For the last Formula 1 race of his career, David Coulthard will be running a new livery on his chassis in Brazil. The livery is white with stripes, a brown front, and only minimally branded with Red Bull logos. The main writing on the car is Wings for Life, a charity created by Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz.
At Silverstone in 2007, for the British Grand Prix, the team ran a special Faces for Charity livery. Fans were invited to donate some money, and submit a picture of themselves, which would be given space on the car. The end result was a giant montage of faces covering both Coulthard and Webber’s cars. I participated, and was somewhere on Webber’s car. I never found myself, even though I scoured the pictures for ages. The last known figure for the campaign was that it had raised over $1 million.
This weekend is all about Coulthard though, and he says he is dedicating his last race to the charity. Even his overalls are white, and just the helmet remains the same. Presumably this is more about awareness than raising money, as I don’t know of any schemes for donation this time round, but the car really stands out and will do the job well. Hopefully, Coulthard will be able to make it to the end of the race, completing all the laps, to get the maximum exposure possible.
The Wings for Life charity is a research foundation that are trying to find a cure for spinal cord injuries. Coulthard compares the charity to racing saying that although Formula 1 is super quick, and research can take time, the end result is the same. Both want to get to the finish line as soon as possible. More information about Wings for Life can be found at their website.
Other changes in Brazil seem to be limited to those running their home race. Barrichello, Piquet and Massa are all performing in front of their home fans, and have made changes to their outfits. Barrichello has a new helmet design and his shoes are also different. Piquet has a new helmet design incorporating elements of the Brazilian flag.