Indigenous sponsor to appear on McLaren in groundbreaking move

Jamie Woodhouse
Lando Norris, McLaren, drives in the pit lane. Saudi Arabia, March 2022.

Lando Norris driving the McLaren MCL36 down the pit lane. Saudi Arabia, March 2022.

Branding from an Indigenous organisation will grace a Formula 1 car for the first time at the Australian GP, step forward McLaren.

As part of a new concept by McLaren and their sponsor Smartsheet, called ‘Sponsor X’, the place where Smartsheet’s logo would appear, that being on the side of the MCL36, shall instead be taken by a an organisation lacking such financial strength, allowing for funds to be raised and awareness built.

And for the Australian Grand Prix, the organisation which shall see its branding featured on the MCL36 is DeadlyScience, a nonprofit firm which provides educational resources to remote Australian communities.

Founded by Kamilaroi man Corey Tutt, it means that DeadlyScience will be the first Indigenous brand to see its logo on a Formula 1 car.

“It means the world for Smartsheet to donate this sponsorship and believe in the important work we are doing,” said Tutt, quoted by Mumbrella.

“When the kids see DeadlyScience on the car, they’re going to know it represents them.”

“I want people to get behind DeadlyScience as a community organisation, and really be proud of this grassroots charity that started off in the heart of Redfern,” he added, as per The Guardian.

“We want to make sure that every single child in this country has access to STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics] resources and the same opportunities as those in the city.

“I’m really excited to see Sponsor X come to life. A lot of this is going to change a lot of lives.

“The mob are really proud that we’re going to be on this car. And it’s just really exciting. And it’s a proud moment for me, my family and everyone that is part of DeadlyScience.”

So far, DeadlySciene has provided more than 20,000 books, as well as a range of other STEM material to 100+ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children communities throughout Australia.

And on top of the added exposure which their place on the MCL36 at the Australian Grand Prix will bring, DeadlyScience will also feature in spotlight posts on McLaren’s social media, while Smartsheet will provide them with software licences, consultancy and training at no cost.


McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown, quoted by Mumbrella, said: “Smartsheet has revolutionised how we do business, and now they are doing the same with how they are activating their sponsorship; its leading edge for Formula 1.

“McLaren is proud of the work DeadlyScience is doing to inspire a new generation of scientists. Sponsor X is a bold way of pursuing progress–an idea that resonates with everyone at McLaren.”

After a tricky start to the 2022 season, at the Australian GP McLaren will want to add to their tally of six points so far, as Formula 1 goes racing at Albert Park for the first time since 2019.