When you struggle to attract sponsors you have to sharpen your wits. Exactly what HRT did in 2011.
HRT was a Formula 1 team that participated in three editions of the Formula 1 World Championship. Founded by former driver Adrián Campos, owner of the Campos Grand Prix of the same name, it marked the commitment of a Spanish team in the top series . Unfortunately it was relegated to the last positions on the grid and on some occasions failed to qualify due to lack of performance.
The same technical difficulties had repercussions on the administrative-commercial aspect. The sponsors proved to be little interested in linking their name and image to a team that was not particularly performing. So in the second year, in 2011, the Hispania Racing Team attempted a “shameless” strategy to self-promote through its color scheme.
Daniel Simon's idea
The livery of the HRT F111 was entrusted to the German concept designer Daniel Simon, who after working at Volkswagen had dedicated himself to collaborations with the world of cinema (he designed the vehicles seen in the film Tron Legacy) and to the design of futuristic vehicles, collected in the volume Cosmic Motors. Simon started from a white base on which the snout, bellies and rear fin were enhanced by a fluorescent red shade surrounded by checkered flags. The touch of genius was that instead of the logos of the (absent) sponsors there were placeholders whose task was precisely to attract investors.
“Your logo here”, “This could be You”, “This is a cool spot”: all explicit invitations shown in the customizable areas. A kind of generic template like those used in publishing to sell advertising space. The gimmick, although flashy, did not give the desired results and no new financiers were added to the initial budget of 68 million euros.
Only the Indian company Tata, through the presence of local driver Narain Karthikeyan, continued to guarantee its support. The troubled presence of the Iberian team ended at the end of 2012 after yet another participation lacking in satisfaction.
It should be noted that Daniel Ricciardo made his debut in that car, replacing Karthikeyan alongside our Vitantonio Liuzzi.
If you want to find safer ways to find collaborations, consult our section dedicated to sponsorships.