Remember when Formula 1 was all Murray Walker screaming “GO, GO, GO!” and garish cars clad in tobacco sponsors? Oh, how things have changed.
Gone are the days of Marlboro Mclaren, Camel Lotus, and Lucky Strike Honda – or the late James Hunt puffing a post-race cigarette – for the sport of F1 has transcended into an entirely new realm, with a handful of luxury juggernauts in the mix.
Last weekend’s prestigious Grand Prix de Monaco, for example, marked the second time F1 has partnered with Louis Vuitton, who presented a monogram-covered trophy trunk to race winner Sergio Perez.
Hand-crafted at the Maison’s Asnières studio based just outside of Paris, the trunk featured a red monogram print inspired by the flag of Monaco, and a “V” for “Victory” emblazoned beneath a white strip resembling the celebrated track.
This, though, isn’t anything new. Fashion has now long been a part of the F1 furniture (Tommy Hilfiger sponsored Lotus way back in 1991) with watch brands like Rolex, Hublot and TAG Heuer becoming more influential by the year.
Team Ferrari even launched its own Spring 2022 ready-to-wear collection at Milan Fashion Week and, more recently, ahead of the Miami Grand Prix earlier this month, opened a boutique to showcase its collection at the city’s Aventura Mall.
With the recent rise in F1 viewing figures – a reported 54% year-on-year increase in 2021 in the US alone – and the continued popularity of the hit Netflix series Formula 1: Drive to Survive, the sport’s upward trajectory shows no sign of slowing down. In essence, for luxury brands, fewer affiliations in the wide world of sport make more sense than F1.