Honda Formula One bosses are believed to be plotting a “green” makeover for the racing team next season, which may involve changing its livery to green, according to one source.
It is said to be overhauling its environmental policy and believes “green” will be a powerful marketing strategy in 2007.
Honda F1 has been managed by Simon Fuller’s 19 Entertainment since February and is due to announce its season livery and sponsorship deals in the New Year.
In an exclusive interview with Marketing Week earlier this year, Fuller revealed that he believes F1 can be as “big as the Olympics” but needs to market itself better to younger consumers (MW March 2). Latching on to an environmentally aware message is thought to be one way of doing this.
Plans are said to include the team putting solar panels on the roofs of transport trucks and motor homes. A subsidiary of Honda, Honda Soltec, produces next-generation solar cells.
The change in strategy follows previous headline sponsor British American Tobacco walking away from the sport, which has tough new regulations on tobacco sponsorship.
Honda team boss Nick Fry has already said the car will not be covered in Honda logos and will not sport the red and white colours of BAT. He is a keen green supporter and last year said energy efficiency was a more important design goal than pure power, mooting hybrid cars as a future direction.
Honda’s environmental stance will put it ahead of its rivals. Two months ago, governing body FIA confirmed it was pushing ahead with plans to promote renewable energy in the sport after reaching an agreement with the teams to introduce it “within the next five years”.