Old boy stays in touch

Sahara Force India is continuing its partnership with the Hype Energy drink company in 2016. Hype branding will be seen on the cockpit of the VJM09, the inside of the rear wing end plate, as well as on the drivers’ suits.

Hype’s involvement in F1 began as long ago as 1995, soon after the drink was launched by Barry Cox, the man who had previously founded the Hard Rock Cafe brand. From the start the company invested heavily in motorsport, backing the Arrows F1 team and later Benetton and Williams, in addition to sponsorship in NASCAR and motorcycle racing. This created a level of recognition.

In 1997 the former F1 driver and Le Mans 24 Hours winner Bertrand Gachot became the French distributor of the brand. Gachot started his F1 career with Moneytron Onyx in 1989 and then moved on to try to qualify for Rial and Coloni before joining the new Jordan Grand Prix in 1991, alongside Andrea de Cesaris. That same year Bertrand won the Le Mans 24 Hours in a Mazdaspeed Mazda 787B, partnered by Volker Weidler and Johnny Herbert.

Ironically, he is probably best remembered for an incident in London when he had an altercation with a  taxi driver and used a self-defence spray which led to him being sent to prison for two months. This opened the way for Michael Schumacher to make his F1 debut at Spa. Gachot returned to F1 and joined the Larrousse team in 1992. He dropped out of F1 in 1993, working with Keith Wiggins to create the Pacific Grand Prix team, of which he was a shareholder. The team never had sufficient money and had to rely on pay-drivers.. It closed down at the end of 1995.

Experience with drinks companies in F1 led Gachot to invest in Hype and in 1998 he began negotiating to buy the entire company. The deal was completed in 2000 and Gachot has concentrated on that ever since. The drink is now sold in 45 countries and is a major player in the Middle East and North Africa.  Hype sells around 100 million cans of drink a year.

“Last year, thanks to the great successes of the team, the Hype brand enjoyed huge growth and strengthened its global position,” Gachot said. “I enjoy working with this team and from a personal perspective it’s a natural choice: I was involved with the team since its creation in 1990 and raced for them in 1991. Now, as a sponsor, I’m proud to still work with some of the same people as I did as a racing driver. I have immense faith in them.”

20 thoughts on “Old boy stays in touch

    1. Red Bull drink makes me hyper and puts me on the ceiling, or gives me the trots.

      You should see it when both occur simultaneously.

      Absolutely no pun intended.

  1. You said the brand would be on the inside of the rear wing end plates; seems to me it might be very hard to see on TV, and even more so live. Still, good for Bertrand, and as martyj12 thinks, could get Diageo backing.

  2. I understand that Gachot / Hype were the ones who paid for / engineered the one off appearance for Andre Lotterer a couple of years ago now. Shame that was with such a junk car. I would love to have seen him race in something like FIF1.

  3. Could this be some manoeuvring by Mallya Joe in light of what you have mentioned about his assets and ‘value’ any of them might have to possible buyers when he needs to move on?

    Or is the team just signing a bigger sponsor?

          1. So it’s a few million quid for the outside of the “turning vane” space on two sides of the car. What is the cost of an advert on the inside vane?

  4. “Hype sells around 100 million cans of drink a year.”

    At 20 cents per can for the brand (i’m being generous), that is a nice business. It is great that Hype and Gachot love F1. But F1 needs companies with selling muscle, something more than a clever name.

  5. Maybe it says more about me and my preferences, but I can honestly say I’ve never heard of the Hype brand here in the USA.

    Or would that be an indictment of racing sponsorship exposure in general?

    1. Maybe you do not live in one of the company’s major markets (shocking though that may be) or perhaps you do not visit the kind of places where Hype would be sold or imbibed.

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