F1 Trophies Are Becoming Sponsorship Logos. Is Anything Sacred Anymore?

Sheiban ShakeriSenior Analyst ISeptember 14, 2008

First, congratulations to Sebastien Vettel for winning the Italian Grand Prix. It was a master drive and he sure as heck didn't put a foot wrong.

As well, this is the first time since the 2006 Chinese Grand Prix that the two anthems at the end were of Germany and Italy, respectively, and it was for a fellow by the name of Michael Schumacher. Anybody remember that guy?

But what was bothersome for me was the trophy that was presented at the end. It was eerily shaped in the logo of a bank that shall remain unnamed. I don't want to poo-poo Vettel's moment because I think he earned this through a lot of hard work and dedication, but this is rather bothersome.

Sure, sponsorship contracts dictate how much airtime sponsor x receives and how much coverage they should get, but come on, shaping your trophies to that company's logo? I think that's pushing into the sacred.

We all know that Formula 1 is a business, and a very lucrative one too. Bernie Ecclestone makes more money than I care to imagine at each race!

With this bank-that-shall-not-be-named sponsoring a couple of races this year, it brings a lot of airtime to this company, more money to Bernie, and has prompted me to invest in shares through the fantasy stock exchange that I participate in, even though it was a terrible idea!

Three events were sponsored so far by this bank and two of them had this logo-shaped trophy. In my opinion, that's not cool! I would very much rather keep the trophies for these old and historical tracks to keep that historical feel.

Think about it like this: Sebastien Vettel won the Italian Grand Prix in Monza today, and he has followed in the steps of Alberto Ascari, Juan Manuel Fangio, Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher and many others; he should get some similar hardware to commemorate that as a sort of connection to the past.

This isn't Nascar where sponsorship is quite possibly the biggest catalyst. Everything that had to do with Formula 1 was seen as an art, which includes the trophies that were presented at the end; from the crystal vase in Montreal to the silver steering wheel in Budapest.

Without the need for a trophy shaped like this logo, I still know of this bank's existence, I still know of the services they offer, and I still know what the logo looks like because it's pasted everywhere during the race broadcasts. Logos are fine, but please let the trophies be trophies.