"If you build it, they will come." That oft-misquoted line from 1980s' schmaltz-fest Field Of Dreams doesn't usually get a run out on Formula One websites but, trust us, this time it's appropriate.
When Brazil's bank of the people and Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One® Team (AMF1 Team) partner XP decided to dip its toe into the F1 waters, it did so with the ambition to take the sport to the people. Obviously, it couldn't offer Brazilian Grand Prix tickets to the whole country – imagine those Interlagos queues! – but it did the next best thing.
What goes on tour…
Kicking off this week is a six-month national tour of some of Brazil's largest cities – Sao Paulo, Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte and Porto Alegre – with a portable, immersive Formula One experience visiting some of the country's largest shopping malls.
And in true 'people power' fashion, it's open and free for everyone.
"We want to get closer to the Brazilian fans of motor racing and bring the universe of F1 closer to the greatest number of people possible," explains Lisandro Lopez, Chief Marketing Officer of XP Inc. "We want to invest in projects that connect with our brand values – performance, resilience and persistence – and this exhibition will provide a completely immersive and exclusive experience for everyone."
What's in the box?
Central to the exhibition experience will be a replica model of AMF1 Team's Grand Prix car – situated right at the centre of the stand, it's accessible from all angles and allows fans to really get up-close and personal with a piece of F1 exotica.
A pair of racing simulators have also been installed – with a multi-screen display for full immersion – and will be available for fans to sample. Visitors will get the chance to set the best time possible around the Interlagos circuit in the AMR22, with prizes on offer for the fastest three times at each location, and an F1 Experience tickets to this year's São Paulo Grand Prix up for grabs for the best overall time throughout the roadshow.
Elsewhere, there will be an opportunity to pose for a virtual photo with the team's race drivers, an interactive reaction test to test people's reflexes and a display of authentic race memorabilia, including a set of overalls, race gloves and crash helmet. An AMF1 Team and XP shop will sell official team merchandise.
"It's a sign of XP's ambition that they have taken on this considerable undertaking to bring Formula One closer to Brazilian fans," says Rob Bloom, AMF1 Team's Chief Marketing Officer.
"As the sport enjoys an enormous burst of global popularity, it's worth remembering that Brazil has long been an F1 heartland – and the country's legendary racing heroes have left their indelible mark on Grand Prix history. This initiative underlines XP's connection to the Brazilian people and their historic love of F1.
"XP's travelling F1 exhibition sits alongside a significant investment the company has made in Brazilian sports talent. Together with XP, we are proud to be able to play our part in this journey."
The roadshow will start in Sao Paulo (April 29-May 18) then travel through Brasília (May 27-June 15), Rio de Janeiro (June 8-July 27) and Belo Horizonte (August 4-28), before returning to São Paulo for Expert – the largest investment festival in the world held by XP. From there, it heads to Porto Alegre and then back to São Paulo once again for November's Brazilian Grand Prix at the legendary Interlagos racetrack.
29 April–18 May, Higienópolis Shopping Mall, São Paulo
27 May–15 June, Iguatemi Shopping Mall, Brasília
8 July–27July, Village Mall, Rio de Janeiro
4–28 August, Shopping BH, Belo Horizonte
31 August–3 September, EXPERT, São Paulo
12 September–1 October, Iguatemi Shopping Mall, Porto Alegre
27 October–5 November, Casa Bossa, São Paulo
Felipe joins the action
Central to XP's push across Brazil is its involvement with reigning Formula Two champion and AMF1 Team reserve driver Felipe Drugovich. The 22-year-old narrowly missed out on making his Grand Prix debut earlier this year after deputising for the injured Lance Stroll during pre-season testing. The fact that Lance made a stunning return to the cockpit for the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix takes nothing away from the stellar job Felipe did for the team during testing.
According to Lopez, the aim of the partnership and the summer roadshow is to strengthen Brazil's motorsport identity and to instil whole communities with the belief that the country can once again transport a homegrown hero to the very front of the Grand Prix grid.
"We believe AMF1 Team and Drugovich will put our country back on the map," he adds. "If we look back at the national heroes we have had in the sport, such as the eternal Ayrton Senna, we know exactly what Brazilian drivers can achieve. We have an extraordinary track record with motorsport, and we are fully committed to investing and updating that legacy."
For Felipe, it's an incredible opportunity to connect further with the fanatical Brazilian fanbase. "As a Brazilian racing driver, I feel the privilege and responsibility of upholding the legacy established by my country's greatest heroes," he says. "I know the hunger for Formula One still burns brightly in Brazil – that's borne out by the packed grandstands full of passionate fans each year in Interlagos; but it goes deeper.
"XP's desire to reach out to the people in cities across the whole country shows how we can deepen that connection – showcasing not just the technical and emotional marvels of Formula One but stirring the pride and enthusiasm of the whole country. I am proud to be playing my part and will be taking the opportunity to join in on the activities when I can."
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