McLaren reaps first fruits of GSK partnership
Posted By: James Allen  |  22 Sep 2011   |  10:52 am GMT  |  28 comments

As predicted by a number of JA on F1 readers, following the news of McLaren’s business development relationship with Glaxo Smith Kline last week, today it has been announced that the team will be henceforth be sponsored by Lucozade, one of GSK’s consumer brands.

When asked whether there was a branding side to the deal last week a McLaren spokesman yes that there was but that it wasn’t what the deal was mainly about. It was about McLaren lending expertise to GSK in improving its speed and performance as a business.

Lucozade will appear on the car and the drivers’ overalls and supply drinks to the drivers and team as part of their preparation for events, such as this weekend’s marathon in Singapore. They plan to develop drinks specifically for the demands of F1 racing.

This latest deal adds to a roster of other partnerships with leading sports figures and teams, particularly British ones – in football’s Premier League; FA, Arsenal FC, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC, running (25 events including the Virgin London Marathon), and Olympic sport (UKA, British Boxing, British Basketball, Mo Farah, Phillips Idowu, Louis Smith).

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The drivers used to take their overalls down half way when they were hot but this obviously led to the drivers being seen with more than an inch of their bodies absent fon sponsorship.

I think McLaren were the first team to print sponsor logos onto their drivers’ underwear. Sad really.


Shouldn’t Hamilton be sponsored by orange flavoured Tango….the Stewards can be told ‘I’ve been Tangoe’d’


Redbull, Mercedes with Monster, Mclaren with Lucozade…when does Relentless get in on the act and who with…? Kobayashi perhaps?


James – do the drivers still get handed watches before the press conference? I often wonder if the frequent nose scratching or hair ruffling was to get more airtime for their watch sponsors! What are these sponsorships worth for the drivers?


Yes. The co-ordinator from FOM in unilateral room has watches, caps and jackets ready and drivers spend a few minutes after the podium getting them on as well as the headset mikes they use. Watch deals are more team deals than individuals, on the whole


Amongst all the hilarity guys, don’t forget that GSK is the worlds 3rd largest pharma company. With a 2010 revenue of 28 billion and a net income of 1.8 billion. Red bull posted a 2009 net income of 123 million. Don’t know what they posted for 2010.

Having worked in the pharma industry himself, I expect Dietrich will be looking over his shoulder right now.

This could be a big land for McLaren. Well done guys.


Should appease Hamilton’s sweet-tooth no end.


Geez, GSK know how to back almost winners. Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool are all great sides that just can’t get across the line, and now McLaren! I’m sure GSK calculate their sponsorships very carefully, but they must be hoping the trend snaps soon.


This is great news-I’m sure new advertisers, rebranding, competitive synergies, etc. is just what McLaren needs to give them that boost past Red Bull.

Who knows, maybe GSK can clone Adrian Newey? That’ll fix the problem.

Grayzee (Australia)

As a kid in the 70’s , we were force fed Lucozade when ever we had the flu , as it was, at that time, billed as an “aid to recovery”.

I read that the formula has not changed much.

So, when the McLaren boys are “sick” of seeing SV win again(with the aid of his Red Bull wings), they can have some of their new drink……….


As a child of the 70’s I still associate this product with sick people in hospitals – it was what you brought when visiting. Or flowers.


I remember the bottle with the knobbly neck and that orange wrapper around it

Grayzee (Australia)

Good lord! You’re right! I’d forgotten about that…… 🙂 I hope have they improved the taste. It was downright awful back then!


The slogan “Lucozade aids recovery” was replaced by “Lucozade replaces lost energy” just what Lewis needs…..


With more fizz than Redbull! 🙂


The timing here’s no coincidence surely…

Just long enough for Lewis to grow a pukkah Daley Thompson tache in time for Movember!


“It was about McLaren lending expertise to GSK in improving its speed and performance as a business.”

This is typical Mclaren PR speak. It would be interesting to know from GSK, what kind of business lessons they are learning from McLaren.


Lucozade Hahahahahahahaha!!!

Lets just hope this drinks company doesn’t take over Mclaren outright turning Formula 1 into a drinks battle ground where drinks companies go to fight it out for bragging rights as the best drink in the world.

Red Bull should watch out next year, they have had their time in the sun but now it’s Lucozade’s turn Hahahahahahahaha!

Am pretty certain Lucozade will have a big visible space on the cars & drivers overalls.


This will keep Lewis happy, as deep inside he wanted to drive for a drinks team perhaps.

Anyone try Lucozade and Johnny Walker? Is it a match?



Whilst we are on the subject of Mclaren sponsorship and overalls, I have noticed in post-race driver interviews that the Mclaren drivers seem to have their overalls tied round their waist whilst wearing a separate sponsorship jacket (which looks exactly the same as the overalls?). Do you know the logic/thinking behind this? Small thing but I have often wondered!




The jacket is very heavily starched so all the sponsor logos stand out. Post race the drivers overalls are wet with sweat and champagne and they crumple.


The starched jackets look dreadful in my opinion. It’s so Mclaren though – that must have been a Ron Dennis idea.


“must have been a Ron Dennis idea.”

His legacy in full


Got it!


Didnt Lewis once say something along the lines of “Red Bull are just an energy drinks company”?


McLaren in the same sentence as Arsenal FC – that says it all


Haha great comment –

I thought I was only joking when I said that Lucozade would appear on the side of a McLaren. Oh well…

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