Airwallex gets into Formula 1 with McLaren

- February 8, 2024 2 MIN READ
Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60
Photo: McLaren
Global payments fintech Airwallex has signed a multi-year partnership deal with the McLaren Formula 1 team, joining the likes of Google Cloud, Chrome, Salesforce and Dell as backers of the recently refreshed F1 cars.

McLaren’s 2024 challenger, the MCL38, will be revealed on February 14 ahead of the ahead of the season opener in Bahrain this year on March 2.  The Australian GP is on March 24.

It will be the sixth season for British perpetual bridesmaid Lando Norris, who is the joint record-holder for the most podiums without a win. In 2023 he finished 2nd six times and third once to finish the driver’s championship in 6th place on 205 points.

Joining him in McLaren’s orange livery is Australian Oscar Piastri, in his second season with the team. Like Airwallex, Piastri, who turns 23 in April, grew up in Melbourne. He’s signed with McLaren until 2026 and proved to be no slouch in his debut season with a 3rd in Japan, followed by 2nd place in Qatar where he also won his and McLaren’s first sprint victory ahead of Max Verstappen.

Incidentally McLaren set the new record for the fastest pit stop at Qatar, 1.8 seconds, with Norris behind the wheel.

Airwallex will support McLaren’s global financial operations through its treasury management and cross-border pay-outs and settlement product suite. The F1 team will use Airwallex to optimise its supply chain payments for all Grands Prix.

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown said their existing payments infrastructure limits payment to suppliers, such as hotel and event space providers, to a singular currency account based in the UK, costing their more amid slower payment times.

“In the competitive world of Formula 1, efficiency and performance are crucial both on and off the track,” he said.

“We are delighted to have Airwallex on board and use their innovative and trusted payment solutions to support our team’s financial operations.”

As part of this partnership, Airwallex will also provide technology to support the launch and ongoing operation of McLaren’s digital partner merchandise platform

Airwallex CEO Jack Zhang  said the partnership will play a key role in supporting the fintech’s global expansion.