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Thursday, February 9, 2023

McLaren Formula 1 cars now have Chrome wheels with Android logos thanks to Google sponsorship

A rather amusing display of corporate sponsorship, Google is now an “Official Partner of the McLaren Formula 1 Team and the McLaren MX Extreme E Team,” with the Android and Chrome logos appearing on F1 race cars.

As part of this “major multi-year partnership,” McLaren Racing will use Android devices with 5G capabilities and the Chrome browser during practice sessions, qualifying sessions, and race days. Its objective is to “support and improve the on-track performance of the drivers and team.”

Of course, the other important and most visible aspect of this arrangement sees Android and Chrome branding prominently appear on F1 race cars, including:

Android and Chrome branding will be carried on the engine cover and wheel covers of the MCL36 Formula 1 race cars, and on the helmets and race suits of McLaren Formula 1 drivers Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo from the 2022 Formula 1 season.

Meanwhile, Google branding will also be visible on the Number 58 McLaren MX Extreme E race car, and on the race suits of McLaren MX Extreme E drivers Emma Gilmour and Tanner Foust from the 2022 Island X Prix.

It’s rather interesting that Android and Chrome marketing is making this high-profile sports push. Those products are already quite ubiquitous in the world compared to YouTube TV and Pixel (at sporting events), but it does raise their standing to a different crowd. Meanwhile, we know SVP Hiroshi Lockheimer is a fan:

“McLaren Racing represents the very best of what’s possible on a racetrack across performance, inclusion and sustainability, and those are values we share at Google. We’re bringing more innovation to platforms, like Android and Chrome, and seamlessly connecting them to other Google services to optimize McLaren’s race day performance.”
— Nicholas Drake, VP of Marketing, Google

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