Force India to auction F1 'Art Car'

    Story highlights

    • F1 team Force India will auction a customized car for charity
    • The car was driven by Giancarlo Fisichella in the 2008 season
    • Motorsport artist Dexter Brown has painted the "art car"
    • The car has also been signed by F1 legends past and present

    (CNN)Formula One outfit Force India will auction a specially customized car next week in order to raise money for charity and the team's driver academy.

    The "art car" was driven by Italian Giancarlo Fisichella for 16 races during the 2008 season and has been decorated by motorsport artist Dexter Brown.
      The vehicle has also been signed by a host of F1 stars, from current drivers including McLaren's 2008 world champion Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari's two-time title winner Fernando Alonso, to legendary past champions such as Briton Jackie Stewart.
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      Proceeds from the sale, which are expected to be in excess of $239,000, will be split between the Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital in London and the UK-based team's own initiative aimed at finding and developing driving talent in India.
      "When I was approached to paint an art car, I was immediately excited by the project as it's the first time I've had the chance to work with a modern Formula One car," said Brown, who has been involved in motorsport art for three decades.
      "Painting the car was an interesting challenge because I had to work around the complex bodywork. It's great to be involved in such a unique project and I look forward to seeing how much it can raise for these two great causes."
      Force India's finances have recently been boosted by a $100 million injection from new part-owners Sahara, after team principal Vijay Mallya sold 42.5% of his stake.
      "Seeing one of my Formula One cars transformed into a painting is a wonderful initiative that combines two of my greatest passions: cars and art," billionaire Mallya said.
      The car, which has been stripped of its F1 engine, will be sold in Battersea, London on Wednesday.