Last month saw Mahindra Racing launch the 2021 Driven By Design competition in which fans were given the opportunity to design Alex and Alexander’s race suits for the London E-Prix. As always, the contest presented some outstanding design talent from all over the world, making it tough for the drivers to choose just one winner each.

After plenty of deliberation, each driver selected a race suit design to wear for their home E-Prix on 24-25 July. Both winning entries came from talented designer’s in India, with Alexander choosing Viyol Ezekiel Crasto’s creation, whilst Alex Lynn opted for a design submitted by Artist Aiyappa.

Explaining why he made his choice, Alexander said: “The quality of entries was really impressive and it was clear that people had put real thought and effort into their designs. For the winning design that I selected, I liked the combination of Indian and British colours as well as the cool integration of my logo. I liked the rectangles as well as it made lots of clean lines and boundaries which suits me.”

Meanwhile Alex was quickly drawn to Aiyappa’s entry. “I love the lion and the dark navy colour too. I saw this design and was immediately struck by it – I love how the designer brought in all the different elements that mean something to me and the team, and it’s perfect for my home race. I’m really looking forward to wearing it at the London E-Prix, which is the first time I will race in my home city as a Formula E driver.”

We caught up with winners Viyol and Aiyappa to hear what they had to say about the competition and their winning designs.

What inspired your design?
Viyol: I chose colours that resembled Alexander’s lid and also included his logo. The star shaped UK flag is featured for his nationality, whilst the Indian tri-colour is for the constructor and my nationality.
Aiyappa: My source of inspiration comes from geographic locations and their history which depicts the different cultures and traditions.

Talk us through the design process. How long did it take?
Viyol: I was scrolling across my social feeds, when I saw this post by Mahindra Racing promoting this competition – I thought why not give it a try? It took me around one hour to get ideas and note down various subjects that I wanted to include in the design. It took another two hours to finish and finalise the design.
Aiyappa: Key visual design aspects come from elements such as the ‘Lion’ which is seated in front of the suit and was inspired by the English football team’s use of the three lions on a scarlet background, which symbolises the English throne and the monarch. While the ‘Chakra’ on the hindside pays homage to the motherland of Mahindra. The suit comes all together with racing lines running along its sides which resembles the three strokes of the Mahindra’s emblem embroidered upon a rich Navy blue, a shared colour by both India and the UK. Considering all the research, ideation, mock-ups and various iterations it took me about five days to achieve the set of ten distinct and unique race suit designs that I entered.

Tell us about your design experience – has it always been a skill/passion?
Viyol: I was so keen to design the best possible suit. I’ve been learning graphic design for 2-3 years in my free time during college and have been following motorsport since university. I was part of a student BAJA team, where I developed a deep interest in technical and non-technical aspects of it. From then it’s been a dream to be involved in motorsport.
Aiyappa: I’m a design graduate and have always had a special place in my heart for motorsports, especially Formula 1 and Formula E. I occasionally create concept art, livery design of various teams and posters of my favourite drivers throughout the ages, spanning from legendary drivers such as Jim Clark and Ayrton Senna right through to new upcoming stars. Over the years I have developed a keen eye in the art of design and visual communication, fuelled by my pure passion for the sport.

How did it feel when you found out you had won this competition?
Viyol: I was surprised and excited, I went through the mail three times just to make sure I had actually won! That moment will be one to remember.
Aiyappa: I would like to thank Mahindra Racing for the opportunity given to me. This competition not only sparked a challenge within me but also made me a passionate designer that I am today, and I hope to continue to grow in this field and build my career.

Congratulations to Viyol and Aiyappa! See Alex and Alexander wearing the winning designs at the London E-Prix at the end of July.