Let’s help F1 teams re-brand themselves shall we?

One of the fan criticisms of Formula 1 is the sterile nature the sport has adopted over the years. The prolific engagement by companies, sponsors and brands has prompted a PR backlash in which many fans feel the drivers are reluctant or contractually incapable of speaking their minds. It’s all very corporate and full of business speak these days.

With that, let’s get our creative minds working to help sponsors, teams and drivers further identify their brands as it seems they are doing a great job of developing and nurturing their own brands because we fans are often times parroting them. But are they actually accurate brands? Maybe we can help them flesh it out a bit. I’ll go first:

The Brand: Marussia

Key Mission: To compete in Formula 1 on a shoe-string budget and deliver enough performance as to secure a Constructor’s Point in which to harvest $30 million in prize money which should be enough to attract a potential buyer so the energy company owner dude can bail out.

Leveraged Uniqueness: As the only remaining Mosley-era cost-cap team, Marussia is unique amongst teams due to our ability to confuse the hell out of fans with two names—Manor Marussia –and yet have no ties to either entity making it really strange, mystical and quite the enigma. We may not be experts at F1 but the lack of real budgets betrays our unique knowledge of how to win titles year-on-year.

Target Market: As we are no longer peddling Russian sports cars or whatever it may have been that Manor wanted to promote, we are targeting our founder, John Booth, as a unique employment opportunity in F1. Continually keeping the money flowing and the acquisitions coming, ensures that Booth will have a job in F1 and hope remains eternal.

On-brand Message: Our consistent, strong on-brand message is that we are F1’s proverbial back markers and proud of it. You like an underdog? We’re F1’s eternal underdog and we continually meet expectations week-on-week.

Community Relations: Our commitment to young drivers is strong and we continually reach out to new drivers who would like the opportunity to drive in F1 regardless of whatever issues they may or may not have. These young drivers need a forum for their talent and a place to spend their money and backing dollars and we give that to them… a drive and a bank routing number for their electronic deposit.

The Brand: Scuderia Toro Rosso

Key Mission: To play wet-nurse to Red Bull with by providing potential future drivers who might fit into the Red Bull Racing team and win four titles on the trot. Our operating expenses are a small price to pay for recruiting young Red Bull youth and delivering them in a timely manner to the big brother team.

Leveraged Uniqueness: Our unique ability to jettison drivers frequently has honed our HR skills to the point we can literally terminate a driver via text message as Sebastien Bourdais asserts. The meat grinder we built can determine in 24 months, with a margin of error in the low single digits, who has potential and who hasn’t—sometimes faster than that…just ask Brendon Hartley who only took six races as reserve driver. We also are unique in that we hire 17-year-old drivers…not sure if you knew that or not.

Target Market: Helmut Marko…nuff said.

On-brand Message: We are the best young driver development program in F1 and we used millions from paying drivers to create a program that has given you plucky teen Max Verstappen…you’re welcome.

Community Relations: We pride ourselves on being able to offer quick, easy ways in which drivers can deposit their funds for a drive at STR. Helping them, help us is a real joy. Working with banks worldwide, we’ve accepted all forms of payment to keep the team running—so much so that we don’t really have to work that hard at putting our brand on the car. We just took a brush and slapped some red paint on the side in the shape of a bull and called it a day. How’s that for phoning it in? Our brand lies behind the brand, deep within the world of pay drivers and sponsor checks from Dietrich Mateschitz.

Okay, using a few key elements of branding, these are my two offerings, now let’s see yours. Have fun.

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I think the Toro Rosso and Red Bull association is akin to Manchester City and Chelsea. Both teams gobble up talent, prevent them from participating in the team evause they weren’t needed in the first place, or possibly weren’t actually good enough to be part of that team, it’s stifles the development of the player and he never sees time (e.g. laps), and is effectively wash up early with not here else to go (all sponsors dropped out because the driver wasn’t actually on track). It’s all in the name of controlling the market or not letting another team have… Read more »

Paul KieferJr

Let’s try this: MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS: Key Mission: To become God of Motorsport Leveraged Uniqueness: They are the largest supplier of engines, period, and their brand helps sell more cars to rich folks than any other manufacturer in the world. They are effectively the undisputed kings of autos. Further, they offer the prestige that many nouveau riche kids want. Target Market: Young rich kids and folks who want to win, no questions asked. On-brand message: They’ve said this before: “The best…or nothing.” Let them stay true to that message. Community Relations: Drive to a rich university or college. Watch the… Read more »


The Brand: Honda Mclaren

Key Mission: We are better than Marussia I swear!

Leveraged Uniqueness: All the suck at 10x the price tag!

Target Market: Masochists.

On-brand Message: Remember the Senna days? No? Ok how about this Senna DVD and a pack of reds.

Community Relations: Cultural differences are different in each culture.


The Brand: Lotus

Key Mission: Look good enough to sell.

Leveraged Uniqueness: Ability to turn large pieces of carbon fiber into many at a very rapid and frequent rate.

Target Market: Dandruff Suffers and debt collectors.

On-brand Message: We are Lotus, but not that lotus.

Community Relations: Psst! Hey you! Wanna buy an f1 team?


The Brand: Merc

Key Mission: Get Lewis more Instagram followers.

Leveraged Uniqueness: German

Target Market: Rihanna, fashion designers, and non-executive chairmen

On-brand Message: Mercedes, when the BMW dealership is closed.

Community Relations: All the other cars are shit boxes.


The Brand: Ferrari

Key Mission: Fire their way to the top.

Leveraged Uniqueness: Hand gestures

Target Market: Key chain collecting enthusiasts.

On-brand Message: We are Ferrari. We invented motor racing, cars, airplanes, lovemaking and heritage.

Community Relations: Use passionate, passion to describe passion.

Paul KieferJr

Another one to try:


Key Mission: To prove that being indie works….and make sure nobody else can prove it.

Leveraged Uniqueness: The only independent to survive in the ruthless corporate works wars…for however long that lasts.

Target Market: Anyone with more money than God.

On-brand message: You can do this all by yourself!

Community relations: Hire Tony Robbins. ‘Nuff said.