Honda website
Honda website

FEBRUARY 3, 2006

Rhinos and Russians for MF1

MF1 Racing has announced a two-year partnership agreement with Austrian energy drink company Rhino's. The compan y wants to use the sport to boost its fame and thus increase sales to become the number two to Red Bull by 2008. The company was established in 2003 and currently has only a handful of employees and turnover of around $5m which means that the sponsorship is unlikely to be a huge one.

Rhinos boos Falk Raudies, is a former computer salesman from Krailling, Germany, who has been running a number of companies, including Alldis GmbH, which was a sponsor of a Ferrari in the FIA GT Series in 2001. His new company Rhino's Energy Drink and Food AG is based in Austria.

MF1 Racing is also making headlines by suggesting that it wants to tap into the Russian space programme to find engineers for its F1 team.

"We are very actively looking now for aerodynamicists and engineers in Russia, to hire and to bring here to help with the

team and bring new ideas," said Alex Schnaider. "There are a lot of very good specialists in Russia, aircraft designers."

There should be a decent number of engineers available as well as the Russian Space Agency has been dogged by a lack of funding from the beginning although last year the government approved an $11bn budget for the period 2006-2015 which means that more can be done.

The team has also named Roman Rusinov as one of four test drivers and has a long-term plan to try to get a Russian driver into F1.

Despite all the efforts to associate itself with Russia, the new MF1 team has no Russian sponsorship.

"Formula 1 is still new to Russian companies," says Shnaider. "With time they will learn and now there is a Russian-licensed team it will bring up the interest."