McLaren running Esso branding at Sepang

Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Practice, Sepang, Malaysia, Friday 28 March 2014.

During the season opening Australian Grand Prix weekend, McLaren said the prominent Mobil branding on the sidepods of its 2014 car was a one-off.

However in Malaysia, McLaren’s black sidepods are featuring the branding of Esso, another ExxonMobil brand.

Team communications boss Matt Bishop, “ExxonMobil was delighted by the additional exposure and positive feedback it received following the unveiling of the special livery celebrating the 20th anniversary of the technology partnership between McLaren and ExxonMobil at the 2014 Australian Grand Prix.”

“Based on that success, ExxonMobil is excited about the opportunity for further exposure to Formula 1 fans globally offered by a livery featuring the Esso fuels logo as well as the Mobil 1 brand,” added Bishop.

The British team, have reportedly yet to sign a replacement for departed title sponsor Vodafone.

Also new for the MP4-29 at Sepang is a tweaked anteater nose, as team supremo Ron Dennis said McLaren will not give up on winning this season.

“We are not here to be second or third,” he is quoted by 20min.ch, adding that McLaren expects to have added half a second of pace to the car since Australia.

Lead driver Jenson Button said in Malaysia: “Out of the box the car was what we expected, a little bit low on downforce, but as long as we keep developing the car as we plan to we should be able to catch Mercedes.”

Departed McLaren driver Sergio Perez said he is not surprised the team has bounced back after a dismal 2013 season.

“The development of the 2013 car was given up very early in the season to focus on 2014,” the Mexican told Formula 1’s official website. “That was McLaren’s target — all 2014.” (GMM)