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Force India switches to pink livery after agreeing new F1 sponsorship deal
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Force India
Posted By: Editor   |  14 Mar 2017   |  1:58 pm GMT  |  142 comments

Force India has revealed a new pink livery, which it will run from the beginning of the 2017 Formula 1 season.

The change to the team’s colours – the VJM10 had run a silver, black and orange arrangement in winter testing – comes after Force India signed a new sponsorship deal with water technology company, BWT.

A Force India statement announcing the partnership and livery update explained that BWT is hoping to “take advantage of the sport’s global footprint to promote its unique water treatment products”.

Force India

Force India’s 2017 race drivers, Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon, will also wear pink helmets during the coming season.

Speaking about the new deal, Force India’s team principal, Vijay Mallya, said: “The arrival of BWT in Formula 1 is huge news and represents one of the most significant partnerships in our ten year history.

“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.”

Mercedes DTM

BWT’s CEO, Andreas Weißenbacher, outlined his company’s reasons for entering F1 as a team sponsor.

He said: “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.

“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 Force India deal is not BWT’s first forage into motorsport, as the company sponsors Mercedes’ drivers Lucas Auer and Christian Vietoris in the DTM championship.

What do you make of Force India’s new look? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below or head over to the JA on F1 Facebook page for more discussion.

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142 comments

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1

Well it's certainly different

2

From the ugly duckling, to the beautiful swan i one stroke. Mega.

3
Rob in Victoria BC

GOOD! Only a few short steps away now to the good old days of B+H, JPS, and, dare l say it, Durex.

4

It's strange. I swear that Force India was the most ugly car. But now it actually looks nice somehow. I would'nt believe that making it pink would help but it did.

5

So this year we will have Yellow -> Orange -> Red -> Pink.
Good luck for colourblind people : 😉

6

As a colour blind person, I think you may have misunderstood what colour blindness is if you think that's an issue. Sounds like a divergent colour to me.

7

Well, certainly better than all the greyish cars we had before.

8

I think Renault & Ferrari are "safe" there - the one I'd be concerned about is McLaren, since Spyker often looked nigh-indistinguishable from Ferrari on-track (even though the car was clearly orange in stills).

As for Force Pinkia... It's a really pale pink. The one I'd be most concerned about mixing up with them is the white Williams. (see also: the similarily of blues on Sauber & Toro Rosso. Wish the rumour that STR were going to go for the light blue RB sugar-free rather than saturated RB cola had panned out).

9

Love it.

10

Yes, it's great
Been too boring, for too long. FI are the new Jordan F1
McLaren - take note & start taking some chances.

11

Actually they are old Jordan. 🙂

12

Love it! If they can get Simona behind the wheel...

13

Simona is full-time driving in the Aussie V-8 supercar championship, so no chance unless she is released from her contract.

14
Rubinho's Keyfob

Everyday sexism. Simona is only worth a shot if she's in a pink car, right? 😉

15

When they bought the Spyker team and renamed it Force India I never gave them much of a fighting chance. 10 years later and they're pretty much best-of-the-rest, 4th in the Constructor's Championship, bagging a very nice sponsorship.

Nicely done!

16

dude i laughed after the acquisition i thought it was a joke, now i'm silently impressed... They won me over at Spa 2009 (stupid KERS)... GO Force Pinkia GO...

17

For all those who grew up in the 70s

"Now here he is the Pink Panther....the rink de dink Panther...."

18

A shade of pink that could be described as musk? BTW salmon and apricot are considered colours these days as well as avocado. Pastels baby its the new F1! 🙂

19

cue the dead ant tune......

20

Much better! Nice colour, will stand out on the grid. This year will prove to have a good colourful grid, reminds me of the 90's and 00's.

As a driver I would be reluctant to change my helmet colour.

21

"As a driver I would be reluctant to change my helmet colour."

- money talks

22

Pink helmet.....sounds dodgy

23

Robert, maybe purple?

24

Hi Tim,

Remember the MTV Simtek Ford 94, it had a far bit of purple on it looked cool

25

I had to check the date wasn't the first of next month when I saw that.

26

Well, that car just made absolutely massive gains in not being confused during commentary. Good for Force India.

