I unexpectedly started watching Formula 1 racing last 2019 as I watched it live in one of the last races before the world closed for a couple of years. I saw Sebastian Vettel lift the trophy and it was my first time to see a driver kiss the trophy (although that is a common practice in other sports of course) and my thought was, I hope someone cleaned it beforehand. If you watched the Japan Grand Prix awarding ceremony last September 24, you might have seen something different when Red Bull’s Max Verstappen lifted his trophy.
Lenovo, the sponsor of the Japan Grand Prix and the upcoming USA Grand Prix in October, partnered with a design firm to come up with a truly unique prize for the respective winners. It’s a trophy that is “activated” by a kiss from the winner, since they always kiss it anyway. The winning driver will be guided to a certain spot in the trophy by indicator lights that say “Kiss Me” and when they finally lock lips with their precious, it will light up with the colors of their national flag. So at the Japan Grand Prix, we saw the trophy light up with the Netherlands colors. It doesn’t seem to do the same for the constructor’s trophy and for the 2nd and 3rd placers so it’s something special for the winner.
They used a touch-sensitive micro-switch technology to create this unique thing for the races that they sponsored. The trophy itself is actually shaped like the air intake on the F1 cars according to Lenovo. And to represent the brand’s own logo, there’s a parametric pattern found on the trophy. F1 enthusiasts and anyone interested will also be able to see the kiss-activated trophy again on October 21 at the awarding ceremony for the US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas.
The lights on the trophy seemed a little faint though when Verstappen took to the Podium so it didn’t look so impressive at first glance. And it seems to remain lighted only for a few seconds so it was kind of anti-climactic. Hopefully the one that we’ll see in Austin later this month will have a bit more pomp and circumstance to it.