As the new F1 Grand Prix season gathers pace there is a growing excitement among racing fans, the departure of Michael Schumacher from Ferrari has left a void in the motor racing world both for Ferrari and for motor racing fans in general.
The good news of course is that Lewis Hamilton has already stepped into the void and has become the new focus for much media attention, Ferrari will lament the fact that they never got the chance to sign this new exciting talent but what are the odds on Lewis driving for Ferrari in the near future?
One of the great spectacles of F1 racing is the colour and razzmatazz can be seen at the circuits on race day, each circuit location has its loyal followers and of course these numbers are swelled by the travelling fans who follow motor racing. The colours are vibrant for each team which is reflected through the fans, there is a growing trend to wear F1 clothing from the top teams and you will now see everything form race suits to jackets and caps at each circuit.
The wearing of F1 team clothing was driven by the success of glamorous teams such as Ferrari, McLaren and Jordan, this has now been so popular that you will see all the popular team colours worn in everyday life and of course supermodels such as Jordan herself has regularly been pictured in the yellow of her F1 team namesake.
Of course the glamorous lifestyle of the top racing drivers and their accompanying entourage is a great advert for these new styles and people want to be like their role models. The coverage on television is now spread over two days with the interviews and pre-race coverage profiling the F1 bandwagon in all its glory.
At Silverstone the crowd was alive with excitement and the stands were a sea of flags, colour and regalia for Lewis Hamilton. The sheer excitement of the qualifying session could be felt almost through the television screen and one could sense that when Lewis hit the hot lap in the final seonds that every lounge in the UK was full of fans leaping around waving flags.
Of course it is not just flags, fans are wearing t-shirts and drinking their tea in mugs whilst sporting all amnner of merchandise. The increase in demand for this type of sports clothing has now led to teams really starting to work on their merchandise.
Perhaps the most striking evidence of this increase is the emergence of the top F1 teams into the retail market through the Internet, all have now heavily invested into this arena and of course they are feeding a growing market.
The sales through Internet channels are boosted by Ebay and Kelkoo and of course Froogle (the Google shopping portal), it is predicted that this market will double over the next 12 months and the renewed interest in F1 thanks to Lewis Hamilton and competitive racing will influence this further.
Such is the importance of image and design now in this growing market that fashion designers and fashion moguls have been seconded in to create the latest stunning range of fashionable merchandise, a look at the latest range of apparel will reveal a stunning line of clothing, a second look will reveal this clothing not just at the trackside but also in the playground, the park, the High St and all aspects of everyday life.
In fact it is not just the adult males who are wearing it, the trend has migrated to teenagers wearing caps and t-shirts and youngsters who want to be wearing the latest Ferrari or McLaren race suit when they are playing in the garden and it has also taken F1 fashion to the female population. The fact that it is quite normal now to see a lady walking down the street in the latest clothing and this shows just how far this trend has gone because the ultimate purveyors of fashion are women.
Yes the new season is reaching new heights and even though Lewis didnt win at Silverstone he still made the podium and still leads the championship. The battle for the drivers and constructors championship is warming up and the competition in 'retail land' looks set to be heating up too.
Shaun Parker has been at the forefront of the
F1 merchandise industry bringing the latest in F1 fashion to the public. The current face of Formula 1 fashion is changing dramatically.