Sponsor Watch: 2015 Australian and Malaysian GP

2015 Australian Grand Prix

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As the new season began there were a few last-minute sponsor additions at some teams following the end of testing.

However the almost total lack of branding on the returning Manor cars did little to inspire confidence in their future.


There aren’t many sponsors to watch on the Manor. The team may have made a welcome return to boost F1’s flagging grid but the lack of logos on their cars was conspicuous.

One name which did appear was that of Italian sports equipment company Errea on the rear wing endplate. The team also kept the ‘#JB17’ from last year, situated on the side of the airbox, in recognition of their injured former driver Jules Bianchi. Without the expectation of prize money earned by his ninth place in Monaco last year, it is likely the team would not have returned at all.


Proton, owners of the Lotus brand which is used by the Genii-owned Formula One team, had their logo on the cockpit of the E23s in Malaysia.

The Proton name previously appeared on the Malaysian-owned Lotus cars in 2010 – the team which later became Caterham and collapsed at the end of last year:


For the third year in a row, Mercedes’ title sponsor Petronas advertised their unleaded fuel brand Primax on the car’s sidepod for their home event. After the race the Malaysian oil and gas firm confirmed it had extended its sponsorship of the Grand Prix until 2018.

Lewis Hamilton was also due to have a special helmet in Petronas colours, but the FIA’s new rule scuppered that plan.


Before the Australian Grand Prix Williams announced a new technology partnership with British Telecom. The deal will see BT’s logos appear on the side of the headrest and in the hospitality environment.


Exxon Mobil has sponsored McLaren through its oil brand Mobil 1 since 1995, and this partnership was expanded before the Australian Grand Prix. Its Esso brand, which featured sporadically on the car throughout last season, now has a permanent home just above the sidepod (though persistently in a shadow cast by an onboard camera) and on the driver’s overalls.

McLaren continues to rotate the Segafredo Zanetti logos on its rear wing endplate with those of the Boncafe brand from region to region as appropriate.

Force India

Force India added two new sponsors to their sidepod wing structures before the Australian Grand Prix. Energy drink company Hype’s branding appears on the top and mobile telecom company Channel IT are on the side – the latter is visible in the picture above.

Red Bull

After testing had finished Red Bull got out the crayons and felt-tip pins and coloured in their ‘camouflage’ livery.

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34 comments on “Sponsor Watch: 2015 Australian and Malaysian GP”

  1. Here’s an idea, @keithcollantine :

    See how many people on this site would be willing to donate £10 to Manor via F1Fanatic – bet you’d get quite a few. Then get your logo put on the side of the car!

    1. Not sure Manor would be in for it, and it the colours would clash quite a bit, but I would certainly be up for that one @mattb, @keithcollantine!

    2. You can count me in for sure.

    3. ColdFly F1 (@)
      2nd April 2015, 14:03

      I’m in.

    4. @keithcollantine I’d definitely donate. I’m sure it’s not too far fetched to say Manor could be interested – even if it’s a small amount of money by F1 standards, every bit helps in their situation, and it may even inspire confidence in the team just by having a logo on the car.

      Worst they can say is no, right?

      1. That would be great. This kinda means we could end up helping a team shut Bernie up. I’m in.

        1. (if it inspires confidence not only in the team, but other sponsors as well, seeing that the car is actually getting prints on it, and not all hope is lost!)

    5. It would possibly look a bit like this.

    6. Nigelstash (@)
      2nd April 2015, 16:27

      Me too

      1. I’m in!

    7. This needs to be turned into a poll.

    8. I’m up for it

    9. petebaldwin (@)
      3rd April 2015, 16:46

      haha great idea!

    10. Daniel (@mechanicalgrip22)
      3rd April 2015, 17:37


    11. dodge5847 (@)
      3rd April 2015, 20:51

      I’m in, sounds good. Even if it is 10GBP per month

  2. It sure is hard to see car numbers; does Manor even have a number on the side? How is anyone supposed to identify these cars at speed? Yeah, I know about the new helmet rules, but still…….

    1. ColdFly F1 (@)
      2nd April 2015, 14:06

      not too difficult with Manor ;)

      1. Yeah you just have to know which one is running at the time! :)

    2. At speed? I didn’t see too much of that from Manor…

      1. “these cars” referred to ALL cars. Look at the photos above and quickly pick out the numbers; the only one really legible is the Williams.

  3. ColdFly F1 (@)
    2nd April 2015, 14:05

    Did McLaren take the Johnny Walker stickers off the mirrors?

    1. And it looks like they’ve stuck them on the headrest. I thought last year’s McLaren looked bare, but this one is alarmingly so.

      1. I don’t understand why McLaren don’t put their own logos on the sidepods in the meantime, just to make the car look less bare.

  4. Nothing on Ferrari? At least some pics would have quenched my thirst for the red beast :)

  5. I wonder why Stephen Fitzpatrick didn’t get Ovo plastered all over the Manor cars?

    1. @lockup Isn’t he paying it out from his own pockets than taking it from Ovo’s accounts?

      1. Indeed @eclairstone but they could still put an Ovo sticker on I imagine? I suppose there must be a reason, but they look awful being bare, and I don’t suppose Bernie likes that either.

        1. @lockup Yep, they may. That would in essence be free publicity for Ovo. Moreover, as @ducpham2708 suggests below FIAT/Ferrari could plaster Ferrari / Alfa Romeo / FIAT stickers on Manor & Sauber and could reduce the engine price a little.

  6. Manor has ONE sponsor and they made it as hard as possible for people to notice, seriously I did not notice that over the last weekend ! Why don’t they, for the time being , put it on their sidepods, so that they can prove that sponsoring them will indeed brings publicity to the company and therefore attracts more sponsors.

    One thing I’ve always wondered is why Ferrari don’t ask their customers to put their logos on the cars? I mean Red Bull and Toro Rosso both have the “Renault” logo on their cars, every Mercedes-Powered teams have “Powered by Mercedes-Benz” on their cars as well. What Ferrari can do is reducing the engines prices to help Manor, and in return ask them to put the Ferrari/Romeos/FIAT logos on their cars.

    1. I would presume it’s because they need to say, ‘If you want to be on the sidepod you have to pay X.’ Otherwise they scupper their sponsorship negotiations if prospective clients get the idea they can get a prime spot for a lot less as long as no-one else steps up.

      As for Ferrari, I’d think it’s because they want to make clear there are only 2 proper Ferrari cars on the grid. Though you have a point with something like a Fiat logo, which wouldn’t interfere with the Ferrari racing brand.

    2. I am afraid Ferrari is not very proud of the performance delivered at Marussia…
      Maybe they gave a discount if they do not put their name on the car.

  7. What about Oakley and their outdated website (Fernando Alonso)?

  8. If drivers aren’t allowed to change colours on their helmet, can I suggest that Williams are no longer allowed to remove the red from the martini stripes in Bahrain / Abu Dhabi. Otherwise its FIA double standards, and I might no longer be able to recognise them.

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