picture posted prior to RB12 livery launch
19 years ago the Spice Girls along with Mika Häkkinen and David Coulthard hit the stage at London’s iconic venue, the ‘Ally Pally’, to launch the latest Woking prototype racing machine – the MP4-12. The British girl band had just released their album ‘Spice’ and were in global demand. This was a spectacular and expensive occasion for McLaren.
These were the heady days of F1 car reveals, when fans and journalists, having hunkered down for the winter with no social media, were treated to extravaganzas extraordinaire.
In their final year as Benetton, the Enstone team stepped it up to another level when they hired St. Mark’s Square in Venice for the unveiling of their 2001 F1 car. Autosport records that the car slowly became visible from behind an enormous fish tank – as though the incredible setting and massive public square was not dramatic enough.
In 2004 Renault hired the largest Opera House in Italy to launch their F1 challenger and in 2007, having just signed Fernando Alonso, McLaren headed to Valencia to launch the MP4-22. 100,000 fans were reported to have turned out for the event and the Cirque de Soleil were hired to perform for the crowd. This was followed by a huge fireworks display, before the evening’s finale from renowned violinist Vanessa-Mae.
However, the glamorous days of expensive car launches and chartered flights for the media to the Guinness factory in Dublin (March Team 1981) are well and truly over and this year just Red Bull Racing and Renault will hold special ‘non-virtual’ events to launch their 2016 F1 cars. The imminent RBR reveal will be a ‘livery only’ update presumed to have the purpose of giving sponsors value. The build up to the big reveal has featured PUMA and the twitter marketing campaign #FasterTogether.
— Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) February 17, 2016
However, as usual Red Bull Racing are set to surprise everyone again when the first glimpse of their 2016 livery is revealed…
The F1 media are generally unimpressed with the majority of teams not bothering to do a proper launch, this sentiment was epitomised by Adam Cooper who tweeted, “A lot of media people at RBR livery launch in London. A lesson for those rolling out new cars en masse on Monday in Spain. The point being that media coverage for those teams doing no PR before Monday will be massively diluted.”
Red Bull as a brand are known to value highly the click rates they receive on the internet for any marketing their brand is involved with. The launch of the RB12 livery was held in Brick Lane London in what some described as a ‘big shed’.
The video began, silencing the assembled crowd and the voice of Daniel Ricciardo announced: “2016. New Season. New car. New partner.”
After a rather rambling performance from David Coulthard who restated the Red Bull mantra about F1 racing not being so exciting over the past two years with Mercedes winning everything. He reaffirmed Red Bull Racing’s commitment to ‘competitiveness’, stating this was the team’s raison d’être.
Next up appeared Christian Horner and a representative of the Puma brand to announce their new love/partnership and the Puma representative explained the innovation required to design an F1 team’s race kit. Apparently this level of detail includes how to save “grammes” on the weight of the drivers race boots, though Horner joked the drivers have done “bugger all – all winter.”
After what was described by Sky’s Craig Slater as a ‘dancing thing’ under strobe lighting, the Red Bull car, drivers and new matt finish RB12 2016 livery was introduced.
So it’s time for the TJ13 readers’ judgement.