Written by: Parker Kligerman
McLaren Marketing Madness
Last night I attended an event on 5th Ave in NYC. I know, how special, Parker. But this was special because there was an F1 racecar there (show car) and everyone was there because they loved F1, apparently.
Well, saying they liked F1 would be like me saying I like dating models. Have I dated a model? No. Does that sound nice? Sure, when I was younger. Can I name a single model right now? No.
It was much the same here, but with F1. A launch event for McLaren and Abercrombie’s (remember them?) new clothing line that features McLaren logos and faded-out racecar photography. Is any of it original? No.
But a quick look at the people there made it evident that you didn’t need originality. Like the algorithm they all compete for attention on each day, give them what they want. Not what you think they will like in the future. Just feed them the same DJ, faded white tee, oversized jacket with some logos that say ‘car racing.’
I was taking a pic of the McLaren F1 showcar when a girl, who will remain nameless from McLaren, said, ‘I see you’re really interested in the car, can I answer any questions?’ She was a total sweetheart and let us mansplain why we know so much about this already. But then she said something interesting.
McLaren now has a bunch of these show cars in America. They actually used to ship them over until three years ago, and then that TV show on Netflix happened. Now they have a division here dedicated to events like this… which I asked, ‘Is anything actually happening here?’
She replied, ‘Not really, there’s an open bar, DJ, and you can buy the clothes. That’s it.’
After a few free tequila sodas, this made me sad. As a 9-year-old, I would have cut a toe off to be this close to an F1 showcar and know F1 cared back. But they don’t… on this night, they wanted Betty-Influencer and Joey-YouTuber to take some pics & by chance the merchandise will end up in the shot. All perfectly placed and planned for this eventuality.
Like the most common question of the evening, ‘Do you watch Drive to Survive?’ in which my friend Matt found it funnier to ask, ‘What was your favorite race from last season?’
Nobody had an answer. Even if they watched Drive to Survive, they certainly didn’t complete it before the next trendy show crossed their Instagram timeline, and they eventually remembered that Netflix was blaring in the background.
F1 in America may be playing dangerously close to the sun. I hope we can avoid it taking all the other motorsports with it. Then again, that showcar looked pretty sweet, and I’m pretty sure it will be cheaper to sell to me than ship back to England in a year or two.
IMSA Admits Mistake
At the conclusion of last weekend’s Rolex 24, IMSA officials inadvertently waved the checkered flag too soon, throwing the outcome into controversy. The intense battle between Felipe Nasr's No. 7 Porsche and Tom Blomqvist's No. 31 Cadillac was heating up when the white flag appeared prematurely, signaling the final lap with three minutes still left in the race. Nasr, caught in the confusion, shared his on-track mindset, saying, “You gotta keep on the throttle until you know it’s over, right?" Despite the timing error, Nasr and his team were declared the winners, but the victory was overshadowed by the unusual circumstances.
IMSA admitted to the mishap in a statement, acknowledging the officiating error that led to the early conclusion of the race. They clarified that under their regulations, the race officially ends when the checkered flag is displayed, whether mistakenly or not. This decision effectively cut the 24-hour race short by one lap, leaving the racing community buzzing about the unprecedented conclusion to one of motorsport's most iconic events.