McLaren put Google brand logo on wheel covers in new sponsorship deal

2022 F1 season

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McLaren will carry logos of Google brands on its bodywork and wheel covers in a new sponsorship deal with the technology giant.

Google’s Android browser will be promoted on the engine cover of the teams MCL36s. In a first, the Chrome browser logo will be displayed on on the cars’ wheel covers.

McLaren tested a system of illuminated LEDs during post-season testing in Abu Dhabi last year.

Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren Racing, said he was proud of the new deal, which will also include the team’s Extreme E operation.

“Google is a global leader in technology and has been a ground-breaking innovator in connecting people around the world,” he said. “By integrating platforms like Android and Chrome across our operations, our team will be better supported to focus on driving performance. We’re looking forward to an exciting partnership that spans across Formula 1 and Extreme E.”

Pictures: McLaren’s revised livery

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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59 comments on “McLaren put Google brand logo on wheel covers in new sponsorship deal”

  1. Google Android is not a browser, it’s an operating system for smart devices. There’s also a Google Android Automotive OS that is found in the Polestar 2.

    1. RandomMallard
      16th March 2022, 17:13

      Damn it. Beat me to it

    2. But Chrome is an Android Browser, and it’s logo is a rather colorful circle.

      Says Android on the fin, with an Android logo, and the wheels looks similar to the Chrome logo.

      1. Coventry Climax
        17th March 2022, 1:55

        The article says: Google’s Android browser will be promoted on the engine cover
        So, Shawn C’s and Random Mallard’s comments are correct.

        1. The article says: Google’s Android browser will be promoted on the engine cover
          So, Shawn C’s and Random Mallard’s comments are correct.

          From the article:

          Google’s Android browser will be promoted on the engine cover of the teams MCL36s. In a first, the Chrome browser logo will be displayed on on the cars’ wheel covers.

          The word Android in the first sentence is the main error.

          May I suggest that Keith may benefit from the use of Grammarly:

  2. Well at least we know why the engine cover turned black now. The way Zac Brown has turned around McLaren commercially is really impressive. The wheel covers idea is a really lovely execution from a marketing point of view. Nice thinking outside the box.

    1. Is it?

      We will mostly see the cars running. You won’t be able to see the logo at a wheel spinning at ridiculous rpms.

      1. Think of the wheels like a rotating screen. You can theoretically do a decent-enough job predicting where individual illuminated segments are relative to the road when you flash them and create the illusion of a relatively stable image to the cameras and the fans in the stands.

        1. Yes, search for POV display on youtube and you will find several arduino projects based on that principle. I assume McLaren has more tech than arduino for making a better presentation of the Chrome logo. Also, years ago Andretti team on CART had the TOYOTA logo in their brake discs. The logo “illuminated” red in the braking zones. It was another principle I suposse, but it was way cooler (no pun intended).

          1. It was LED’s mounted on the rim, Newman/Haas I think did it first with Christiano da Matta’s car back in 2001

          2. So it wasn’t the brake discs glowing red that made the logo visible? My disappointment is immeasurable, and my day is ruined.

      2. I don’t believe the rim covers rotate (the old ones didn’t used to). If they rotated they would create dirty air, the purpose of the rim covers is to clean up the air flow.

        You can achieve similar effects with LED’s but I don’t believe that is what McLaren is doing here.

    2. Yeah, I really dig those wheels too. Clever idea @cduk_mugello

    3. As soon as I saw the car at Barcelona I said they were looking for sponsors, the tweak for bahrain again looked like the same.

  3. That’s pretty impressive stuff from Zak Brown.

    The wheel covers look great too!

    1. Yep, very cool.

    2. Coventry Climax
      17th March 2022, 1:41

      I don’t like wheel covers, however they look, but the F1 type is downright boring.
      I’m from the generation where we removed the wheel covers from all of our cars, because they looked stupid. Just added weight. Alloy wheels were the way to go, and you never see those with added covers.
      Wheelcovers were (and are) just a cheap way to disguise the ugly, cheap steel rims underneath. As ugly and fake as chrome coloured plastic jewellery.

      So, I feel that whatever they intend to achieve in F1 should be incorporated into the rim.

      The cheap look however, that’s probably our famous road relevance.

  4. Pedro Andrade
    16th March 2022, 17:08

    Great from a marketing and funding point-of-view, but the McLaren livery seems increasingly overly-complicated and busy, with too many colours and things going on.

