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Winning Formula – Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 opens up on Epson partnership

Rob Fletcher discusses how Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 is partnering with leading print brand Epson. Epson used the Epson SureColor SC-R5000 resin printer to create car graphics for specific promotions and celebrations for the business.

Dec 12 2023
By Rob Fletcher
Category Feature
Due to reduced printing demands when the race team were offsite every other week, we started to offer our services to external businesses.
While most liveries and graphics in Formula 1 are painted onto the cars, this does not mean that there is no room for print-based collaborations within the world’s most lucrative motor racing competition.
 
We have seen a few of these emerge in recent years, with one of the latest coming in the form of Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 linking up with leading print brand Epson. The team currently runs a number of Epson printers not to print livery for its race cars, but rather graphics for other vehicles and to produce a wide range of other pieces for the team.
 
First to go in was an Epson SureColor SC-S80600 signage printer to cover most of its own print requirements. More recently, the company purchased an Epson SureColor SC-R5000 at the start of 2021 to expand its capabilities – and in doing so became one of the first companies in the UK to take delivery of the printer.
 
Focusing on the SureColor SC-R5000, this resin printer is what the team uses to create car graphics for specific promotions and celebrations for the business. One recent example of this was to produce graphics related to the ‘Pride Star’ initiative, which drew attention from fans around the world.
 
“Epson’s resin device offered us a really nice finish with our prints,” Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 graphics team leader Mark Sales said. “It can laminate straight after printing, and it uses clean inks that are odourless and water-based inks. It’s proven itself a great machine – really robust. It’s easy to use, easy to handle different media, and it’s been really low maintenance for us.
 
“The Epson resin printer is now the work horse of our print operation and we put it to good use alongside the SC-S80600 for most day-to-day print requirements. It handles different substrates easily and gives particularly good vinyl prints.
 
“Although the Formula One race car graphics are painted rather than printed, we’ll print car graphics for specific promotions and celebrations from the business, where Epson’s resin device lends itself well thanks to its scratch-resistant, durable prints.”
 
CaptionMercedes-AMG Petronas F1 was one of the first companies in the UK to purchase an Epson SureColor SC-R5000


Racing into other markets

While the focus remains on producing materials and graphics for the team, Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 has been able to use the SureColor SC-R5000 to explore opportunities in other areas as a way of expanding the reach of the wider business.

“Due to reduced printing demands when the race team were offsite every other week, we started to offer our services to external businesses,” Sales said.
 
This, Sales explained, began with a request from a friend who owns an all-terrain driving centre in High Wycombe, who asked if the team could wrap one of their vehicles. Using the SureColor SC-R5000, the team was able to provide exactly this, which Sales said has resulted in more, print-based business for the team.
 
“They were over the moon with it and asked if we could wrap a car collection for an amateur race team that they were involved in, which led to more and more business opportunities,” Sales said.
 
“Around 65% of the print jobs we’re now doing are for external customers and this has been made possible because of the SureColor SC-R5000, which is helping to bring a lot of new revenue to the business.
 
“We’ve found ourselves working with an ice cream company, a local football club, car collectors, and even other car racing teams. More recently we worked with a string of hospitals that asked us to refurbish doors and nurse stations with architectural vinyl wraps, another great example of print giving things a new lease of life.”
 

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