27

A bit early for April 1st?

28

In other news, Penelope pit stop is force India new reserve driver........

29

Lmao, good one 😊

30

Ugh yuck don't like it. A pink F1 car looks horrible..

31

I tell you what Stephen, I just had a read through all the comments and then scrolled back up to the top of the article:

Take a big breath, accept that it's pink, and then have another look - Aside from that step in the nose you might agree that it's actually not too shabby.

Give it a go 🙂

32

As others have said, at least it's not silver/grey 🙂

I know it's for sponsorship reasons, but give them credit for doing something different.

If you can't do that then at least give them points for bravery 🙂

33

Hahaha that's more like it

Pink lively is definitely unique and has that wow factor like, man, I can't believe that car is pink.

Have to say, the class of 2017 has really outdone themselves in terms of imaginative and striking livelies. Only wish the teams would stick with these livelies so that they're become part of their brands.

As for Mallya, I am pretty impressed with his passion for the sport because most oligarchs just use the sport for marketing purposes before selling off the business

34

He has "cheated" Indian banks through his grounded Kingfisher airlines and he is a WANTED person in India. No respect for such an "oligarch".

35

As a businessman he did what he thought was god for his business and his shareholders. If anyone is to blame it is the banks who passed on due diligence and loaned money over, they were lazy/irresponsible and failed at their job. And you know what, all at the expense of the Indian tax payer, State Bank of India (Govt bank), having suffered the biggest.

36

I can vouch for that, Banks like State Bank of India are to be blamed for his, the Kingfisher Airlines never deserved the money they were getting. I even had a project on Kingfisher and Deccan merger wherein they were doing too many things. Overall, it is the responsibility of banks to make good all the losses because they were too stupid in their lending policy. If we keep arresting all businessmen for taking business risks, none would be interested to start businesses. It is similar to saying that Stock market is not a fair game because i entered into it and lost all my money.

37

@ Sri

Aah but nobody is perfect

It's just that being a public figure means your mistakes will become public knowledge

38

Force India is the only profitable business he now has.

39

@ SB

I think this is further proof that Mallya is a petrol head otherwise, he would have cashed in on his profitable business a long time ago

40

Its forsale, but no is is buying at his price...

41

@ Andy Warhol

Oh I see... Thanks for the update

42

Love the new colour on the grid, so much better than another silver/red/black clone.
Not sure about pink helmets for both drivers, would be nice to tell them apart!

43

Reminds me of Days of Thunder movie....."WE HAVE A SPONSOR!"

44

What McLaren wouldn't give to be in that movie 🙂

45

Some things just shouldn't have a price tag.

46

This is even worst to previous 1 😡

47

Now all we need them to do is entice Porsche into F1 and we could have a new "pink pig" ...

48

My initial thought was to check the date to see if it was April 1st, but no they really are going with pink! Great news for them to land a big sponsor, but there will be some mickey taking along the pit lane in Melbourne....

49

I initially saw it on Bookface and thought the same thing and the comments there were actually quite savage towards it.
I'm fine with it and think the change in livery is a welcome change from what they're had in the past. Will certainly stand out and might even draw some new fans from alternative walks of life for them.
Interesting to see the get up their pitlane wear in two weeks.....

50

Will we see Pink Pant[ther] suits on the drivers?

51

SARS, I like it now I am over the initial shock. It will brighten up the grid, no more black silver and grey please!

52

Someone put a tweet out with all of this years cars side by side and I have to say as a collective they really look a step above those of previous years.
Sauber have put together a livery that leaves last years in the shade as has Torro Rosso, McLaren and now Force India.
Lets hope the racing in Melbourne matches the look of these cars on the grid.
Best thing, aside from the fact the season is just over a week away, is that I'll be able to pass judgement in person.
I'll try and get Lewis's sig for you!
I'll be there so

53

Sars, good to hear that you are going, I'm still undecided about Silverstone (again) or Spa. Have a great time at the race, enjoy those liveries and hopefully a good battle at the front as well.

54

From head on it could look good with the pink helmet so close to the dark airbox...

