diamond is set. A stylish orange trim is positioned around the outside of the watch face, and a small window to reveal the inner organs of the watch’s Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier Swiss movement can be seen above the center. The Sahara Force India logo is placed in white at the 3 o’clock position, as a stamp of authenticity.  Casing made with black Titanium also features the Felio Siby signature crocodile imprint, and a premium quality black rubber watchstrap reinforces its sporty design. With a self-winding power reserve of 50 hours and weighing only 80 grams, the limited edition Sahara Force India Watch by Felio Siby is priced at an eye watering $150,000 and is now available

As an official race team sponsor, the Felio Siby logo and corporate identity was first seen on the nose of the VJM09 Force India F1 racecar at the Russian Grand Prix in May this year, prior to the watch being unveiled with both drivers during the Monaco Grand Prix.

Additional Felio Siby product lines are in development by Dominique for the Sahara Force India F1 team, including a series of travel accessories, as part of the Lifestyle partnership

Click here for more information on Felio Siby and to check out the Force India range.

Formula One: Pérez for Mercedes?

Screen Shot 2016-12-05 at 14.31.28.png

With the shock announcement from 2016 Formula One World Champion Nico Rosberg’s retirement last Friday, almost every driver on the grid has been named as a possible replacement for the German. Nico’s decision came as a surprise not only to media and fans of the sport, but to his employers and rivals on the grid. Had there been an inkling from anyone that Nico may have taken this decision the contractual status of a number of leading drivers may be looking very different at this point in the season.

The Mercedes board will be keen to install a replacement driver as soon as possible to minimise the impact on the teams 2017 campaign and maximise driver acclimatisation. That being said, should Mercedes opt for a driver currently under contract with another team it is highly unlikely they will be able to work with said driver until the new year.

From an ease of transition perspective Mercedes could opt for one of their junior drivers in Ocon or Wehrlein. Whilst kind on the cheque book and simplest to implement, Mercedes require a driver capable of performing from at the very top level from the word go, it is undeniable the potential of both drivers is without question,  but it would be a risk to place them with the team from the beginning of 2017.

Realistically, this leaves Mercedes with little option than to approach drivers with existing agreements for season ahead. Toto Wolff has intimated he is reluctant to poach drivers from Ferrari or Mclaren, acknowledging the damage this could cause to future team relations in the lead up to strategy group negotiations with Liberty Media over the coming 36 months. This in theory removes Sebastian, Kimi, and Fernando from the equation. Whilst Toto did not explicitly rule out either of the Red Bull Racing drivers, it is highly unlikely either would be released from what are understood to be long term contracts.

This has left many to suggest Bottas has the most likely candidate for the seat. He is part managed by Toto Wolff and with Williams working in close collaboration with Mercedes a deal in theory could be easy to achieve. I see this to be quite unlikely. 2016 was somewhat of an underwhelming season for both Bottas and Williams. If the cliché of ‘you are only as good as your last race / season’ were to be applied. Bottas is not hot property and should not be regarded as the next best option.

Taking all of this into consideration I believe the best placed driver on the grid to replace Nico Rosberg for 2017 is Sergio Pérez. With 101 points, and 2 podium finishes in 2016 Sergio Pérez was the best performing non works Mercedes driver. He lead the Force India team to their most successful year in history, finishing 4th in the constructors championship scoring points in 16 events over the season. From a pure performance perspective Sergio Pérez has to be regarded as a genuine contender for the seat.

Over and above on track performance, Pérez is highly attractive from a commerical perspective. Mexico is a hugely important market for Mercedes, the car maker is looking to double car sales in the country by 2020. Having a national hero behind the wheel of a Silver Arrows would support this strategy.  Beyond this Sergio Pérez brings his own sponsors to a team. Mercedes are not a team struggling for budget, but opening doors to the Slim family (Telmex Group) will be more than welcome.

Of course Sergio recently signed a one year extension with Force India which in theory locks the Mexican in to the team until 2018, however were Mercedes to offer the services of Wehrlein alongside a discounted Power Unit I am sure an agreement could be found.

Sergio Pérez is a changed driver from the man who replaced Lewis Hamilton at Mclaren in 2013. He has proved his consistency and ability to work with a team during his time with Force India. He deserves another opportunity with a top team. He is the most logical option for Mercedes.

Would it prove to be a threat to Lewis Hamilton? Only time will tell. His has a unique ability to manage tyres and with the huge shift in regulations coming for 2017 this attribute could prove invaluable. At this time Sergio Pérez’s management have declined to comment on the possibility of such a move, but there should be no doubt they will be evaluating any opportunity should it arise.

