Manor secures partnership with Airbnb

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Manor Marussia F1 Team has announced a new partnership with online home and room rental company Airbnb ahead of this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal.

Since emerging from the collapsed Marussia operation at the beginning of 2015, Manor has raced with a largely bare car without any notable sponsors.

However, it will now be racing with the Airbnb logo for the remainder of the 2015 season after announcing a new partnership with the company on Thursday.

“As the Challenger Partner, Airbnb branding will be proudly displayed on the team’s MR03B Formula 1 cars starting at the Grand Prix du Canada, and on the drivers’ race suits and across other team media, highlighting the commitment to making race fans feel at home as they travel all over the world from race to race,” a statement from the team read.

“The Manor Marussia F1 Team is effectively a start-up,” Manor team owner Stephen Fitzpatrick said. “Of course, Formula 1 is an unusual start-up environment to operate in, but our challenges are the same as many other early stage technology companies. Airbnb is a phenomenal success story of a company that has completely reinvented an industry.”

Started back in 2007, Airbnb allows tenants to rent out either rooms or entire homes via an online marketplace that features over 1,000,000 listings across 35,000 cities in 192 countries.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with the Manor Marussia F1 Team and we’ll be cheering them on as they compete in F1 races across six continents,” said Airbnb chief marketing officer Jonathan Mildenhall.

“Just as we’re excited to have the team be part of our community, we know our hosts will look forward to welcoming race fans from all over the world into their homes.”

It may only be a small step for Manor, but it is nevertheless more positive news in a week that has also seen the team announce some major technical signings and the arrival of a new reserve driver.

Indy 500 analyst role part of looking forward for Danica Patrick

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It’s been 10 months since Danica Patrick last competed in an auto racing event and she is completely fine with that.

Patrick was last seen in a cockpit in last May’s Indianapolis 500, part of her mini-retirement tour from racing that also included a run in the Daytona 500.

Now she’ll be back at the track, serving as an analyst for NBC’s broadcast of the 103rd Indy 500 on May 26.

It will be an interlude to her post-racing career.

“I really don’t miss racing,” Patrick said during a teleconference Wednesday.  “I’m really happy. I selfishly set out (with) the intention I wanted to travel a lot. I’ve definitely done that. Also working on my other businesses.”

Without racing, Patrick is able to look over her “Warrior” clothing line and her Somnium wine. She’s also been a host of ESPN’s Espy Awards show.

“I’m not a look-back kind of person, I’m a look-forward (person),” Patrick said. “This is something that’s part of looking forward. This is something totally new and different for me. It’s coming at a place where I have a lot of history, but it hasn’t been my job, which is why I’m going to work really hard to make sure I’m ready, like anything else I do that’s different.

Since retiring, Patrick said she watches racing “when I can.”

“I’m not going to lie, I’m happy doing what I’m doing,” Patrick said. “It’s allowed me new opportunities like this.”

This won’t be the first time Patrick has served in an analyst role for a race. She did the same for some Xfinity Series race broadcasts in the last few years of her NASCAR career.

“It’s very good to have had that experience,” Patrick said. “Obviously I was giving my driving experience sort of perspective and that insight, which is something I’m going to be doing again. But it was a guest spot.

“This is firm and established, part of a small team of two with Mike (Tirico) and I. I think there’s going to be a lot more preparation involved, I’m going to need to know a lot more information.”

Patrick said there will be one difference in her Indy 500 experience this year compared to the eight times she competed in the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

“I didn’t purposely look at the buildup of the day,” Patrick said. “I didn’t want to see the fans rolling in, all the pomp and circumstance. I really liked to keep it quiet. I wanted to just walk out there and have it be the event, not let myself get built up too much in my head with nerves, just the platform, the iconic event that it was, the millions of people. I just wanted to stay focused and go do it.

“This time, I’m sure I will see the buildup. I’m sure I’ll see the place fill in and turn from a quiet, peaceful, magical place, (and) at the shot of a cannon it’s going to start unraveling. That will be a cool perspective for me that I purposely haven’t really watched closely.”

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