Indian industrialist Gautam Singhania on Wednesday made an announcement that the Raymond Group of Companies will now be designing and manufacturing an exclusive line of garments for the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA). The news about the F1 Raymond deal was made by the Chairman and Managing Director of the company on his official Twitter handle. Gautam Singhania wrote that the F1 Raymond Deal was a proud moment for the company. Here's the tweet, which was also retweeted by Singhania's good friend and the current head coach of the Indian cricket team, Ravi Shastri -
A proud moment for #Raymond to be associated with @fia for designing & manufacturing an exclusive line of garments. @TheRaymondLtd #fia #motorsport #formula #F1 #race #sport #cars #racing #garments #design #raymond pic.twitter.com/fMnkiMn5PW— Gautam Singhania (@SinghaniaGautam) May 13, 2020
Gautam Singhania was elected to FIA’s World Motor Sports Council (WMSC) back in December 2017. He replaced Vijay Mallya, the former owner of now defunct Sahara Force India F1 team, who stepped down from the post in July that year. The WMSC comprises 14 members apart from the seven Vice-Presidents and one Deputy President. It deals with all the FIA global sporting matters for all its sporting disciplines and the term for the elected members is 4 years.
While speaking to Economic Times in 2018, Gautam Singhania had said that he doesn't think F1 in India is commercially workable. Back then, he had said that the money paid by Jaypee [promoters of the Indian Grand Prix] to the F1 management was huge and If that kind of money is used to promote motorsport in India, it will be a far better option. He had said that F1 is very glamorous but he has a bigger agenda than bringing F1 to India.
Looking at Indian industrialist's racing career, the 53-year-old has gone on to take part in many races and even secured the second position in the overall standings in his maiden full season in Coppa Shell at the Ferrari Challenge Series EU in 2015. In that year, he secured 10 podiums overall in the Championship including a maiden win at Mugello, Italy.
Raymond is not the first Indian company to be associated with the international motorsports body. Back in 2009, the Tata Group made its presence felt after Ferrari decided to use the logo of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) in their F1 cars. It was for the first time that any Indian brand's logo was seen on Ferrari car.
In 2011, the Sahara Group bought a 42.5% stake in the Force One F1 team worth $100 million. The Sahara Group signed an agreement with Vijay Mallya’s UB Group for the same.
Another company from the Tata group, Tata Communications decided to put an end to its sponsorship agreement with F1 after an eight-year association, in January 2020. Tata Communications served as a provider of telecommunications solutions and services and contributed significantly to sport’s digital transformation since 2012. During their time in F1, Tata worked with teams like Mercedes and Williams.
The FIA also comprises of Formula E races. The motorsport competition also has a team owned by the Mahindra Group of Companies.
(IMAGE: GAUTAM SINGHANIA / TWITTER)