Autoweek– The speculation comes after young driving hopeful Sean Gelael got his most recent F1 test with the Red Bull junior team in Hungary. Not too long ago, his father, Ricardo, was linked with a buyout of the now-defunct Manor team.
Ricardo Gelael runs the Jagonya Ayam company, which is the Indonesian branch of global fast food giant Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Now in the post-Grand Prix test in Hungary, Sean Gelael (and maybe the potential sponsorship boost he could bring to the team) appears to have impressed Toro Rosso chief Franz Tost.
Have you ever wanted to see KFC sponsor a race car? If you did and of course you did it’d be a safe bet to assume KFC would sponsor a NASCAR team. Kentucky Fried Chicken the king of all things chicken just fits that demographic. Budweiser, KFC and NASCAR. There’s nothing more American than that.
However, KFC won’t be on the side of a NASCAR car next year. Instead they could be on the side of a car in the top rung of international motor sports. Formula One.
This feels like the beginning of a Will Farrell movie circa 2008. It’s a ridiculous story line that would look great with a swooping in shot to the Monza paddock where a young upstart is putting on a Colonel Sanders painted helmet and climbing aboard a bright red and white KFC branded F1 car.
Look At Toro Rosso
KFC and Toro Rosso go together like Danil Kvyat and Red Bull Racing. Like Michael and Ralph Schumacher, like Flavio Briatore and a woman his age. They’re polar opposites in terms of names at least. If Omaha steaks wanted to sponsor Toro Rosso that would make a tiny bit of sense.
The Toro Rosso KFC Honda is going to be an all time sponsor/manufacturer/team in F1 history when they hit the track in 2018 with a new driver in the fold. Sean Gelael and his father Ricardo may very well buy their way into the sport like many before them. For the first time ever though they could bring the most unexpected sponsor. All thanks to his father owning the KFCs in Asia. KFC and Asia is the weirdest combination in the history of food but they sure do love it. Wait, do Asians think the same thing about Phil from Bagdad, Alabama when he eats “chinese” food? Put my own brain in a pretzel.
Who The Hell Is Sean Gelael?
Very much the fairest question you could ask today. Sean Gelael has moved the needle on exactly zero people’s radars outside of Franz Tost. Gelael has done the exact opposite of impress in GP2/F2. In fact he’s done absolutely nothing in either series but Tost says his speed is comparable to Sainz and Kvyat.
He’s the John Wes Townley of lower class open wheel racing. His dad owns a bunch of fast food restaurants, check. His dad is going to fun his racing career, check. At least JWT won a truck race one time and those ARCA Daytona races, never forget. Gelael hasn’t even come close to winning, he hasn’t come close to a Top 5. His highest F2 finish this season is 9th. Gelael’s average finish is 13th, maybe he races for a bad team right? Nope he races for Arden, his teammate has a win this season and 79 points, Gelael has 3 points.
Needless to say Gelael will be the next guy on the long list of guys who take F1 seats without the resume to have that seat. He’s no Lance Stroll though.
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