background image

Heist a friend

How to convert someone into a McLaren F1 fan


In case you hadn’t heard, there’s a heist going down this week and you’re part of it. You see, life can be lonely if you’re a Formula 1 fan, particularly in the United States where the likes of American football, baseball, basketball and hockey take centre stage. This might be hard for some of you dyed-in-the-wool McLaren fans to believe, but F1 isn’t even on some people’s radars. That’s all about to change though.

In the build-up to the United States Grand Prix, we’re challenging you to heist a friend to convert them into an F1 fanatic. Finally, after years of feeling like those around you just don’t get your love of F1, this is the chance you’ve been waiting for to make your nearest and dearest passionate about all things Papaya.

So, just how do you heist a friend? Well, conscious that the key to a good heist, much like the relationship between an F1 driver and their race engineer, is communication, we thought we’d provide you with these simple steps to follow…

#1 Get your friends involved in the campaign

‘Heist a Friend’ isn’t a case of bundling your mate into the back of a van when they least expect it, dragging them feet first to a dark room, tying them to a chair, taping their eyes wide open and forcing them to watch episodes of McLaren Unboxed over and over again until they turn into a die-hard McLaren F1 fan. Unless, of course, you want to…

No, ‘Heist a Friend’ is way less devious than that. Just ask them, nicely, to give you the keys to their weekend so you can be in the driving seat and take them on a journey that they’ll never forget – a journey that will get them hooked on McLaren and F1. If they refuse, then, maybe resort to the ‘bundle them into the back of a van’ method.

#2 Read ‘A Rookie’s Guide to F1’

Now, we appreciate that F1 is not exactly short on complexity. It’s littered with nuance and often far from easy to make sense of. Understandably, this can make it daunting, overwhelming and even off-putting for newcomers who are trying to get their head around the sport. That’s why we’ve put together ‘A Rookie’s Guide to F1’, to bring your friends up to speed in no time at all.


#3 Dress appropriately

To feel part of something, like you belong, you want to look the part and that’s why we’re giving US fans the chance to get kitted out in Papaya and show their support for McLaren. We’ve got everything from giant foam fingers and face paint to Lando and Daniel American football jerseys and lots, lots more for our fans across the pond. For those of you not in the US, have no fear, there’s enough Papaya goodness to go around for everybody on the McLaren Store.

#4 Switch things up

Once you’ve got your hands on something Papaya from the McLaren Store, make like Daniel and switch into something that’s oh-so McLaren in the blink of an eye. We’re challenging you and your friends to submit your best ‘switch-up’ videos, so we can witness the transformation into full-blown McLaren fan.

#5 Use a filter

The good news is that with our brand-new Instagram filter you can try an American football helmet and F1 helmet on for size to see which suits you best. Go for the F1 helmet and you’ve got another choice to make: Lando or Daniel’s lid? Or, you could just go with no helmet – but where’s the fun in that?

#6 Watch DR on Monday Night Football

So, turns out Daniel’s favourite NFL team is the Buffalo Bills and he made his debut on ESPN’s Monday Night Football this week as his beloved Bills took on the Tennessee Titans ahead of the United States Grand Prix. For those of you who can watch the show, get ready for a large helping of the Honey Badger.

#7 Play bingo

Bingo! Bingo? What’s bingo got to do with a successful heist, you ask? Isn’t that the game for people of advanced years, armed with felt tips? That may be so, but not this time. The game of bingo we’ve created turns heisting a friend into an interactive game. From doing a shoey and singing the US national anthem to watching Daniel on Monday Night Football, if you’ve filled in every square of the bingo card come the end of the United States Grand Prix, you can proudly call yourself a McLaren US super fan and the heist a success.


#8 Win big

If no longer being a pariah as a result of converting your friends into F1 fans wasn’t enough of an incentive, we thought we’d sweeten the deal with not one, not two, but three competitions for you to enter. Up for grabs are Daniel’s race suit signed by the man himself, a signed Lando or Daniel American football jersey and a bespoke, one-off United States Grand Prix helmet that’s quite possibly the most American thing ever.

How to enter the competitions to win the jerseys and helmet will be revealed in due course but entry will require you to be signed up to McLaren Plus which, conveniently, is how you can be one of the first to get all the details on how to win these prizes. So why wait? Sign up now!

#9 Watch the race

OK, this is an obvious, but very important part of the heist. If the people you’ve heisted haven’t managed to escape or started ghosting you by the time it’s lights out, it’s time to enjoy the main event. Come Sunday, turn on the TV, crank up the volume, tune into live commentary on the McLaren App and let Lando and Daniel ‘do their thang’ at the Circuit of the Americas. We promise you and your friends won’t be disappointed.

#10 Watch McLaren Fan Heist

Once the race has finished and you've completed your heist, you need to watch McLaren Fan Heist, where we take two unsuspecting, die-hard fans of the Buffalo Bills and try to convert them into McLaren fans. Supporters don’t get any more ardent than hardcore Bills fans, they’re even known as the ‘Bills Mafia’, but we’re determined to get them interested in F1. That’s why we’re taking them on the trip of a lifetime to show them the extraordinary world of McLaren up close.

Happy heisting, folks!

Join the team

McLaren Plus is our free-to-join fan loyalty programme, bringing McLaren fans closer to the team with the most inclusive, rewarding and open-to-all fan programmes in F1 & esports.

Sign up now, or current members can amend their details in the form below if necessary.