55

Have there been any other pink F1 cars? Car color is a funny thing. Green cars were considered bad luck in the US until recently (i.e., until a rich sponsor wanted a green car).

56

Yes Brabham in 1992 was pink.

57
Speedy Gonzales

Brabham BT60B 1992

58

No it was blue and white but one sponsor logo was pink

59

Front half of that car was pink (more than just a logo) - and a strong pink

60

Curiosity question - How does the color choice tie into the branding? What is the message there and how does it fit with the focus of other "movements" and directions that are using that hue for their identities?

61

It's not branding, it's just really smart marketing - get noticed and get people thinking and talking about you (the water company). Pink has nothing to do with anything they offer, probably.

62

Looks like it does

63

Copy and thanks. Over here on this side of the pond, the breast cancer issue and more recently other women's issues have been using that color to symbolize their issues. As noted, was only a curiosity question since the article didn't seem to identify anything was thinking it might be one of the many things am probably not aware of.

Sure hope the helmets end up with deigns which can differentiate the drivers, though. Others have made the same observation.

64

BWT...water...drink...pink...I think?

65

I honestly thought that FI had hardly any competition in fielding most ugly car this year (maybe Haas). But now I can see they went great lengths to make sure they bring that title home. 😉

Totaly agree with otherDean - at least noone will mistake that car for any other 🙂 we're done with three lookalikes like Merc, McLaren, FI were few years ago.

This year is definitely going to be different 😉

66

All we need now are another pair of front wheels and it will look like FAB 1 from Thunderbirds 🙂

67

Now thats more like it, Force India went from one of the worst livery to one of the best. FI is racing and having fun at the same time just like Mallya's yacht parties.

68

Looks like a Williams and a Ferrari collided!

69

Oh.... It's supposed to be controversial, cos it's pink.... And men aren't men if they like pink....
What do we make of it? Nothing. It's a colour.

70

The colour reminds me of a charity initiative the South African cricket team (Proteas) do every year : https://www.google.co.za/amp/www.peoplemagazine.co.za/celebrity-news/proteas-play-pink-breast-cancer-awareness/amp

71

Where did we suggest it was controversial? F1 liveries - particularly when they switch from long-standing designs - are always a source of good debate. If Ferrari decided to make its 2017 car another colour before Australia after signing a new sponsor should we not report that?

72

With more black it would look actually quite OK.

73
Rubinho's Keyfob

By "more black", do you mean "less pink"? 😀

74

Love it!!! Reminds me of the 'good old days' when sponsors would influence the whole design. The Benetton Alfa Romeos being my favourite.

75

Gone from one of the worst looking cars to one of the best. But will the race suits be the same ?

76

Genuinely had to check it wasn't April 1st. Pink has a strong history in F1, though, which can be traced back most recently to Pacific and Moneytron Onyx.

77

I can see this livery looking very good on the track, but if both drivers have to change their helmet colour to pink how are we and the commentators going to know who is who? Are they also going to have pink race suits?

78

one of them will have a black camera on the top of the air box and the other (most likely Ocon) will have yellow.. just like every other team
It's the easiest way to tell Dan and Max apart as one has a yellow top to their helmet and one has orange.. easily confused.

79

I like it. This will stand out and doesn't scream back marker like the McLaren colours. Can they give Alonso a seat for the season?

80

"Can they give Alonso a seat for the season?"

No, I'd like to see FI do well again thank you and Alonso is like an F1 mojo singularity 🙂

81

Well, this is all a bit harmless fun. I don't see the problem in having a pink car, it adds to the visual drama and the show. I am all for it. We're orange and lime green Focus RS's less garrish? ...Besides, maybe I can get my wife to watch the races now; she has a thing for pink 🙂

82

Quite like it, although I can't help wondering why pink. BWT's corporate colours seem to be blue. Although, that particular shade of blue would have been a hideous choice for a livery.

Incidentally, "...is not BWT’s first forage into motorsport ..."? Foray, surely.

83

search for DTM .. they sponsored a team there ..

84

It will stand out from the rest, and over the course of history, I can't recall any other pink...
So from a business branding stand point, getting the most out of their (undoubtedly) hefty investment, it is already a success.
Why not?
lol
I am having a difficult time, however, restraining my chuckling, thinking about Checko and Estaban in the pink coveralls.... rich.

