McLaren’s partnership with iconic brand Gulf Oil will end this year as the sponsorship deal will not be renewed until 2023. The Woking-based team caused a stir in mid-2020 when it was announced that it was renewing its historic partnership with Gulf – the company had originally partnered the team back in 1968.
From the 2020 British Grand Prix, McLaren’s cars wore Gulf’s famous blue and orange colours as part of a deal that also included the supercar brand.
The partnership proved successful and at the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix, Gulf and McLaren provided a bespoke livery for the car that was highly praised by fans.
But after more than two years of working together, McLaren and Gulf have decided that their agreement will not be renewed. McLaren CEO Zak Brown says: “Our long-standing relationship with Gulf has run throughout McLaren Racing’s history.”
“We’ve shared so many iconic moments together, including our famous Monaco livery in 2021. While this feels like a natural end point for the partnership, there’s always the opportunity to welcome back old friends as we used to.”
Long collaboration in Formula 1
Gulf Oil CEO Mike Jones added: “We are very proud of what we have achieved with McLaren during our historic partnership. True, we shared many incredible moments, including the iconic Monaco livery and our bespoke, sell-out merchandise collections.”
“But the real reward has been in engaging with the unrivalled passion of the fans and putting them at the heart of everything we do. We will look back with great fondness on all the memories we have created and we look forward to what the future holds for us.”
McLaren and Gulf joined forces in 1968 and worked together in Formula One and sports cars until 1973 – including victories in Grands Prix and Can-Am races. The Gulf logo quickly became one of the most recognisable in racing. It played an important role in the 1971 film Le Mans, in which Steve McQueen drove for the Gulf-backed Porsche team.
The company went on to celebrate numerous victories at Le Mans and renewed a sponsorship partnership with McLaren and Ray Bellm’s private racing team in the 1990s. The Gulf McLaren F1 GTR dominated sports car racing at the time, winning the BPR Global Endurance Series in 1996 and the GT class at Le Mans in 1997.