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Formula One Wrap Up: February

W
ith the 2021 Formula One (F1) season set to begin in late March, here are the latest business moves in the global motorsport competition.

BWT joins Aston Martin

Aston Martin has signed a multi-year renewal with the Austrian water treatment technology company Best Water Technology (BWT).

BWT was previously the title sponsor of the team when they were formerly known as Force India and then Racing Point.

Although they will support the team in a lowered capacity this season, their logo will still appear on Aston Martin’s 2021 car.

They will also work with the team to improve their sustainability, notably in plastic waste management.

Aston Martin is also joining forces with Peroni Libera 0.0, signing a multi-year deal.

Their branding will feature on the team’s livery and kits for the upcoming 2021 season.

Formula One considers African GP

Africa is being eyed as a potential continent for expansion in F1.

Speaking at the BlackBook Motorsport Virtual Summit, Formula One’s global director of race promotion, Chloe Targett-Adams, said the racing competition is considering expanding its calendar.

“Africa is a continent that we don’t race in, and that is just wrong,” Targett-Adams said.

“It’s somewhere that we very much want, it’s the priority – we’ve been in talks with possible options for a few years.

“We’re hoping that, ultimately, we will be able to achieve a race there in the near to mid-term,” she said.

South Africa and Morocco are seen as likely candidates, with the last African-based GP held in Kyalami in South Africa in 1993.

Targett-Adams also emphasised the Asian market is a high priority for F1.

She cited how the young and business-oriented demographic make it an attractive continent for racing.

Vaccines for Bahrain declined

Formula One has declined Bahrain’s offer to have all pre-season testing and grand prix personnel vaccinated.

The country said this was a part of its vaccine rollout program, which includes events held in Bahrain.

In February, Formula One president, Stefano Domenicali, said those involved in the sport did not need to be given priority.

“The priority is the most vulnerable,” Domenicali said.

“We don’t want to jump the line of vaccination,” he said.

F1 teams are expected to respond in the same way.

With eight of the ten constructors based in the United Kingdom, F1 personnel are most likely to receive vaccinations in their home country once eligible.

Sprint race still an option

In an effort to increase engagement with younger demographics, discussions continue around including sprint races to grand prix weekends.

Domenicali said there have been mixed reviews from stakeholders, but is appreciative of the feedback.

“The idea that we have shared – and I think has received great feedback from everyone in the sport – is that we will try to figure out something that will give us a qualifying on Friday, [then] Saturday a sprint race that will determine the grid order for the Sunday race,” Domenicali said in a statement.

Ferrari appears to be in support of sprint races with team principal, Mattia Binotto, speaking positively about the potential entertainment value.

“We believe that making changes for more spectacle and eventually for unpredictable races will be great,” Binotto said.

“We support a change because that change will somehow achieve those goals and objectives,” he said.

The 2021 Formula One season will begin in Bahrain on March 26.