Much like a popular German carmaker, Force India has commissioned a well-known artist to paint one of its Formula 1 cars. But instead of relegating it to a museum, the England-based team will auction it off after the inaugural Indian Grand Prix in October.
Tapping the services of Dexter Brown, a fixture in the automotive art scene for almost three decades, Force India handed over to the artist the VJM01-05, which the team's then-driver Giancarlo Fisichella drove in the 2008 season.
"When I was approached by Erik Meijer to paint an Art Car, I was immediately excited by the project," said Brown. "Of course, it's not the first car I've painted, but it's the first time I've had the chance to work with a modern Formula 1 car. The last car I painted was a BMW in Genoa in 1993, but the Formula 1 car was a different challenge because I had to work around the complex bodywork. It's great to be involved in such a unique project and I look forward to seeing the reaction of the public."
Brown's hand-painted Formula 1 car will be displayed at several high-profile events in the lead up to the British Grand Prix on July 10 followed by its official presentation at Force India's post-race party. Formula 1 drivers and motorsports legends have been invited to sign the Art Car with the sport's boss, Bernie Ecclestone, given the honor to be the first to add his signature to the car.
The Force India Art Car will then be auctioned off in October after the inaugural Indian Grand Prix. The funds raised will be split between the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and Force India Academy, which will give youngsters in India the chance to get involved in motorsports.
"Seeing one of my Formula 1 cars transformed into a painting is a wonderful initiative that combines two of my greatest passions: cars and art," said Force India team principal and owner Vijay Mallya. "I wish to thank Dexter for producing this exquisite piece of work, which I am sure will be of great interest to art collectors around the world, and will raise valuable funds for charity."