Category Archives: brand strategy in F1

Red Bull’s American Formula 1 Team

A recent Economist article on Bernie Ecclestone and F1 mentioned Red Bull’s interest the formation of an American F1 team with US drivers – a timely startup for any group willing to develop a team and spend the dollars to do it right with two new races arriving shortly in Austin and New Jersey.

The article covers several other key points about F1’s current state of affairs, but the second sentence in the quote below is absolutely on the mark.  One question for US fans might be that given the team’s origins in an Austrian drinks firm, what would they need to feel the team is a truly American effort?

Red Bull . . . is said to be looking at launching a new “Stars and Stripes” Formula One team with American drivers. Local drivers boost audiences.

F1’s return to the US this November makes for an exciting time for fans here, and news along these lines is certainly an encouraging sign for things to come…


Filed under American F1 drivers, brand strategy in F1, F1 cars in America, F1 in America, Uncategorized

A New Kind of Music in Formula 1



F1 and music have been inseparable in many fans’ minds, from the classic Fleetwood Mac opening music so many look forward to every Sunday to the sights of Nick Mason, Jay Kay, Eric Clapton and earlier this year Lenny Kravitz taking in the sights and sounds around the paddock from time to time.

Popular musicians are all part of the show that is F1 on a race day, but afterwards, how many times have you watched a YouTube clip of an F1 car screaming around a lap and heard a pounding set of beats from someone’s music collection that have been put together to go with it?

Today, you can’t help but hear someone’s idea of a good backing track to most F1 videos circulating (that are still up), and it’s thanks to the forward thinkers at Caterham F1 Team that music and racing fans have come together even closer through their recent partnership with the UK trio Japanese Popstars.

Their music is full of the kind of energy and pounding rhythm that makes a dance floor move, and the title of their recent release, “RS27”, even sounds like a chassis number.  That’s probably not an accident – it’s been put together with sounds sampled from the same Renault Sport F1 engine that powers the team’s CT01 car.


'RS27': Japanese Popstars' shirt depicts an F1 driver


Gareth Donoghue, Japanese Popstars: “This whole project came about through our manager Matthew, who learned that some of the guys on the Lotus team at the time were fans of the band.  He just made contact with them and I just said ‘If they ever want any music done…’ and they actually came to us with the idea of doing a theme for their new season and their new car.  Obviously we’re all big race fans and were excited to be connected with Formula 1 and so we just jumped at the idea.”

Formula 1 in America has traditionally had a difficult time finding new fans, but the racing team’s ability to reach through music to a younger crowd of dance music fans brings a new dimension and some much needed fresh air to the mix of Formula 1 fans here.

Tom Webb, Caterham F1 Team: “We wanted to open Formula 1 up, we think it’s a very cool place to be, and we think the doors have been locked to it for quite a long time.  It began with the partnerships like we’ve got with The Japanese Popstars, it’s the sort of thing that does bring in new fans and it’s a way of embracing change and I think that’s something that’s important.”

Sounds like the beginning of a few new partnerships in the F1 paddock – whose sounds would you pair with the rest of the teams on the grid?

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Filed under American F1 Fans, brand strategy in F1, F1 and branding, Uncategorized

A Supercar Rental for an F1 Grand Prix Weekend

When the Grand Prix rolls through Circuit of The Americas there won’t be a bigger stage in a bigger state for well-heeled Formula 1 fans around the world to make their entrance – Texas style.

For the lucky few, a Grand Prix weekend will include all the trimmings and that means everything from the best seats at the race to the best seats to the race, and for this demand, there’s one rental brand Americans are familiar with that’s meeting it … abroad, anyway.

Hertz UK has announced they’ve added the latest Formula 1 inspired car from McLaren Automotive to their lineup at selected locations in the Commonwealth:  The MP4-12C.


Now available to rent from Hertz (UK)


Michel Taride, President, Hertz International and Executive Vice-President, Hertz Corporation, said:

“Hertz aspires to offer truly innovative rental experiences to our customers, and the spell-binding McLaren MP4-12C provides an opportunity of a lifetime to experience Formula 1 race-bred technologies on the road.”

Yes, that yellow (ahem, Gold) license plate looks familiar, and in more than one way the numbers are impressive: 0-62 in 3.3 seconds will run you rates starting at £1134.30 (~$1800) for a single day mid-week and range to £906.30 (~$1400) per day for rentals lasting over 28 days.

Stateside, the MP4-12C starts at around $229,000 and the first customer cars were shipped to dealers earlier this year.  America is an important market for McLaren, and their celebrated return to full production road cars brings a brand known for exclusivity and performance to a much wider audience than it’s legendary predecessor, the F1.

It’s not impossible to imagine a supercar like the MP4-12C available from Hertz especially around an F1 based marketing drive, but typically the American supercar rental market is addressed by smaller niche operations and clubs catering to customers and members through automotive timeshares and exclusive pricing.  In this case, Hertz UK has partnered with Premiere Velocity, a smaller luxury car rental firm based in London.

Could such a car be offered in Austin from Hertz, Avis or, Dollar Rental?  It will be interesting to see if there’s an effort to meet the opportunity.  Imagine a Bentley airport shuttle to whisk you from your airline (or airplane)  to your supercar rental – it sure sounds like a nice way to transport your luggage.


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Filed under American F1 Events, brand strategy in F1, Circuit of the Americas, F1 and business, Formula 1 New Jersey, GP of America, Uncategorized, United States Grand Prix in Austin