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Fifteen classic Formula 1 TV commercials

Submitted by on March 12, 2013

Shell celebrated its 50th anniversary in racing with one of the most creative TV/cinema commercials with Ferrari. For us ‘retro’ists. It was $4m well spent. Let’s take a look at some other classic Formula 1 TV ads.

By Andy Hallbery & Rich Fowler

James Hunt for Texaco

These two classic Texaco commercials feature British comedy duo, Eric Morecambe, Ernie Wise and James Hunt. Classic

Jackie Stewart for Ford Pinto

Who knew a Ford Pinto was faster than a Honda Civic onto the motorway?

Aytron Senna for Shell 

In the 1980s/90s, F1 drivers were all legends in Japan, and everyone seemed to be in ads, Satoru Nakajima, Aguzi Suzuki, Johnny Herbert and Mika Hakkinen, but the absolute darling of the Japanese fans was Ayrton Senna – who must have been on TV there 23 hours a day!

Aytron Senna for Honda

Mika Hakkinen for Mercedes

Mercedes has always gone by the ethos “Stars & Cars”, and the German company’s motorsport-related ad campaigns have relied on the former to sell the latter.

Perhaps its most famous was a trilogy of ads starring Formula 1 World Champion Mika Hakkinen and Wimbledon tennis winner Boris Becker. They drove around London, raced at Brands Hatch and maybe the best of the three, played golf in the future.

Golf 2029


Brands Hatch, You Drive

Then Michael Schumacher joined the three-pointed star. Oh, and Franz Beckenbauer. Heaven sent!

Mercedes also produced perhaps one of the best modern day ads, with three World Champions.

Gilles Villeneuve for American Express

The budget wasn’t big and the quality of this video is poor, however ladies and gentlemen AMEX presents Gilles Villeneuve, actor!

Michael Schumacher for L’Oreal

We could only bring ourselves to feature one of these ads, here is why.

Damon Hill and Murray Walker for Pizza Hut

Murray reminding us how cool he is.

Tell us which ad is your favourite or any classics that we have missed

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