Rolex Celebrates 10th Season Of Formula 1

·4-min read
Rolex Formula 1
Rolex Formula 1

With the first leg of the 2022 FIA Formula One World Championship beginning at Bahrain International Circuit, Rolex is celebrating its 10th season as the official timepiece of Formula 1. This is also a year that heralds the dawn of a new era as the sport undergoes a technical revolution with the largest update to its regulations in decades.

As part of its dedication to excellence and innovation, the Swiss watchmaker supports the pinnacle of motor sport through every transformation, celebrating its desire for advanced engineering, timeless appeal and world-class competition.

Indeed, in an interview with Monochrome, three-time FIA Formula 1 Drivers’ World Champion and long-standing Rolex Testimonee, Sir Jackie Stewart commented on his passion for the brand’s zest for technical development: “The integrity of the company, the quality of the product, the engineering. I actually hate saying ‘engineering’ when talking about watchmakers, because it sounds too much like a car being engineered. The technology that goes into. If you ever have the opportunity to visiting Rolex than do so, because they make absolutely everything themselves.”

Reflecting on Rolex’s enduring relationship with motor racing, Stewart added: “This year marks 10 seasons of Rolex’s partnership with Formula 1, and since the beginning both have embodied ground-breaking technology, precision and ingenuity at every level, while having a mutual appreciation for magnificent craftsmanship style and, ultimately, the importance of timing. Nurturing long-term relationships is fundamental to Rolex, whether through associations with events or sporting legends.”

“FORMULA 1 HAS ALWAYS PIONEERED EXPERTISE AND IT’S THE BEST EXAMPLE OF AN INDUSTRY THAT FOCUSES ON CONTINUAL DEVELOPMENT TO ACHIEVE OPTIMUM PERFORMANCE. WITH THE RULE RESET THIS SEASON, ALL THE TEAMS ON THE GRID WANT TO BE CHAMPIONS, WHICH WILL MAKE FOR A HUGELY COMPETITIVE FIELD. EVERYONE WHO COMPETES IN THE SPORT KNOWS THAT SUCCESS IS GAINED THROUGH RELIABILITY, ATTENTION TO DETAIL AND INTEGRITY; THE SAME AS IN THE ROLEX WORLD.” – SIR JACKIE STEWART

Traditionally, F1 regulations were mostly updated to enhance safety, but with the modern era dominated by Mercedes, while also providing fewer overtaking opportunities due to the weight, speed and downforce of the cars, the rule changes mean a new generation of cars with a return to ground-effect aerodynamics, low-profile tyres and wheel covers aims to promote closer racing between the 20 drivers.

Rolex Formula 1 Mark Webber
Rolex Formula 1 Mark Webber

In addition to creating a tighter field, the rules embrace the target to achieve 100% sustainable fuels by the middle of the decade and the comprehensive cost cap means the 10 teams are operating under different circumstances. Like new Rolex novelties each year, the new cars may not look a lot different, but they have a marked effect on-track, with more exciting and competitive wheel-to-wheel racing the expectation.

The regulatory updates are in essence, designed with a focus on shifting the aerodynamic focus from the wings to underneath the car, making it easier to follow the car in front, and thus improve racing. This also means that this year, F1 teams have to go back to the drawing block, essentially resetting all expectations on who will have the winning engine and driver.

Addressing the forthcoming season changes, multiple Formula 1 race winner and Rolex Testimonee, Mark Webber said: “It’s set to be a hugely exciting year with complex changes to the appearance and drivability of the cars. Pre-season testing has provided us with some insights into how the teams are looking but until they race in earnest this weekend, performance and reliability is all to play for – I think a lot of the teams are very nervous. Plus, with the opening races offering very different challenges in terms of circuit design, it might take some time for us to see who has the advantage as it’s an incredibly dynamic situation with quick rates of development – it’s going to be tremendous for the fans. This year also marks 10 seasons of Rolex and Formula 1, which is a wonderful milestone that showcases loyalty and is something that both parties can be very proud of.”

This year, the Rolex Pit Lane Clock will accompany Formula 1 at races across five continents in a condensed three-day format at each leg. Long- established races in Australia, Canada, Singapore and Japan return to the schedule and will once again conclude with the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix from November 18 to 20.

(Photos: Rolex)