With the introduction of radically revamped regulations in 2017, teams have certainly stretched their technical resources over the winter. However, it’s not just the technical minds that have been made to work, with the graphics department also using up plenty of pen ink.
McLaren have brought an “orange-is-the-new-black” livery to the grid. Toro Rosso have ditched their painted bull in favour of plugging Red Bull’s ‘Simply Cola’ brand. Sauber have gone for gold accents to celebrate 25 years in the sport.
After striking a new commercial deal, Force India become the latest to reveal a striking livery. Like it or loathe it, a pink car is quite a statement. Good for Force India and a great indicator that F1 is in good health.
Despite speculation that a livery change at Force India was on the cards, today’s announcement was still surprising.
It’s difficult to recall a season where so many livery changes have been introduced at the same time. F1 has gone from looking like a tin full of change to a tin of Quality Street in the space of one winter. Force India have today followed the trend and ensured that 2017 will be nothing if not colourful.
The livery change is directly related to the introduction of new partner Best Water Technology, (BWT). Researching what the company is all about felt like completing A-Level Geography coursework all over again. In short, the company offers products, water treatment services, and systems for everything from drinking water to pool water.
They may not be as recognisable a brand as the likes of Red Bull, Martini or even Ray Ban, but this is certainly big business for Force India. The fact that the investment has prompted the team to alter their entire livery design is a visual clue as to the financial clout BWT has at it’s disposal and their determination to make this marketing endeavor work.
We may not be partial to the numbers in play here, but for Force India to field a pink car in 2017 and force both Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon to tweak their helmet designs accordingly, you can be sure that any financial concerns the Silverstone squad had this year have been eradicated.
BWT have not only seen the potential within Force India, but also F1 as a whole, in promoting their brand. So much for the theory that F1 is commercially unsustainable.
In an era where news stories of imminent manufacturer departures and McLaren’s inability to secure a title sponsor seem as frequent as a Mercedes race victory, this is a tonic.
However, today’s announcement doesn’t suddenly signal that F1’s problems are solved. Carey, Brawn and Bratches still have a to-do list that stretches across countless pages. However, this announcement shows that the doomsday forecasters, who suggest that companies would not consider F1 viable in the modern era, are most definitely exaggerating.
Congrats to Force India. Whether you like the livery or not, it is a good news story for the sport and a reminder that F1 is awesome AND that the wider world of business knows it.