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Formula 1 and football combine forces at Sauber

india Updated: Apr 30, 2012 23:32 IST

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Sauber's cars will sport the blue logo of Champions League finalists Chelsea from next week's Spanish Grand Prix as part of a deal between the Swiss-based Formula One team and the English Premier League club.

'A partnership like this between Formula One and football has never existed before in this form, yet there are numerous commonalities and possible synergies,' said Sauber Chief Executive Monisha Kaltenborn in a statement on Monday.

'The Sauber F1 Team and Chelsea FC are dealing with many of the same sporting and commercial topics and we want to strengthen each other in these areas.'

Sauber had the mysterious inscriptions 'out of the Blue' and 'True Blue' on the engine covers of their cars in the last two races in China and Bahrain without saying what the words signified.

The Ferrari-powered team said that, in concrete terms, the partnership would include the sale of merchandise and the exchange of sports science know-how. Both sides will feature the other's logo with the aim of increasing their market presence outside their respective sports.

Chelsea, currently managed by Swiss-born Italian Roberto Di Matteo, will present the Sauber logo at home matches on advertising boards at the stadium and on interview walls.

'Conversely, the football club benefits from Formula One's television reach which, compared with the Premier League, is much higher and more international,' said Sauber.

In-season testing returns
Mugello, Italy:
Formula One teams will congregate at the Mugello circuit in Italy today for the first in-season test session since the 2008 season.

F1 teams agreed to cut three days from pre-season testing to accomodate the test before Spanish Grand Prix that will kick off the European leg of the championship.

Neither of McLaren's regular drivers will participate at the test and the HRT F1 team chose to miss the session altogether to focus on relocating their base from Germany to Spain.