Chalk and Cheese – F1 and the Revival

September 17, 2013

As if Ferrari’s multi-million dollar gardening leave pay-out to Kimi Raikkonen in 2009 wasn’t enough, the Italian F1 team will now pay a rumoured $20 million to get him back for the 2014 season. Such is the way that the driver merry-go round works in Formula 1.

It’s going to make for some interesting scenarios on the track. One thing we won’t be seeing is a compliant Raikkonen helping Alonso slipstream to a good grid position, neither will we be seeing the Finnish driver moving aside when he’s told by his team that Fernando is faster, as happened previously with Felipe Massa.

What surprises a lot of people is that for a team like Ferrari, where both drivers are expected to fulfil a high number of promotional engagements, they’ve employed a driver whom previously they ran out of patience with because of his lack of interest in that sort of activity. Sure, they also wanted to make room for Alonso, but even so it seems a bit strange.

Ferrari has always favoured the number 1 and 2 driver scenario, rather than having equal status within the team. Thinking back to Alonso at McLaren and how badly he dealt with the pace of Lewis Hamilton and how Felipe Massa outshone Raikkonen when they were team-mates at Ferrari, I think we’re in for a very intriguing season in 2014, from a Ferrari perspective.

I might be the only person to think so, but I genuinely believe that if he can secure a drive next season, we might see a much revitalised Massa. He’s sucked the hind tit at Ferrari for some while and I think the change of scenery might just bring out the high level of talent that we know exists.

Goodwood Revival

On a different note altogether, I was fortunate enough to attend the Goodwood Revival race meeting again this year, the first time for quite a few years. What a breath of fresh air it was. The quality of event that the Earl of March puts on is quite extraordinary and attracts around 150,000 people over the 3 days. The majority make the effort to dress for the occasion and if you happen to be in modern 2013 clothing, you really do look the odd one out.


The attention to detail is superb and once you pass through the gates into Goodwood, it’s like entering a time-warp. As a sponsorship acquisition person of some 40 years standing, it always comes as a shock to see that none of the stunning range of race cars that adorn the paddock has a single sticker in sight.  Much as it hurts to admit, they all look a lot better for it!

Then lo and behold, I spotted one. It was on the Lotus 49 that Graham Hill drove in the 1968 F1 World Championship and the sticker is without doubt the most significant that there could be. In stark profile on the red, white and gold background of the bodywork is the famous Gold Leaf cigarette brand, courtesy of John Player & Sons.

The sponsorship deal that Colin Chapman negotiated to enter his 2 cars in the World Championship, adorned in cigarette branding, came about due to a change in the rules that governed the use of advertising on race cars. The deal that he put together was the start of a sponsorship revolution, not only in motorsport, but across sport in general, as we can now see.

It also had a significant impact on me and it wasn’t long before I put together my first ever sponsorship deal, one that allowed me to start racing and eventually build a 40 year career in the business!


(courtesy of Sutton Images)

So why is the Goodwood Revival so incredibly popular? I think it’s a combination of many factors. For a start, dressing-up seems to put us all on a level playing field. I also believe that everyone comes here wanting to enjoy themselves and let their hair down a bit. Most important of all, people relish being treated as an integral part of the show, as opposed to simply paying spectators. They see themselves as essential players in this tapestry of British history, just as the drivers, cars, aircraft, buildings and the overall dressing of the circuit are vital elements.

Another factor is that the Revival isn’t only for petrol heads. Yes, they can get close up and dirty if they want to, but it’s not just about historic racing. The event takes many of us back to specific races we may have attended and reminds us of cars that we once adored. It also revives special memories of drivers, some no longer with us, who were once a part of our lives.

What the Earl of March and his team have accomplished so brilliantly is to create a unique event that provides almost the same pleasurable experience as going to our favourite traditional Christmas pantomime, or the Last Night of the Proms or even the Festival of Remembrance at the Albert Hall.  The Revival is a celebration of good times, sadness, nostalgia and fond memories. It’s a reminder of our special heritage and importantly provides a rare opportunity for young people to enjoy themselves at the same time as understanding the importance of our history to an older generation.

About Brian Sims:

Brian Sims is one of international motorsport’s most experienced and successful sales exponents, securing over £60 million of sponsorship deals at all levels of the sport.

He is the author of a highly acclaimed book on the subject of securing sports sponsorship, the second edition of which was published in October 2011.

His career in sport included 11 years as a championship-winning professional racing driver, in the UK and in South Africa.  He also spent some years as the Marketing Director of the Kyalami F1 Grand Prix Circuit in South Africa.

On returning to England, he established the Motorsport Industry Association (MIA), securing sponsorship from Andersen Consulting, Hewlett Packard and Ford Motor Company.  This was the first trade association established to represent the British motorsport industry.

After three years as CEO of the MIA, Brian became Head of Motorsport for the international API Agency who represented the Benetton F1 Team. Brian secured over $14,000,000 of sponsorship for the Team subsequently becoming the Benetton F1 Team Commercial Director.

Brian then spent four years in South Africa, establishing the South African Motorsport Industry Association. In August 2010 he stood down as its CEO, to allow a South African to take over.

His latest major sponsorship acquisition deal is a three-year agreement with specialist insurance group, HISCOX, on behalf of the Official Aston Martin Racing Team, Jota.

Brian’s isportconnect-profile-widget
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