Sponsor Watch: 2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Caterham’s crowdfund helped them return to the track in Abu Dhabi. Dozens of new names, including that of a local pub, were plastered over their cars.

Also at the final race of the season Red Bull promoted their home race and Williams had to ditch their distinctive Martini livery.

Toro Rosso and Red Bull

Both Red Bull-owned teams advertised next year Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring with cartoon illustrations. Toro Rosso’s were prominent on the sidepods, Red Bull’s were inside the rear wing endplates. Tickets for the race went on sale before the weekend.


As in Russia, Sauber replaced their Cuervo Tequila logos with Cholula Sauce due to alcohol advertising regulations.

The additional exposure of the sidepods was given to Unifin, a Mexican financial institution. Pacific Ventures Dubai, a real estate company’s logo, which had previously featured between the sidepod and the rear wheels, disappeared from the car in Abu Dhabi.


Alcohol laws meant Williams could not use their red Martini stripes in Abu Dhabi, instead using a blue livery already familiar from Codemasters’ F1 2014 game.

Force India

Force India had to remove their alcoholic brands, but they again cleverly replaced some of them with associated companies or brands – such as Royal Challengers Bangalore and UBICS.

On Saturday Force India announced Sergio Perez would remain with them for 2015. Along with that came the confirmation that Carlos Slim’s America Movil will stay with the team with the Claro, Telmex and Telcel brands. Perez looks set to be the only Mexican on the grid in 2015, when the Mexican Grand Prix will make a return.

Force India also revealed they will unveil the VJM08 in Mexico City in January.


After two races of absence, Caterham made a return to the grid thanks to their crowdfunding project. Some of the rewards for the donations were appearances on the car in Abu Dhabi.

The CT05 was therefore full of different logos and names, most of which were British companies getting world-wide exposure for relatively small amounts of money. Among the most interesting were a small-town pub The Windmill Inn in South East England, a hotel/restaurant in the Swiss Alps named Bellevue, as well as Datatag (anti-theft technologies).

The most visible exposure was given to NSBO as the investment bank’s logo appeared on the car’s sidepods.

2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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9 comments on “Sponsor Watch: 2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix”

  1. I quite like the little sponsors on the Caterham – not really a good foundation to build an F1 team, but as a one-off it’s quite clever.

    Googled a couple of those sponsors, my favourite being the Windmill Inn pub in Littleworth, who proudly display a photo of the Caterham with their logo and a news cut-out on their home page. Don’t think I’ll be in Littleworth anytime soon, but if you do please go give them some love :)

    1. Reminds me a little of this mess:

      1. Well, i guess its essentially the same, yes @jarnooo. Also a team on the brink of going poof

      2. What does one have to do? Some people are just never happy….with anything.

        1. @baron Be happy with that? I’d rather they donated the money to charity than attend the GP.

    2. Re “I quite like the little sponsors on the Caterham – not really a good foundation to build an F1 team, but as a one-off it’s quite clever.”
      The sad part of this is, and really this applies to all sponsors and not just those who sponsored Caterham, nearly all sponsorship is a waste of money to the people of New Zealand, which is where I live. As you said, advertising should be enough to run an F1 team, but … well it obviously isn’t. Every car on the race track contributes to the racing spectacle … but TV rights payout isn’t paid out fairly. Only ten teams get a payment, and that is weighted, so some teams get a lot, others get a little.
      I noticed Wei Chat on Alonso’s helmet recently, but I wouldn’t have known that without seeing a picture on a website. I think F1 races must be still broadcast on Free to Air TV in China.

  2. I recall from one of the recent biographies about Ecclestone, there was a story about how a smaller team sold one-off rights to sponsor the car to a local brewery for one of the USGPs of the mid-1980’s. He was absolutely furious as his vision was to get longer-term, more lucrative sponsorship deals. I can’t remember the figures offhand. It does make you wonder if the one-offs are ultimately best-value, or if the state of the sponsorship “market” is just simply that bad in F1….

  3. I know it was FP3 onwards. If you cheat, you must beat your teammate. ME9 did in Japan and Russia and at least he managed to out-qualify his teammate.

  4. Oops. I thought the “Spielberg 2015” logo was a teaser for some movie :-).

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