JANUARY 8, 2004
Ferrari announces Beta deal
Ferrari has joined forces with the Beta Utensili SpA, a longtime Formula 1 sponsor, which will supply tools and sponsorship for the team for the next three seasons. Beta was previously involved with Ferrari between 1976 and 1982 but has been a motor racing sponsor since 1972 when the firm supported the Formula 3 activities of Vittorio and Tino Brambilla with its famous orange colour scheme. Vittorio Brambilla won the Italian title that year and the brothers moved into Formula 2 with March. This led to Vittorio Brambilla becoming a March F1 driver in 1974, with Beta support. The Italian was wild but fast and in Sweden in 1975 he took a surprising pole position and later that year won the rain-drenched Austrian GP, distinguishing himself by crashing after he crossed the finishing line.
From 1976 to 1982 Beta enjoyed a relationship with Ferrari while continuing to sponsor Brambilla at Surtees. The company expanded it sponsorships to include Eddie Cheever in F2, Piercarlo Ghinzani in F3 Champion of Italy and later Siegfried Stohr in F2. In 1981 Beta became the major sponsor of the Arrows team with Stohr and Riccardo Patrese although after that ended in 1983 the firm sponsored motorcycles, offshore powerboats, an America's Cup yacht and soccer. Beta returned to F1 in 1993 as a sponsor of Minardi before moving to Jordan in 1995. It has been a supplier of many teams since then although it has avoided actual sponsorship deals.
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