Force India will run with a dramatic pink livery for the 2017 Formula 1 season after landing a major sponsorship deal.
The Austrian-based BWT, which stands for Best Water Technology, is Europe’s No. 1 water technology specialist company. With over 3,000 employees, the company supplies private, industrial, business, hotel and public sector customers with innovative and ecological technologies and services supporting water for drinking, heating and cooling and pharmaceutical uses. Among its key objectives are to minimise carbon emissions and other pollutants through its products and technology.
Its logos will be prominently placed on the sidepods of the team’s 2017 car, the Mercedes-powered VJM10, along with team and driver uniforms. It is also understood that the helmets used by the team’s drivers, Sergio Pérez and his new teammate Esteban Ocon, will sport pink decals to reflect BWT’s corporate colours.
“The arrival of BWT in Formula One is huge news and represents one of the most significant partnerships in our ten year history,” Force India team principal Vijay Mallya said in a team media release.
“It’s a sign of how far we have come as a team with our strong results and completes a solid commercial performance over the winter. For 2017 our cars will sport a vibrant new colour scheme with a smart matte finish. Changing the colour of our cars is an indication of the strength of this new partnership and a real statement of intent from BWT as they begin their relationship with the sport of Formula One.”
“The collaboration with Sahara Force India is an important part of our brand-globalisation strategy and will dynamically increase awareness of our brand around the world,” added BWT’s CEO, Andreas Weißenbacher.
“We share with Formula 1 – the premier league of motor sport – the passion we show every day in trying to achieve the best possible standards for our elixir of life, H2O, enabling us to meet the demanding requirements for quality, health, safety and hygiene and drive the development of new technologies.”
The updated livery scheme (pictured) marks a dramatic departure from the Silverstone team’s colour schemes it has traditionally run, and have already sparked wide-ranging reactions among the sport’s fans. The new livery comes in the wake of similar major paint scheme changes for McLaren (orange), Sauber (dark blue) and Scuderia Toro Rosso (metallic) ahead of the 2017 Formula 1 season.
BWT’s arrival is a major coup for the team in a currently challenging environment for the sport in securing major new sponsors. It is also possible that the new look will attract new sponsorship as there are many companies that may wish to be associated with the pink colour.
It is particularly critical for Force India, given rumours about the team’s financial viability while Indian authorities continue to push to have Mallya extradited from the UK to face criminal charges over the collapse of his Kingfisher Airlines group.
A number of the team’s ‘sponsors’ – most notably the Diageo group brands: Johnnie Walker, United Breweries and Kingfisher beer – are not actually driving a true income to the team. Diageo is a major shareholder in Mallya’s United Breweries group, following its hostile takeover of his businesses. The team’s co-owner, Subrata Roy of Sahara, has been languishing in jail in India after being found guilty of massive fraud charges.
Image via Sahara Force India Formula One Team