As part of an exclusive deal that the Woking-based squad has signed with British company Seamless Digital, both McLaren cars will run with the new technology in practice sessions for the remainder of the season.
The dynamic panels, which are fitted in sections along either side of the cockpit and will be clearly visible from onboard cameras, allow the team to change the branding on the car as it chooses.
This offers unique scope for outfits to run with several different sponsors throughout a weekend – and the changes can take place in an instant even when the car is out on track.
McLaren’s pioneering use of the technology is a first in motorsport and, as part of its agreement, the team has the right to use it in its other racing activities.
The digital panels have been in development for years but it is only now that the technology has advanced enough, especially the weight not being a deterrent, that the door has opened for them to be used in F1.
McLaren’s executive director of Brands & Marketing Louise McEwan believed that the dynamic panels could spark a revolution in terms of possibilities for teams and sponsors.
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Photo by: McLaren
“We are pleased to work with Seamless Digital to debut one of the most exciting innovations in digital advertising technology,” she said.
“Being able to rotate different brands on our cars is a game-changer in this space and we are looking forward to seeing the impact this has on the wider industry.”
Mark Turner, the founder and CEO, Seamless Digital, added: “We are delighted to be able to unveil this technology which represents the next step in the future of motorsport marketing.
“Being able to change branding in real-time on a Formula 1 car will give greater flexibility and value to teams and partners. Our technology enables more creative options for brands to communicate situationally relevant messages.
“We have found the perfect partner in McLaren who share our ambition for innovation and breaking convention as pioneers in the fields of technology.
“We believe this is just the beginning of flexible on car branding and motor racing assets.
“By ensuring the technology works on a Formula 1 car we have already cracked the toughest place to innovate and are set to disrupt advertising across F1, motorsport, golf, US sports and ultimately, wider more mainstream use.”