Sponsor Watch: 2014 Singapore Grand Prix

2014 Singapore Grand Prix

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While several sponsors occupied more prominent positions on the cars for the prestigious Singapore Grand Prix, a new logo on the Caterham prompted questions over the team’s ownership.


The new text which appeared on the nose of the Caterhams in Singapore, reading ‘CF1 Grand Prix’, prompted fresh questions over the secretive group who bought the team in July. But team principal Manfredi Ravetto refused to give anything away about where the team’s backing has come from.

“The team has always been identified by the abbreviation of CF1,” he said on Friday. “The entrant is and stays One Malaysia Racing team and One Malaysia Racing team is a conglomerate of companies which are working on different tasks and it stays like this.”

He described the investors from Switzerland and the Middle East as “a group of wealthy individuals”.

“They just want to make the best out of their investment and they don’t need to have any kind of personal visibility or publicity,” he added. “By the way, it’s something they refuse. They are very much business-driven and investment-orientated.”

Ravetto said he is “just trying to make my best in running this team, together with a very nice group of people”.

“That’s my main concern. All the rest, I’m really not supposed to go more in detail.”

Ravetto also revealed that had the team not been sold it would not have been on the grid for the British Grand Prix.


After agreeing a sponsorship deal with Segafredo Zanetti at the previous race, their logos were replaced by local brand on their rear wing endplates in Singapore. The same brand will be used in next week’s Japanese Grand Prix as well.

McLaren continued to rotate some of its other brands around the car. Johnnie Walker, which was on the rear wing in Monza, moved to the sidepods. During the race weekend Formula One Management announced a new deal to promote them as the “official whisky” of Formula One. McLaren denied reports of a split with the Diageo-owned brand.

For this race Esso took over McLaren’s rear wing with prominent branding seen at earlier races.


Emilio Botin, chairman of Spanish bank Santander, passed away in the week after the Italian Grand Prix. Santander entered Formula One in 2007 with McLaren when Fernando Alonso joined the team. They reunited with him at Ferrari three years later, but continue to back McLaren as well.

Botin, who was 79, was the driving force behind their F1 sponsorship programme and Ferrari paid tribute to him in Singapore by adding black lines to the Santander logo on the rear wing endplates.


Watch company Armin Strom has been with Marussia since 2012. For Singapore, their logos appeared on the cars’ rear wing endplates and on the cockpit of the MR03s.

2014 Singapore Grand Prix

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Images © Ferrari/Ercole Colombo, Marussia, McLaren/LAT, Caterham/LAT

19 comments on “Sponsor Watch: 2014 Singapore Grand Prix”

  1. Just wanted to give my big thumbs up on the sponsor watch. While I think they don’t create major talking points for the forum, it does provide a great amount of information that I think is unique to this site. So would hate for @bbudna to think that it wasn’t anything but a great addition to the site.

    1. Another thing that sets F1F aside from other sites. Good informative journalism.

    2. I agree. I’m always keeping an eye out for any new sponsors so this is a welcome addition to the site.

    3. I agree, this is one of those things that really make F1F THE go to site for us F1 Fanatics!

    4. Exactly, I love the in depth coverage on f1 fanatic

  2. Regardless if The Swiss and Middle-Eastern investors have really bought cash that has produced a shining light in the way of Caterham’s future, I still don’t see them surviving for much longer.

    Marussia have done it a lot tougher than Caterham as Marussia only got their first pay day last year for finishing 10th in the constructors and now they’re ahead of Caterham and Sauber in 9th at the moment, but Caterham/Lotus got the pay day in 2010, 2011 and 2012 and they’re struggling more than Marussia are.

    Then again, picking Jules Bianchi may be one of Marussia’s greatest decisions as he got Marussia’s first points at what was Bianchi’s (closest to) home track.

    Now, with Kobayashi who lacks in funds but carries a few years of F1 experience with him and Ericsson who has money in his pocket but carries the ‘someone has to come last’ cloud over him, what else can Caterham do? They’ve snubbed Rossi to the point where he left Caterham and picked Ericsson who came 6th in his 4th year of GP2 last year and didn’t obtain his FIA Super License until after the Jerez test over Robin Frijns who obtained his Super License through testing with Sauber and Red Bull and winning the 2012 Formula Renault 3.5 season by 4 points over Jules Bianchi who ironically is the reason Marussia got their first pay day by getting that lucky 13th at Malaysia in 2013 and getting Marussia’s first points by getting 9th (8th excluding the time penalty) at Monaco this year.

    Take the hint Caterham!

    1. Marussia also got a software and culture upgrade during Pat Symonds tenure there. Caterham lost any sense of operational maturity when Gascoyne left. And those two are not comparable in ability.

  3. A good read actually , thanks for the article Boštjan Budna and F1F

    Cant get enough details about F1 really :)

  4. During the race weekend Formula One Management announced a new deal to promote them as the “official whisky” of Formula One

    Struggling to see the link between F1 and whisky…although maybe that’s what Bernie is on when he comes out with his crazy ideas.

    1. +1. It is a business model that FIFA has been exploring for years, as they have the official soft drink, the official beer and even an official shaving machine/foam, among many other official stuff. Would be interesting if at one point the drivers were forced to indulge in some official booze before a GP. That would be awesome.

    2. Not sure taking away one of your teams’ major sponsors is something to celebrate, either.
      It’s all about Action For Road Safety. Whisky and information screens down on the steering wheels to keep the drivers’ eyes off the road as much as possible.

      1. Johnnie Walker is staying with McLaren. And will be on the MP4-30

    3. @george I’m not sure what the drink driving rates are in the UK, but in Australia, its always an issue that the local police officers crack down on a regular basis, so, there seems to be a very good link between the 2… Not to mention all the guys that sit on the couch at home, have a few beveridges watching the F1.

    4. They’re giving money, that’s the link, and the only link needed.

      I don’t care if alcohol sponsors pay money for F1 advertising, I don’t care if tobacco companies pay money for it, either. I understand others have their moral issues with it, but ultimately, if it pays for the racing, I don’t care if it’s Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro or Diageo McLaren-Honda.

  5. I think Formula 1 should not allow secretive owners. At this stage, any significant shareholders should be known for the sake of keeping the series away from money laundering and other type of crimes. I’m not saying it’s the case here, but not enforcing disclosure of shareholders could open the door for such people.

  6. It looks like it’s not enough for Caterham.

  7. Is this the first sponsor watch article?
    I like the idea and hope to see more of these, but it’s also somewhat of an indictment on the current state of F1 that we need to have such a series of articles too.

  8. @plushpile I have seen others too mate

  9. The CF1 stands for Caterham CF1 Ltd, a company that Manfredi Ravetto set up 4 weeks ago. Probably setup to avoid paying staff and suppliers…33 CCJ’s and counting.

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