  5. An advertising company advertising on another advertising company’s car.


    1. Exactly, @proesterchen – Synergy! ;-)

  6. RandomMallard
    16th March 2022, 17:14

    I quite like it. I think the Android sponsor fits quite well, and I think the wheel covers have potential, although we’re yet to see them in motion.

    1. Depends whether the brakes work or not…

  7. Interesting that they’ve removed the tobacco sponsorship, at least for that image (which I assume is a photoshoped picture from the recent testing).

    1. Maybe it is the altrenative sponsor for those races which won’t allow tobacco sponsors.

    2. But it makes it look quite empty

  8. I dislike all this aesthetically, there must be some neutral looking part of the car otherwise it’s all just a big garish mush. This kind of of livery rather belongs to NASCAR or Indy, way too American for my taste. All this car is missing is McDonald’s as a main sponsor, with the clown’s head covering the main section.

    1. The clown’s head is safely inside the halo.
      The green (Android logo) is as unwelcome as it was on the Ferrari last year!

  9. José Lopes da Silva
    16th March 2022, 18:06

    Google should launch a new F1 team on itself.

    1. Coventry Climax
      17th March 2022, 1:47

      They’d probably try to save on drivers.

  10. I wonder which team will take inspiration from this and do a deal with MS to have the windows loading animation Windows – The cutting edge of slow

    1. José Lopes da Silva
      16th March 2022, 20:32

      Verstappen suffered a Windows blue during the 2017 Canadian race.

    2. RocketTankski
      16th March 2022, 20:54

      Haas should have Clippy. “It looks like you’re trying to find a sponsor… Would you like help?”

      1. Bwahaaha, true. Haas and Clippy, they’re both pretty much a joke anyway, why not embrace it?

      2. and then clippy would just disappear just when they really need the helpw

    3. Team Enstone have been sponsored by Microsoft for ages. Back in 2015 when it was struggling for cash MS increased sponsorship to include lumia and xbox branding. Nowadays you can find the Microsoft logo on the engine cover at the roll hoop. It is a bit small though. I think it might be on the ‘barge boards’ as well, or was that last year? I’ll have to double check but it’s definitely there

      1. Actually it alpine have it on the barge boards this year and last year it was on the engine cover

  11. Unfortunately 4 chrome tabs is going to make the whole car run slow. Hopefully the FIA allows them to upgrade the car with another stick o RAM… :D

    1. At least it isn’t internet explorer…

      1. RocketTankski
        16th March 2022, 20:45

        Williams is still running Netscape Navigator

        1. sillydog for the win!

  12. I luv chicken
    16th March 2022, 19:45

    Well, I’m waiting for the first DOS message on the steering wheel, saying “ Try A Different Browser”.

  13. Looks more like that Simon game than google’s logo. Google advertising on the McLaren isn’t going to make me think any less of them. Try bringing back “Don’t be evil” and follow through on it.

  14. Sooo… They’re really searching for a solution for their brake problems…?

    Slightly hopeful there are no bing logo’s.. then they would be clutching at straws

  15. Btw: With their recent purchase of Mandiant, Google now sponsors 20% of the field in F1.

  16. That car is crying out for a large Gulf logo to fill the empty space on the sides.

  17. Someday Alphabet will be spelled out…

  18. Damn, this McLaren getting uglier and uglier as the weeks go by…

    1. Not in my eyes…

  19. It’s a shame to see Enkei out of F1 as McLaren’s wheel supplier, I believe they supplied them exclusively for a long time.

    Anyone know anything about that?

    1. If I recall well, the FIA mandated a single supplier this year. BBS got the deal.

      1. bit of a shame for all those Wheel manufacturers who developed the technology in their 13” wheels

  20. When will you have finished designing your livery?
    McLaren: “No.”

  21. Great sponsor for McLaren! Please let the car be quick!

  22. I like McLaren as a team but aesthetically I think this livery looks a bit of a mess now. Too many different splashes of colour and a bit incoherent.

    I hope they go well though.

    1. The 2022 livery was a mess from day 1.

      Like, a proper group of kindergarten kids let loose with a bunch of crayons kinda mess.

    2. Unfortunately, for any but the very richest of teams, the car livery is a billboard on which they must put as many adverts as possible, to draw as much revenue as possible, to keep the team in business. This is just the reality of modern F1.

      However, a fast car is a pretty car. If they do well, few will be talking about how the car looks a mess.

  23. Pretty hard to miss that car amongst the field which is a positive unless I’m mistaken. Job done. Looks like a lot of fun.

  24. This is all starting to get a bit United Colours of Benetton!

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