Russia’s ban on alcohol advertising forced three teams to make changes to their cars’ logos in Sochi.
The logos of Russian supermarket chain Dixy (ДИKCИ) featured on the front wings of the RB10s as well as on their race drivers’ overalls. It opened its first store in Moscow in 1999 and now has over 2,000.
Russia’s advertising regulations meant all teams had to remove any alcohol branding. That meant Williams did not have their Martini logos, however the famous stripes were retained and the Martini name remained on its flanks.
The Williams livery also appears very differently in Codemasters’ official 2014 F1 game, released last week. The distinctive red stripe of the Martini logo has been changed to blue.
According to Codemasters : “Due to circumstances outside of our control we’ve had to use a modified livery for the game, just like Williams Martini Racing have to when competing in countries that prohibit the advertising of alcohol. We’re continuing to explore ways to address this in future releases.”
Force India could not advertise vodka in Russia, and had to remove the Smirnoff logo from their rear wing, replacing it with Kingfisher.
The logos of whiskey company Royal Challenge also had to go, but the team cleverly replaced them with the logos of Indian cricket team Royal Challengers Bangalore. Both are owned by Force India boss Vijay Mallya.
For the Japanese Grand Prix McLaren’s car featured a #GetIn message behind the front wheels, promoting a competition where the winners would get a tour of the McLaren Technology Centre.
In Sochi, McLaren replaced their Johnny Walker logo for SAP because of the advertising laws. The team continues to rearrange some of its usual logos from race to race.
From Japan, Sauber have given their Mexican sponsor Claro more exposure, putting the logo on the car’s rear wing, which previously featured the team name. Also for Suzuka, they moved the NEC logos on their sidepods, which have been empty for most of the year.
In Russia they replaced their Cuervo Tequila logos with Cholula Sauce.
Toro Rosso also used their livery for social media purposes: ‘#Gotororosso’ appeared on the car’s airbox, promoting their Twitter hashtag.
During the Russian Grand Prix all the drivers and teams showed their support for Jules Bianchi, who was seriously injured in a crash duringthe Japanese Grand Prix:
2014 Russian Grand Prix
Images © Red Bull/Getty, Williams/LAT, Sauber, McLaren/LAT, Force India