85

go to auto-motor-sport.de there you will find 40 pics of racecars in pink ..

86

not in Formula One, though.

87

BWT had operating profit (EBIT) of $19 million on $660 million of sales in 2016. This is not a company that can be paying a big nut for sponsorship, and so I can therefore presume that it is not.

88

nice detective work.

89

Goes a long way to explaining why the McLaren shareholders ultimately could no longer support Ron's no-compromise stand on their rate card...

90

Hi James, just a curious question:
Would the other sponsors on the car have a say on this or they just have to accept whatever color is chosen by the main sponsor?

91

"Would the other sponsors on the car have a say on this"

Yes, but first they have to give FI more money than BWT 🙂

92

"You must be joking Vijay" ? "No Sergio, look here in the small print section of your new contract ... pink car, pink race suits, pink socks, pink under wear, pink finger nails, pink wig, pink lipstick. To better identify with our new target group we also decided to rename our drivers Barbie and Ken. But dont tell Barbie yet !

93
Tornillo Amarillo

With the pink helmet as well... they risk to be called Barbie or pink-heads.

It's OK, that pink is really about more "green", the color of dollars...

I hope they have a good season, go!

94
Racing driver 1

About time we got some colour variation between the cars. We just need a green car now. Any room on the grid for maybe an Aston Martin or a Jaguar.
But that Force India looks mouth watering. I want to take a bite out of it. Looks like bubble gum flavour.

95

It's great to have a strong colour in a livery driven by a brand, this is how it was in the past and I'm sick of tarmac grey cars (Mclaren, thankyou for the orange at last). But my god that is one shocker of a car! The bwt logo smacked on to Ill conceived lines makes the car look like a pack of bubble gum! I'd like to say it was a last minute thing but these days livery design is terrible. Even when we have potentially nice colours like the Mclaren orange and Renault yellow, how they blend to black is so unsophisticated. Just think of those Renault overalls! I can't wait to see perez and the hulk suited up!

96

Pink is pop.

97

I wonder if the teams took note of this article James posted a year ago? https://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2016/02/weekend-debate-f1-liveries-are-they-really-boring-this-year/

The grid year could not be more of a constrast. We have colour, vibrant and distinctive liveries! I absolutely love the efforts the teams have gone to this year, to have a much more colourful grid in many years. Pink is certainly an unusual colour to see in racing, but it looks pretty nice.

98

I thought when they launched this car it was rather ugly, now it looks even worse ...

99

I think it's very cool, refreshing to see something so unique. F1 needs it

100

2017, the year of all new, aggressive looking (aside from the pink paint job) F1 cars! Can't lie, I like it!

101

Love it!! Matches my favourite old school Fender Stratocaster colour.

Good on Force India for recognising an opportunity to look different and attach it to a deal. Good on Torro Roso for differentiating themselves a little too.

F1 is going to look good for a lot of people this year!! Not me though, as i'll be watching on a tiny low definition screen.... Something really needs to be done about content accessibility....

102

I would REALLY like to know what "smart matte" finish means. I operate in the vehicle color change industry and never heard the expression, even though we perform the matte finish look regularly...

103

Smart matte is a little more matte than bright matte, but not quite as matte as genius matte.

104

You're dead right there Maaaaaatte...

105

I've always loved pink ...... but that's a different story ! 😉

106

Hi James, a bit off topic...is there a website which has all the laptime data set for previous years of F1 other than the official F1 website?

107

FIA site dies in Archive section

108

Freudian typo James?

109

Not generally a fan of current fins, but this color arrangement and fin shape, actually looks great, in my opinion.

110

Nico might just reconsider his decision to retire from F1!

111

F1 could use stand to lighten up...a LOT. It's not to my personal taste but I think it's fun and different and bold. Remember, this is the team that finished 4th in the Constructors Championship last year, including beating Williams, etc.

Everyone would also keep in mind that because of Bernie's legacy of screwing over the independent teams in terms of distribution of money, that they need to take in as many big sponsors as they can, including the sponsor's livery requests. From the sponsors point of view, a pink car draws much more attention to their brand.

