In the world of Formula One, it’s a time-honored tradition to see the triumphant driver planting a celebratory kiss on their hard-earned trophy from the pinnacle of the podium. So Lenovo and Pininfarina, the makers of the trophies handed out to winners on the occasion of this weekend’s race in Japan, decided to make one that lights up when kissed.
The award was inspired by the air intake at the top of an F1 car and is filled with multicolor lights that can change its appearance. It also has a circle of white light in its middle that surrounds the words “kiss me.”
As Max Verstappen found out this weekend, following his impressive victory at the Japanese Grand Prix, once kissed, the trophy lit up in red, and, and blue, the colors of Dutch flag, under which he races.
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“For Pininfarina, with its unparalleled heritage rooted in the automotive tradition, it’s an honor to be a part of Formula 1’s history with this innovative tech driven trophy,” said Paolo Trevisan, VP of Design for Pininfarina of America. “Just as each car on the track stands as a testament to human dedication to innovation, our trophy embodies the essence of craftsmanship and forward-thinking aesthetics.”
In a video, Lenovo suggested that the trophy knew which flag’s colors to show based on the individual lip print of the driver kissing it. While I don’t doubt that each human’s lips are unique, the thought of going through the effort of determining each driver’s lip print, rather than just updating the trophy as the car’s cross the finish line, feels… odd.
In addition to earning himself a fancy new light-up trophy, Max Verstappen also earned his team, Red Bull Racing, the constructor’s championship title in Japan this weekend. The racer will also have the opportunity to earn himself the driver’s championship title at the next event, the Qatar Grand Prix, which is scheduled to take place between October 6 and 8.
Meanwhile, another driver will be given the opportunity to earn a trophy that lights up with their nation’s colors. The same technology will be employed on the prize given to the driver who wins the United States Grand Prix in Austin, on October 22.