Force India have invited artist, Dexter Brown round to their factory with his pots of paint and given him a canvas. It is a rather expensive canvas however, a VJM01, as raced by Giancarlo Fisichella in the 2008 season.
Whilst not exactly a successful chassis, VJM01-05 did score possibly a tenth place finish in Giancarlo's hands at Spain in 2008. The car which has been painted featured in sixteen of the eighteen races that season.
The VJM01 was a development of the F8-V11B car which took Spyker to their one and only world championship point, (Japan 2007) and was re designated after Vijay Mallya, Jan Mol and Michiel Mol purchased the team from the low volume supercar maker.
The result of the collaboration is the worlds first hand painted modern F1 machine. The work will be auctioned off to raise funds for chairty later in the year after a whistle stop tour of the UK in the run up to this weekend's British Grand Prix. The car will stop by the F1 Ball at the Natural History Museum in London tomorrow night before going on to the Hurlingham Club for the Grand Prix Ball. The car will be officially presented at the post race bash on Sunday.
VJM-05 goes under the hammer after the inaugural Indian Grand Prix in October. Proceeds from the auction will be split between Great Ormond Street Childrens Hostpital and the Force India drivers academy. As for the opening bid, if you have to ask you can't afford because on top of Dexter's work, big names from the world of F1 will be signing the car.
Bernie Ecclestone is among the confirmed celebs to sign the car. He will add his contribution at the F1 Ball on Wednesday.
The project was thought up by Linda Balzanella and Erik Meijer, the founders of Intentio Partners. They are now working on a limited edition book which will be published by Opus, about the Art Car project. The first edition of the book will also be presented at the Indian race in October.
Vijay Mallya said,
“Seeing one of my Formula One cars transformed into a painting is a wonderful initiative that combines two of my greatest passions: cars and art. 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.”
Dexter Brown added, “When I was approached by Erik Meijer to paint an Art Car, I was immediately excited by the project. 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 One car. The last car I painted was a BMW in Genoa in 1993, but the Formula One 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.”