Geneva, Thursday 7 March 2019 – Next week the 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship™ starts with the FORMULA 1 ROLEX AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX 2019. Motor sport’s pinnacle series will take to the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit from Friday 15 to Sunday 17 March, launching the 70th Formula 1® championship. Formula 1® attracts fans from across the world, captivated by the sport’s cutting-edge technology and its remarkable athletes in their quest for perfection. The competition’s enduring spirit, as well as its commitment to bold performance and innovation, aligns closely with Rolex’s own passion for continuous excellence. This season, Rolex marks its seventh consecutive year as a Global Partner and the Official Timepiece of Formula 1®.
In a move to improve overtaking, the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and Formula 1® have introduced rules reducing aerodynamic turbulence from the front and rear wing, encouraging the cars to follow each other in close proximity. Rolex Testimonee and multiple Formula 1® race winner Mark Webber explains their impact: “The new regulations are designed to encourage drivers to get into a position to overtake. The cars should be more predictable, meaning the drivers will be more confident about creating exciting passing opportunities. There’s definitely a lot to look forward to this season and I think there will be a good fight for the championship. I hope it goes deep into the year – I really believe it will.”
The 2019 season, spanning March to December and consisting of 21 races around the world, will feature several milestones. Next month’s FORMULA 1 HEINEKEN CHINESE GRAND PRIX 2019 will be the championship’s 1,000th Grand Prix™. Since its first race in May 1950, Formula 1® has pioneered technology across the globe, showcasing legendary drivers behind the wheel of the most advanced racing cars. This May, the FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX DE MONACO 2019 celebrates 90 years since the inaugural race around the Principality’s famous streets and almost a century later the circuit still paves a virtually identical route. Rolex Testimonee and 2016 FIA Formula 1® Drivers’ World Champion Nico Rosberg highlights the importance of celebrating the sport’s past: “I’m very proud of the great heritage of Formula 1 and the small part I have played in its history. I look forward to being involved in these landmark occasions, to reflect and reminisce on the sport’s tremendous legacy and its exceptional achievements. Formula 1 continues to be one of the most technologically advanced sports in the world and these attributes – legacy, excellence and innovation – fit perfectly with Rolex.”
On 7 September 2019 at Monza (Italy), Sir Jackie Stewart, a Rolex Testimonee for more than half a century and three-time FIA Formula 1® Drivers’ World Champion, will celebrate 50 years to the day since he clinched his first championship. The Scottish legend, who marks the occasion at the same circuit where he sealed the crown in 1969, reflects on the milestone: “I’ve always felt emotion is dangerous for a racing driver, but I hope there is a little flush of it when I get to Monza this year. I’m incredibly proud, and fortunate, to have seen the sport grow in prestige as well as from a safety perspective, it’s a wonderful story. To honour the anniversary at one of the greatest race tracks in the world where I won my first championship is truly special and I look forward to a weekend full of celebrations.”
This season will feature several new driver partnerships, with only Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport and Rich Energy Haas F1® Team keeping the same line-up as in 2018. The shake-up has created added intrigue as the teams travel to Australia. “There’s nothing like going racing,” says Mark Webber. “It’s amazing how quickly the drivers will settle into their new environments, but prior to Melbourne they have had only a limited amount of testing, so the first race of the year will answer a lot of questions. Melbourne is one of the best Grands Prix of the year; the city comes to life. It is very significant for the event that Rolex has been involved for so long, united by their world-class approach and attention to detail. For me personally, and for all Australians, it makes the event extra special that such an incredible brand like Rolex is so closely associated.”
ROLEX AND MOTOR SPORT
Rolex’s close ties with motor sport date back to Sir Malcolm Campbell’s World Land Speed Record successes in the 1930s, when he became the first driver to break the 300mph barrier (483km/h) at the wheel of his car Bluebird. Since then, Rolex’s presence in motor racing has grown steadily, supporting iconic endurance events such as the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the FIA World Endurance Championship. In 2013, Rolex partnered the pinnacle of motor sport, Formula 1®, having supported Rolex Testimonee Sir Jackie Stewart since 1968. The brand also has a global appreciation for classic car events steeped in elegance, beauty and tradition, including the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion and the Goodwood Revival.
ABOUT FORMULA 1®
Formula 1® racing began in 1950 and is the world's most prestigious motor racing competition, as well as the world's most popular annual sporting series. The 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship™ runs from March to December and spans 21 races in 21 countries across five continents. Formula One World Championship Limited is part of Formula 1®, and holds the exclusive commercial rights to the FIA Formula One World Championship™.
Formula 1® is a subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation (NASDAQ: LSXMA, LSXMB, LSXMK, BATRA, BATRK, FWONA, FWONK) attributed to the Formula One Group tracking stock.
AN UNRIVALLED REPUTATION FOR QUALITY AND EXPERTISE
Rolex, a Swiss watch manufacture headquartered in Geneva, is recognized the world over for its expertise and the quality of its products. Its Oyster Perpetual and Cellini watches, all certified as Superlative Chronometers for their precision, performance and reliability, are symbols of excellence, elegance and prestige. The word “Perpetual” is inscribed on every Rolex Oyster. But more than just a word on a dial, it is a philosophy that embodies the company’s vision and values. Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of the company, instilled a notion of perpetual excellence that would drive the company forward. This led Rolex to pioneer the development of the wristwatch and numerous major watchmaking innovations, such as the Oyster, the first waterproof wristwatch, launched in 1926, and the Perpetual rotor self-winding mechanism, invented in 1931. Rolex has registered over 500 patents in the course of its history. A truly integrated and independent manufacturing company, Rolex designs, develops and produces in-house the essential components of its watches, from the casting of the gold alloys to the machining, crafting, assembly and finishing of the movement, case, dial and bracelet. Furthermore, Rolex is actively involved in supporting the arts and culture, sport and exploration, as well as those who are devising solutions to preserve the planet.
Virginie Chevailler, Rolex SA
+41 22 302 26 19
Grace Mennem, Influence Sports & Media
+44 7471 034 620
The F1 logo, FORMULA 1, F1, GRAND PRIX and related marks are trademarks of Formula One Licensing BV, a Formula 1 company. All rights reserved.