112

I knew it was only a matter of time before 'Hello Kitty' started sponsoring an F1 team! Excellent news...

113

Lady Penelope advised that "Parker" will be driving for 2017 season
Parker when asked said "yes melady"
Force India are go !

114
Clarks4WheelDrift

Finally, a car that'll look good wearing the ultra softs.

(Feel like I'm waiting for the message that the site has been hacked)

Both driver helmets pink, how did they agree to that, or rather what was their payrise 😉

115

Enjoy yourself it's later than you think, enjoy yourself while you're still in the pink.

116

Kudos to Force India, that looks wicked!

117

honestly looks better that I thought it will be... and they can also support cancer with that livery. Hope they do a good job this season as 2016, VAMOS CHECO!!!

118

Hope the car goes well. I'd go as far as saying that could be an iconic livery. Nice to have that on the grid and some imaginative sponsor partnerships, unlike Sauber's thinly-veiled fag-company livery.

119

The ugliest car on the grid looks better in pink!

I'm worried that if we have the right combination following qualifying that we will see the most colour clashes in recent memory.

Worrying times 🙂

120

That's not the first pink racecar: Keke Rosberg, Formula Atlantic, 1977: https://flic.kr/p/bpYTC9

121

Ok, so now we have the F1 grid resembling a set of snooker balls...
Red -Ferrari
Yellow -Renault
Brown ([Mod])-McLaren
Green (with envy) -Alonso in a McLaren
Blue -RB & TR
Pink -FI
Black (Mood) -the McLaren pit wall.

OK, i tried....

122

And McLaren breaks? 🙂

123

@Random...naturally!

124

I actually quite like it. The new Pink Panthermobile.

125

Will Force India remain the top British team in the constructors again this year? If it were based on looks I'd say yes.

126

I think a F1 car in a GOLDEN color would look beautiful. Why are no cars in gold?

127

Same reason there are no F1 cars with spinners 🙂

You never know though - When Hamilton retires he might follow in the footsteps of some other famous F1 drivers like Stewart and Prost and start his own team 🙂

128

BWAAHAHAHA!! Oh my goodness gracious me! You know what though... I actually like it! Although I'm not sure it looks particularly "Formula 1"...

129

yeah the pink is ok a little diff why not good on them for getting some sponsorship.Liked the yellow better, will never forget spa 98 when they got their 1,2

130

Positively Pink. Makes me think of the Pink Panther (we often watch the old cartoons with the kids). Definitely like it.

131

So much better than the blacks and greys we've had recently.

Poor old Zak Brown... All that hype over an orange car and not only is it a lemon but it gets trumped by a pink car before the first race.

132

Pah! You're comparing lemons and oranges.

133

Salve .
Sono un tifoso del Palermo calcio..vedere i nostri colori sulla Force India mi inorgoglisce
Oltre la Ferrari sarò un vostro tifoso.
I AM VERY HAPPY.GO FORCE INDIA.

134

The insipid pink is . . . insipid.
Wish they'd used a bolder pink -
Like the 1992 Brabham

135

Looks Good

136

Pink is the new green! As in, Force India as a new major sponsor. Congratulations to them. I guess that's what finishing 4th in the Championship gets you.
I guess Citeboul (i hope i spelled that correctly) will have to ear his words when he claimed that Force India will not have any money to develop their car during the season.
With Ferrari, Mercedes, and Red Bull fighting for race wins and Renault, Williams, Force India, and Toro Roso battling for points in the mid-field, F1 in 2017 is going to be awesome!

137

Mattel could be their next big sponsor
Who wouldn't want to see a real Barbie girl as driver on track!

138

Dr. Malja : if You boys wain we will replace You with Beitske and Tatiana. p.s. as from me - it's cool! out of box and COOL!

139

Force India and VJ found inspiration for the new pink livery by looking through Eddie Jordan's 'colorful' broadcast shirts wardrobe. Hey VJ, Eddies on the phone and wants his shirt back....or a part of the team! 😃

140

Need we say more....?

141

Looks like a guant stick of childrens bubblegum. Better than grey though.

142

I think it looks brilliant and will certainly stand out!

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