Finland should offer Formula 1 knowledge!
There are four Scandinavian and Nordic drivers, 4,5 if half-Finn Nico Rosberg is taken into account, in the 2016 Formula 1 series. Kimi Räikkönen, Valtteri Bottas, Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen are all established Formula-1 drivers in strong teams.
But there are only a few small, very small sponsors and partners visible on the cars. So how is it possible that three Nordic drivers compete in Formula 1, without almost any money coming in from the Nordic countries?
Marcus Ericsson brought a budget to Sauber F1, but we see no Swedish brands on the car. I find that odd, as Formula 1 is offering a global platform for marketing and Swedes are very good at marketing.
Kimi Räikkönen have made it to Formula 1 with basically no sponsorship from Finland. Valtteri Bottas have two small companies, Kemppi and Wihuri, supporting his Williams drive.
Kevin Magnussen drives for Renault with barely no Danish money.
The first Finnish World Champion in Formula 1 Keke Rosberg (1982) tried to convince the Finnish industry that Formula 1 was worth investing in. Even though Rosberg was a marketing master he did not succeed in finding much sponsorship from Finland.
When Mika Häkkinen entered the sport, managed by Rosberg, Formula 1 as a marketing tool was much more known, because Rosberg had done the ground work. Still the Finnish industry did not get excited.
There was a small glint of hope when Nokia suddenly, and surprisingly, entered the scene in 1995 as a major sponsor of Mika Salo and the Tyrrell team. They disappeared as quickly as they came, and never came back. I guess there is no Formula 1 team that have not tried to lure Nokia back to the sport. Asking me, Nokia should be in Formula 1.
So how can a small country such as Finland produce so many Formula 1 drivers without having any major sponsors in the sport?
It shows that talent still matters but it is sad to see that Nordic companies have not seen the value of Formula 1 sponsorship. They see it as something very expensive and not worth even thinking about.
The only Nordic country involved in Formula 1 is Norway, a country without a Formula 1 driver yet to make the starting grid. The asset management unit of the Norwegian Central bank have a stake in the sport trough CVC Capital. It is a pure investment for the huge oil- and gas money fund.
The Nordic countries are among the most innovative and developed countries in the world. There is knowledge, not at least in the ITC-sector, that have great value for Formula 1 and would generate long term revenue to the sport.
Conclusion: If a relatively small developed and innovative country such as Finland can't offer Formula 1 direct sponsorship, offer knowledge instead. Knowledge can help Formula 1 create new revenue generating products and services.