Formula One: Active Ticketing joins Force India in Abu Dhabi

Screen Shot 2016-11-26 at 16.59.15.png

Active Ticketing have joined Sahara Force India as partner for the 2016 season finale. The technology and security company will deliver an innovative mobile application at the 2016 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Active Ticketing branding will be visible on the chassis side of the VJM09 and on the drivers’ suits.
The Active Ticketing mobile platform will enhance the fan experience for the Sahara Force India VIP guests, who will be able to access a mobile pass, enter competitions, and view exclusive content about the team.
The system will generate valuable new insights for the team and showcase the benefits of mobile experiences as part of Sahara Force India’s hospitality offering.
Otmar Szafnauer, COO of Sahara Force India: “Mobile interaction is the new frontier of fan engagement and Active Ticketing is at the forefront of this sector. It’s great to be working together to offer our guests a fresh dimension to their Grand Prix experience.”
Lee Booth, CEO of Active Ticketing: “Sahara Force India is one of the most innovative teams in F1 today. Partnering with them to deliver a premium and engaging VIP guest platform is hopefully just the start of a long-term strategic relationship to create the ultimate fan and team experience.”
For more information on Active Ticketing head to the company website here
 

Formula One: Levi’s join Sahara Force India

Screen Shot 2016-10-27 at 22.46.07.png
Sahara Force India have announced the iconic Levi’s® Brand as a team partner for the remainder of the 2016 season in Latin America.
The famous Levi’s® logo will appear on the roll hoop of the VJM09 for this week’s Mexican Grand Prix, as well as on the drivers’ race suits and other team assets.
Vijay Mallya, Team Principal and Managing Director of Sahara Force India: “It’s exciting to welcome the Levi´s® Brand to the Force India family. It’s a brand known across the world and ideally placed to benefit from Formula One’s global reach and exposure. Each pair of Levi’s® jeans is the product of a long history of creativity and innovation – the same values on which our sport is built. We look forward to a successful partnership.”
 
Arcadio Jaramillo, Levi´s® Marketing Director: “Auto Sports Racing drives a huge engagement across Latin America. Although the F1 calendar travels to Mexico and Brazil, fans from across the region follow or travel to experience the ultimate expression of the sport in these two countries creating an exciting moment for the fans at this time of the year. Force India has grown very rapidly as one of the most loved teams by fans across the globe. Partnering with this team places the Levi´s® Brand in the Center of Culture in our region with the right partner

Formula One: Force India confirm Hulkenberg departure

Screen Shot 2016-10-14 at 10.57.38.png 
Nico Hulkenberg will leave Sahara Force India at the end of the season to pursue other opportunities within Formula One. His last race with the team will be in Abu Dhabi next month.
Vijay Mallya, Team Principal and Managing Director: “Everybody at Sahara Force India wishes Nico well as he embarks upon a different path in Formula One. Having spent five years with us, Nico has become a great friend and contributed a huge amount to the team’s success. He’s an outstanding driver, who has scored more points for this team than anybody else. While it’s true we will miss Nico, we respect his decision to explore fresh opportunities and it would be wrong to stand in his way.”
As of writing, Hulkenberg’s 2017 plans and beyond have not been confirmed. It is widely expected he will be announced as a Renault Sport F1 driver in the coming hours.

Formula One: Sponsors will decide my future – Perez

Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at 01.36.24.png

Speaking in the drivers press conference ahead of the 2016 Hungarian Grand Prix, Sergio Perez gave comment on recent remarks from Force India Team Principle Vijay Mallya that both he and team mate Nico Hulkenberg would remain with the team for the 2017 season;

“I’m very lucky to have many sponsors behind me, so I’m not alone. I don’t decide my future on my own. I need to speak with my group of sponsors to see what is best for our future, and then we will decide. We have some time in the summer break, and then we will decided what is best for my career”

When pushed on the Mallya’s comments around his 2017 agreement with the team Sergio confirmed;

“What Vijay says is correct, but as I said, it depends on my sponsors as well. We will decide together what to do”

With opportunities at Ferrari, Red Bull Racing closed down for 2017 and Mercedes likely to retain it’s current line up, opportunities for Sergio Perez to move to a front running team appear limited. However, neither driver at Williams is confirmed for 2017, whilst this on paper in terms of 2016 standings would appear at best to be a lateral move. A team with the resources of Williams tend to perform strongly in a period of regulation change. The team could be an attractive proposition for the Mexican and is sponsors in 2017.