Instant messaging app WhatsApp and the Mercedes Formula 1 motor racing team have formed a multi-year partnership.

The deal makes WhatsApp the team's official messaging partner, with followers of the F1 outfit set to be given exclusive opportunities to engage with Mercedes F1 and access exclusive content.

The agreement represents the popular social network's first partnership in sports. 

Toto Wolff, chief executive and team principal of Mercedes F1 Team, said: “WhatsApp plays a critical role in communications across everything we do at Mercedes-AMG F1. From coordinating our operations, sharing ideas, and supporting one another through the journey of each season, it brings the team closer together.

“It also helps accelerate the speed of communication and decision-making across the organization. As two innovative and forward-thinking brands, I can't think of a more natural partnership. We look forward to working with WhatsApp and bringing the breadth of our stories to life in innovative and original ways.”

Will Cathcart, head of WhatsApp, added: “We've been amazed at how the Mercedes F1 team relies on WhatsApp to keep the organization running. The leadership and values they have demonstrated to push motorsport forward for years has been inspiring. I'm proud we'll work together to reveal how WhatsApp brings their team together and fans closer to the action.”

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In February, Mercedes announced a slew of sponsorships, including with mCloud Technologies, a provider of cloud technology solutions, as well as a trio of sponsorships earlier in the month, partnering with US communication technologies firm Qualcomm, UAE-based artificial intelligence and cloud computing technology company G42, and paints manufacturer Sherwin-Williams.