In the wake of Renault confirming BP-Castrol as their new lubricant and fuel partner for their motorsport programme, including Formula 1, McLaren have indicated that they have a deal too which they will announce in due course.
After MobilExxon ditched McLaren for Red Bull, the Woking outfit is said to have reached an agreement with BP-Castrol.
We asked McLaren whether a deal would be forthcoming any time soon, to which a spokesman replied, “McLaren’s lubricant and fuel partner for 2017 will be the subject of a future announcement, but we can confirm that development and progress of the 2017 Honda power unit have been underway for some time between all relevant technical partners.”
Which suggests a deal is done, with McLaren-Honda already using the lubricants, of their soon to be announced partners, in the production of their 2017 challenger which recently passed the mandatory FIA crash tests.
At the same time a spokesperson for BP was revealing little, “Any other news about our involvement in Formula 1 will be announced in due course.
However a Renault-Castrol-BP sponsorship has been on the cards for some time as it became apparent, in the second half of last year, that the future of the Renault-Total partnership was shaky.
Indeed it was and this new deal brings to an end a long standing association the French team had with Total.
Castrol were sponsors of the Audi team that contested the World Endurance Championship (WEC) and Le Mans with huge success, but the German manufacturer has disbanded it’s WEC programme.
The brand has a rich heritage in all aspects of motorsport – two wheels, four wheels, off-road and on-road – pre-dating their acquisition by BP in 2000. They are known to sponsor more than one team in the series’ they choose to be involved in, as would be the case if their stickers also appear on McLaren cars this season.
Castrol has been involved in Formula 1 for many years as a supplier/partner to a number of teams, including McLaren (1979-1980), Williams (1997-2005), Team Lotus (1992-1993), Brabham (1983-1984), Jaguar (2000-2004) and Walter Wolf Racing (1977-1979).