Leather craftsmanship meets the pinnacle of motorsports in one of the most exciting circuits in the world. Anindya Devy reports from the BWT Alphine F1 Team Paddock
Amidst the fast-paced world of Formula 1, precision and style go hand in hand. It’s a world where cutting-edge technology meets high-speed thrills and innovation is celebrated just as much as craftsmanship. In 2023, the partnership between Berluti and the BWT Alpine F1 Team returns for a second year, as the two brands continue to forge a bond that seamlessly blends elegance with the adrenaline of the race track.
Berluti, established in Paris in 1895, is a name synonymous with exquisite craftsmanship. For over a century, it has not only crafted the finest shoes but also evolved into a purveyor of a complete wardrobe for the modern man. Alpine, established in 1955 as an automotive brand, also boasts a rich history, highlighted by the iconic A110 car. However, its journey didn’t stop at the racetrack. Alpine eventually ventured into Formula 1, joining the ranks of the BWT Alpine F1 Team.
So, when the two maisons decided to partner up, it really came as no surprise. Both brands share a deep-rooted passion for savoirfaire, innovation and craftsmanship. It’s a partnership that transcends the ordinary and sets new standards in style in speed.
“The maison is established as an Alpine Elegance Partner, providing elegance kits to the team’s drivers, Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon”
Berluti’s contribution to the BWT Alpine F1 Team goes beyond branding. The maison is established as Alpine Elegance Partner, providing elegance kits to the team’s drivers, Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon, as well as the executive team. These kits, meticulously designed, offer the perfect blend of comfort and style for the demanding world of Formula 1. To top it all off, Berluti has also handcrafted a made-to-measure Venezia leather case with a blue patina to contain the team’s steering wheels. This unique object is a first for Berluti—and also for Formula 1 as a whole.
The sophomore year of the Berluti-Alpine partnership sees the BWT Alpine F1 team members donning Berluti attire on select occasions. The debut of this look was at the inaugural Miami Grand Prix on May 7, 2023, followed by the Silverstone Grand Prix on July 9, 2023 and the most recent event attended by DA MAN, the Singapore Grand Prix on the Sunday of September 17, 2023.
During the Singapore F1 weekend, the U.K.-based BWT Alpine F1 Team invited DA MAN to their suite at the Formula 1 Paddock. A dedicated in-suite hospitality steward accompanied us the whole day and guiding us through various behind-the-scenes stops before the first practice session started.
Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon dropped by the suite, saying a quick hello before preparing themselves for the practice session. The exclusive access afforded to us didn’t stop there; we also went to the famed pit lane and got a close-up look as the cars were prepared for the race weekend. From the pit lane walk, we crossed over to the Grandstand to watch the first practice session. Singapore’s hot and humid weather didn’t deter the crowd from giving off a great energy, promising an exciting race weekend ahead.
The Marina Bay Street Circuit sees a slightly changed layout this year, with a 400m straight run from Turns 14 to 16 with the removal of four ninety-degree turns in the final sector. The team ended with Esteban Ocon in tenth place and Pierre Gasly in twelfth for the first free practice session.
Afterwards, we went back to the suite to embark on the Garage Tour. Formula 1 is a precision sport and that goes all the way down to the set-up of the garages, with teams laying out their working areas to the same specification for every race, wherever in the world they are. This careful organization ensures that mechanics know exactly where to get the tools they want whenever they need, which can save crucial seconds. So, there, we witnessed the team and technicians analyzing the results after the practice run.
Just as Formula 1 demands precision, Berluti’s creations mirror this attention to detail. Their painstaking preparations and shared commitment to excellence elevate Formula 1, turning it into an embodiment of refined craftsmanship and innovation.
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