The ultimate racing brand is set to reach the male toiletries fixture later this year with the launch of a range of Formula 1 grooming products.

Rolling out globally, the new F1 range will appear in Asia, Australia and mainland Europe in April and May, while the US, Canada and the UK will join the list in September.

It is the first time the branding has appeared in the toiletries market and the move is part of a wide-ranging strategy to capitalise on the global power of the F1 name.

The toiletries range is being launched by AFB licensing, which holds the worldwide rights for F1 accessories and apparel as well as toiletries, and also has the Slazenger and Guards Polo Club brands in its portfolio.

Category director James Walker said the range had been carefully designed to fit the brand's positioning.

"These are not run of the mill products," he said. "The packs are unique and designed to reflect the motor racing theme." Packaging designs resemble those seen more commonly on motoring products and the range includes a shower gel pack shaped like a racing car's gearstick.

Most packs also sport stylish extra features, such as 'engine start' buttons.

Fragrance range names - Accelerate, Power and Performance - aim to evoke the world of power, speed, masculinity and engines, and have signature colours featuring shades called fire red, cobalt blue and carbon fibre. Seasonal gift packs will also be available.

More than 200 million people are set to watch each of the 17 Formula 1 Grand Prix races, which begin next month in Australia. The company believes the brand has enormous potential in the booming male toiletries category, where the strongest trend is towards premium brands.

The UK market is dominated by the mighty Gillette brand, which is worth £267m [ACNielsen 52 w/e 7 October 2006].

Most of its value comes from razor sales but shaving and toiletry products account for a substantial proportion.