Ferrari F1 Car to Sport Tata Logo

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Dec. 18 – For the first time in motor sport history, the scarlet Ferraris of Felippe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen fighting for world championship honors in 2009 will bear the logo of an Indian company. The Tata Group would join such big names as Shell, Alice (an Italian internet company), Acer Computers, AMD microprocessors, drinks giant Martini and Dubai-based finance and investment firm Mubadala as the main backers of the Ferrari F1 team in 2009. The deal comes after Tata bought Jaguar and Land Rover for US$2.3 billion in March this year.

The two companies are however not strangers to each other. While the technology arm of the Tata's – Tata Consultancy Services have supplied major programs and solutions in various technological areas to the design, manufacture and operation of F1 cars, the Tata Group financed Narain Karthikeyan when he drove for Jordan in 2005. A year later the Tata logo adorned the Williams F1 cars driven by Mark Webber and Nico Rosberg, the Times of India reported. Italian Carmaker Fiat which owns Ferrari also has a joint venture with Tata Motors to produce cars and drive trains in the western state of Maharashtra.

At a time when automakers from Detroit to Japan seem to squeezing bottom lines in a bid to shore up revenues, Tata Motors seem to be going ahead full steam. Besides their F1 entry auto experts are looking at the move as a push for Tata Motors becoming a global automotive major and maybe even being the vehicle for Ferrari's India debut.