McLaren has received some reprieve from its financial woes with the signing of Gulf Oil as a sponsor.
The multi-year deal, announced Tuesday, will see Gulf's famous branding appear on the engine cover and wing mirrors of McLaren's F1 race cars, as well as on the clothing for its team's staff, including drivers Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz. The new partnership will be officially launched at this weekend's 2020 British Grand Prix.
There will also be a tie-up between Gulf and McLaren's road car division. From 2021, McLaren will start using Gulf Oil's fuel and lubrication products for its road cars. Gulf branding will also appear during driving events and be offered with limited availability as an option for McLaren's road cars. The MSO personalization department will hand paint the blue and orange livery.
Gulf Oil, currently owned by India's Hinduja Group, has a long-standing and successful history with McLaren. Gulf first became a sponsor of McLaren in 1968 and continued until the end of 1973, in both F1 and the Cam-Am series. The partnership was then renewed in the1990s, this time in the world of endurance racing where the Gulf branding was applied to F1 GTR race cars.
“We’re delighted to welcome Gulf back to McLaren and reunite two iconic brands back together in a new and exciting partnership, Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren Racing, said in a statement. “Gulf is part of McLaren’s history and are well-known for their innovation and technical excellence in the industry, with which aligns with McLaren perfectly.”
Terms of the deal haven't been announced.
McLaren finally appears to be on the mend after the company ran into financial troubles earlier this year caused by the slowdown in sales and delayed start of the 2020 F1 season resulting from the ongoing Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. McLaren in May made the tough decision to shed 25% of its staff and considered selling a major stake in its F1 team at one point.
The company was thrown a lifeline in June by main shareholder Bahrain and since the start of the new F1 season in July, McLaren's drivers have been among the top ranks. The team is currently third in the Constructors' Championship.