McLaren Racing, the Formula 1 (F1) motor racing team, has announced a multi-year partnership with technology giant Google ahead of the new season starting this weekend.
The deal will see Google brands Android and Chrome logos feature on McLaren’s car engines and wheel covers, as well as on the helmets and race suits of drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris.
In turn, McLaren will gain access to various Google products and technologies, including its 5G-enabled Android devices and Chrome internet browser, to use during practice sessions, qualifying, and races to improve on-track performance.
The deal also extends to the all-electric Extreme E off-road series that McLaren competes in, with Google branding to feature on the team’s car and the race suits of drivers Emma Gilmour and Tanner Foust.
Zak Brown, McLaren Racing chief executive, said: “Google is a global leader in technology and has been a ground-breaking innovator in connecting people around the world. By integrating platforms like Android and Chrome across our operations, our team will be better supported to focus on driving performance.”
While McLaren remains without a title sponsor, this is the latest in several deals struck as the team continues to increase its competitiveness.
Under the stewardship of Brown, who was appointed chief executive in 2018, McLaren has signed a host of sponsorship deals, some of the biggest including oil company Gulf, soft drinks giant Coca Cola, consumer products manufacturer Unilever, communications services provider Webex, hotel chain Hilton, news channel CNBC, and professional services company Deloitte.
The partnership is also the latest to involve a major US company and the sport. Earlier this week, it was reported series owner Liberty Media is close to finalizing a new sponsorship deal with US relationship management provider Salesforce worth around $30 million over five years.
Interest in F1 in the US has increased on the back of the popular Netflix documentary Drive to Survive, which released its fourth season last week.
It encouraged significant viewership growth in the country, with 108 million viewers tuning in globally to watch the final race in Abu Dhabi last season.
A third US Grand Prix, reported to be a street race in Las Vegas, could be confirmed in the coming months. The new 2022 calendar features 22 races after Russia’s September event was canceled due to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
The 2022 F1 season will begin this Sunday (March 20) in Bahrain.