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We've seen F1 teams pulling all kinds of shtick in an effort to edge out the competition. But embedding diamonds into the helmets and steering wheels? Well, it seemed to work in 2008 for Lewis Hamilton, and he, for one, is hoping it'll work again this year at the upcoming Monaco Grand Prix.
McLaren has partnered with Steinmetz Diamonds to carry off the bedazzling, creating commemorative wreath emblems for both its world champions. The results were unveiled on Wednesday at Steinmetz's villa in Monte Carlo, and both Hamilton and Button will be using them during this weekend's race. Only in Monaco, kids. Details in the press release after the jump.
Monaco, 12th May, 2010: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team-mates Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton will race at this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix with individually crafted Steinmetz diamond crests on the steering wheels of their Formula 1 cars.
The diamond crests will celebrate the world championship success of Jenson (in 2009) and Lewis (2008), as the two Vodafone McLaren Mercedes drivers race around the twisting streets of Monte-Carlo, the most prestigious and glamorous race on the Formula 1 world championship calendar.
The steering wheels, which are manufactured from carbon fibre by the team, have been customised by Steinmetz master craftsmen using beautifully cut Steinmetz white diamonds. They will be unveiled at Monaco's exclusive Villa la Vigie on Wednesday May 12.
On Wednesday, both drivers will also reveal traditional commemorative crash helmets, which also feature the Steinmetz world championship diamond crest. These display-edition helmets will be available for photography in the Monaco paddock throughout the weekend.
Villa la Vigie, once owned by Karl Lagerfeld, is also the location of the prestigious Steinmetz Salon Privé which is set up in collaboration with partners Sotheby's Diamonds. Sotheby's Diamonds and Steinmetz Salon Privé will feature a unique collection featuring Forevermark diamonds. Each and every Forevermark diamond comes with a promise over and above the 4Cs – a promise not only of quality but also of integrity. As proof of this promise each Forevermark diamond is inscribed with the Forevermark icon and a unique identification number.
Steinmetz has a great history in Monaco, having been an integral part of the Formula 1 race there for eight seasons; diamonds on the Monte Carlo race track has become a highly anticipated treat for the discerning audience there. As leaders in the diamond industry and great supporters of F1, Steinmetz always finds an imaginative and innovative way to bedazzle the Formula 1 crowd and surprise them with the intricate and impressive technical detailing that goes into the application of diamonds onto regulation F1 kit.
With this special and distinctive inscription, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes and Steinmetz are proud to be celebrating two consecutive World Champions with both Hamilton and Button winning the Monaco Grand Prix in their championship years. Year on year through their unique partnership, Steinmetz and Vodafone McLaren Mercedes accurately demonstrate their shared core values – flawless engineering, creativity and a quest for perfection. Marketing Director of Steinmetz, Lior Levin said: "We are delighted to be back in Monaco, to celebrate the most prestigious race of the Formula 1 season with the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team. Steinmetz is back in Monaco for our eighth season and we couldn't think of a better way to commemorate the occasion than working on a unique collaboration with Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton. We look forward to a fantastic race on Sunday and hope the Steinmetz diamond crafted steering wheels will prove to be lucky for the drivers."
World champion Jenson Button said: "Monaco is one of the most prestigious and important races on the Formula 1 calendar, and it's a race I feel honoured to have won. To be racing for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes and using a unique Steinmetz diamond-crested steering wheel, which has been created especially for me, is a great honour. The workmanship on the diamonds is beautiful and it will be a great addition to the most glamorous race of the year.
2008 champion Lewis Hamilton added: "It's fantastic that Steinmetz is celebrating our world championship victories by incorporating unique diamond crests into the centre of our steering wheels. They look absolutely incredible and add a real bit of bling to the cars. I won at Monaco in 2008 wearing a Steinmetz diamond-studded helmet, so I'm hoping it will bring me luck again this year.