May the Fourth be with you, it’s Star Wars Day! So what better time to take a look back at one of, if not the most awesome sponsorship deal in F1 history, the day the Galactic Empire took over Red Bull Racing. This wasn’t your usual kind of sponsor deal, Lucas and his crew went all-out at Monaco in 2005.
From Darkside powered engines to Stormtrooper pitcrews, below shows when Star Wars took over Red Bull. When a new F1 sponsor comes to town we know what to expect, countless press-releases about how ‘the team are happy to welcome… blah blah blah!’. But this is Star Wars and this was going to be big.
With the latest, last or third (whatever) film “Revenge of the Sith” getting a preview for Monaco Grand Prix guests, Lucas secured a sponsorship deal with the newly formed Red Bull Racing team and to say this sponsorship deal was ‘over the top’ is an understatement.
The RB1 had a makeover for the Monaco Grand Prix. The usual Red Bull livery was replaced with “Powered by the Dark Side” stickers, a picture of Darth Vader and flames that would be more suited to a hot-wheels car.
It wouldn’t be a sponsorship deal without a team photo, but this wasn’t your usual F1 sponsor. A fleet of Stormtroopers were there to escort team personnel around and protect the motorhome, which even had a facelift of it’s own.
Then we had quite possibly the most ingenious part, the pit crew. Yeah, you guessed it, the pitcrew were dressed as Stormtroopers, so obvious yet so good. But what about the front-jack man? Who else but Darth Vader. Oh, did I mention his lollipop sign was a lightsaber? Awesome!
Below is a video from when the team met George Lucas.
The team failed to get the podium Mr. Lucas wanted, in fact they didn’t even get any points.