A Taiwanese clothing manufacturer has said it is “pleasantly surprised” to have received prominent branding on this year’s Hispania Racing car, despite the company and the Formula One team never having been in contact.
The launch of the HRT F111 in Barcelona today provided a welcome distraction for visiting journalists, who have spent much of this week alternately speculating just how underweight Sauber’s car is, and feigning surprise at McLaren’s apparent lack of pace despite the fact that this seems to happen every other year. However, the car’s launch also provoked a frenzy in the Asian republic, as it emerged that a hitherto unexpected partnership between the team and a Taiwanese company had arisen.
Chu Wing Dung, marketing spokesman for This Is A Cool Spot – a fashion brand that is distributed mainly in East Asia – said of the unexpected tie-up: “We have not been in touch with the team, but we are extremely pleased that they have chosen to use our name to adorn their cars. This move gives us unexpected extra exposure in Western markets, where we are looking to launch our products in the near future.”
The statement from the company is in sharp contrast to American car manufacturers Ford, who issued court proceedings against Ferrari after the Italian marque named its 2011 car the F150 – which the company deemed to be too similar to its own F-150 truck.
The proceedings forced a climbdown by Ferrari, who had to rename their car: “After much thought, we have decided to rename our chassis the Ferrari Mondeo,” the group’s president, Luca di Montezemolo, whispered hoarsely.
HRT, however, have been advised to reconsider the decision to allow the company exposure without receiving payment for it: “Having a sponsor who doesn’t pay you is a sure step towards financial ruin,” said former F1 team principal Martin Birrane, when interviewed on the subject this morning. “I don’t know who would do something so silly.”