The year 2011 marks the 17th year of the Partnership between ExxonMobil, the world’s largest publicly traded petroleum and natural gas company, and Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. This is the longest continuous oil company sponsorship of a Formula 1 team in the history of the sport.
As part of the agreement, ExxonMobil will continue to provide Vodafone McLaren Mercedes with Mobil 1 lubricant technology, expertise and trackside support, developing next-generation lubricants for the engine and gearbox, as well as greases and hydraulic fluids. ExxonMobil will also supply a range of specialised lubricants for use in the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking (UK), including high-performance cutting fluids utilised in component manufacture, synthetic grease for the wind tunnel, and synthetic oil to help reduce fuel consumption and improve emissions of the team’s fleet of Mercedes-Benz Actros transporters.
Building on the Partnership’s tremendously successful and well-established record of B2B marketing, in this new phase there will also be a greatly increased level of B2C activation. The immense appeal of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button resonates with private individuals who choose to put Mobil 1 products in their own road cars – just as manufacturers have seen the clear benefits of technology transfer from Formula 1 when they specify Mobil 1 as original equipment in new cars.
From 2013 a new set of technical regulations will ensure that all engines and powertrains used in Formula 1 will showcase, and provide a platform for the ongoing development of, technologies designed to enhance fuel efficiency. ExxonMobil will work with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes to meet those challenges, demonstrating the value of Formula 1 as an exciting development platform for new technologies that have significant relevance to the wider automotive industry, and maintaining leadership in the field of fuel efficiency.
ExxonMobil began its relationship with McLaren in 1995, with its Mobil 1 synthetic lubricant brand, developing new lubricants and fuels designed to improve the McLaren race team’s performance, efficiency and reliability. During the course of the Partnership, the focus on technical innovation has contributed to McLaren winning four Formula 1 World Championships (two in 1998, one in 1999 and one in 2008), along with 65 Grand Prix race victories and 198 podium finishes of the 275 races that ExxonMobil and McLaren have started together.
Ron Dennis (Executive Chairman, McLaren Group) said:
“This relationship has been long, deep, wide and fruitful. It’s tremendously pleasing that companies of such scale and global reach choose not only to become Partners with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, but to continue that relationship over so many years. We have worked with both TAG Heuer and Hugo Boss, both hugely successful and iconic lifestyle brands, over a consecutive period of three decades [TAG Heuer: 26 years; Hugo Boss: 30 years]. We work with them still.
“We are now entering the 17th year of our Technology Partnership with ExxonMobil, the largest corporation in the world. Our Title Partner and Total Communications Partner, Vodafone, is the world’s largest mobile telecommunications provider measured by revenues, operating networks in more than 30 countries and having partner networks in more than 40 more. Santander is the fourth-largest financial provider in the world by profits.
“The success and longevity of these relationships send a clear message that working with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes offers a consistently impressive return on investment, not only in terms of the marketing value of our success on track, witnessed by hundreds millions of people worldwide, but also in terms of measurable results from the targeted B2B and B2C campaigns we orchestrate in close collaboration with our Partners.
“Successful and long-lived relationships such as these eventuate from our shared brand values, and above all our superlative track record of success.”
Martin Whitmarsh (Team Principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes) said:
“Vodafone McLaren Mercedes and ExxonMobil are at the cutting edge of automotive technology. Along with the other products used in our racing cars, Mobil 1 fully synthetic motor oil and lubricant technology help us meet the challenges of the race, weekend after weekend, enabling us to maximise our performance each and every time.
“Lubricants are a significant performance differentiator now that engine development is tightly constrained and efficiency targets mean that we look to use fewer engines over the course of the racing season. Mobil 1 products have enabled us to maintain the peak performance of our engines throughout their service lives, and they will continue to do so as we work together to meet and exceed the stringent performance and efficiency targets we set ourselves as we look forward to the 2013 engine regulations.
“Innovation is the key to success in this endeavour, and over the course of our long relationship with ExxonMobil we have enjoyed great results because we share a determination to innovate.”
Lewis Hamilton, the 2008 Formula 1 World Champion, who used Mobil 1 motor oil when first racing in karts and has continued to use it throughout his Formula 1 career, said:
“Mobil 1 has been part of my racing since the beginning, and it’s great news that Mobil 1 will continue to be an integral part of the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team and our success.”
Jenson Button, the 2009 Formula 1 World Champion, said:
“I’ve won eight Grands Prix [in 2009 and 2010] and one Drivers’ World Championship [in 2009] using Mobil 1. I know I can rely on Mobil 1 to give me the best technology and that the Mobil team is working side-by-side with the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team to help Lewis and me win.”
Nigel Searle, Vice President Global Marketing, ExxonMobil Lubricants & Petroleum Specialties Company, said:
“The renewal of the Mobil 1 technology partnership between ExxonMobil and Vodafone McLaren Mercedes represents a commitment to excellence and achievement by two global and like-minded organisations. For the past 16 years we have collaborated together to help Vodafone McLaren Mercedes win amidst the extreme conditions of Formula 1 racing and to leverage our learnings to enhance Mobil 1 fully synthetic oil formulations to deliver outstanding passenger vehicle engine performance and protection. We view the technology partnership with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes as a high-return investment that helps drive the global growth of our Mobil 1 franchise, and we look forward to continuing our successful collaboration.
“The renewed agreement between ExxonMobil and Vodafone McLaren Mercedes allows the Mobil 1 synthetic lubricant brand to continue its 33-year involvement in Formula 1. Mobil 1 has lubricated more than 100 Grand Prix-winning cars, and has won six Formula 1 Drivers’ World Championships and five Formula 1 Constructors’ World Championships, since entering the sport in 1978.”