After running in an almost entirely white livery for the limited amount of testing completed so far, Brawn GP have started to announce sponsors for the squad. Earlier today it was announced that clothing company Henri Lloyd will have their logos on the BGP 001, and apparently the squad are also on the verge of signing a deal with Richard Branson’s Virgin group. The news that the team now has commercial partners is a good sign for the future, and the Virgin deal is potentially very interesting.
Richard Branson had been in talks with Honda over the possible purchase of the team before it was decided that a management buyout would be the better option. It isn’t entirely known how far these talks went, but clearly they were closed in relatively mutual way because Branson is still keen on involving in company with Formula One. At the time, Branson spoke of wanting the sport to change before he involved himself and his company fully.
It has been reported in the The Times that Branson has cut short a holiday to fly to Melbourne and finalise the deal himself, leading many to believe that Virgin could become a major backer of the team (although The Times suspect Virgin will not become the primary sponsor).
An announcement is now expected tomorrow or at some point over weekend, and the cars could still be re-liveried prior to the race. Regarding the Henri Lloyd deal, team owner Ross Brawn had the following to say:
The Brawn GP team has faced a race against time to complete our preparations for the first race of the season in Melbourne and we would like to thank Henri Lloyd for sharing our vision for the future of the team and their commitment in ensuring that the team’s identity will be so well reflected in our team clothing and merchandise this year. Ross Brawn.
Image © Brawn GP.