Shell has a truly impressive history of “fueling” Formula 1. Either it’s being a partner with Ferrari or the general involvement in the sport, this company is definitely a huge part of the circus. We have Kai-Uwe Witterstein, Global Sponsorship Manager of Shell, to take us through the important points of a solid business relationship with the most successful Formula 1 team ever.
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Basis of the programme
Shell’s technical partnership with Ferrari is one of the most productive partnerships in Formula 1 history, and our team works very hard to keep it that way. Having contested more than half of all the Formula 1 races ever run, together we have amassed 12 FIA Formula 1 World Drivers’ Championships and 10 Constructors’ Championships. Our Formula 1 programme gives us the opportunity to demonstrate that not all fuels and lubricants are actually equal. For more than 60 years we have developed our products very closely together with Ferrari and we ensure that every technological advantage developed for Ferrari is passed directly through to the motorist. Shell V-Power fuels and Shell Helix Ultra with PurePlus technology are our top products and have been tested by Ferrari in the world’s most extreme automotive testbed. One of the proudest moments of our relationship is, of course, when we see the direct impact of these products on performance. What could be better?
One of the proudest moments of our relationship is, of course, when we see the direct impact of these products to performance.
The partnership with Ferrari has developed over the years into an incredibly strong bond. We push one another forward every step of the way and we are very confident that our relationship will continue to reach new heights. We invest in Formula 1 mainly to demonstrate the strength of our fuels and lubricants, and for this reason, increased sales of our premium products is one measurement of the relationship.
Another important aim is brand awareness and customer activation/retention. Certainly, the partnership provides an excellent marketing communications platform and is widely leveraged across Shell in different countries.
Shell and Ferrari are continually pushing the boundaries of technology to come together as two of the world’s most recognised names in motorsport. Working with Ferrari is such a pleasure for us – the ultimate passion and commitment of everybody who works for and with Ferrari is unique, it’s mind-blowing. We have a very honest and loyal relationship that goes above and beyond a normal sponsorship, I think this is precisely what made it so strong.
The business of Formula 1
It’s no secret that the Formula 1 industry was and still is the pinnacle of motorsport business – the “crème de la crème”. The sport continues to lead the way in terms of technological development, efficiency and innovation, and advances found in the sport regularly find their way into the cars driven by everyday people – something that is crucially important for Shell – to ensure that development for Ferrari is passed directly through to the motorist. For example, take traction and electronic stability control, both of which are now mandatory for modern road cars.
This has been particularly true since the 2014 season, which saw Formula 1 enter a new, greener era. Energy efficiency is now one of the key factors for the teams and their technical partners as they work together to meet the demands of new regulations. In the long term, this will bring benefits to road users, and, ultimately, auto manufacturers.
Formula 1 and various businesses have intertwined and grown together since the dawn of this sport. What’s important in the modern era is the way of addressing the maximisation of business opportunities around Formula 1. The sport observes and considers the needs of big companies and, giving them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have to offer to large-scale audiences, helps companies grow and spread their message, which is a fundamental part of business improvement.