Formula One team Hispania Racing is using a 175-mile-per-hour billboard to drum up sponsors ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend.
The move has come after the team failed to secure a main corporate backer in its second season in the world’s most-watched racing series. Its cars in the Monaco Grand Prix in two days will feature ‘This Could Be You’ signs to lure support as the economic slump at home makes it harder to find a sponsor.
Team owner Jose Ramon Carabante said he is using his own funds to cover part of its US$71m budget as Spain continues to struggle to emerge from a three-year economic slump, check with a 21 per cent unemployment rate, ambulance the highest in Europe.
Carabante stated: “We’re still alive, which in these times is no small feat. The car’s message is striking but we hope it disappears soon.”
According to Adam Parr, chairman of Grove, England- based Williams, whose main backer is AT&T Inc., many Formula One teams are having difficulty finding sponsors as companies don’t see the series as environmentally friendly.
Carabante claimed his team is in talks with two Spanish companies about sponsorship, without identifying them. He is also steering his Murcia-based real estate company, Grupo Hispania, through the fallout of a housing market collapse.