The collaboration with Michelob will bring Williams Racing legends back to the track. The TV special will air in Spring 2024.
The inaugural Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix certainly lived up to its hype over the weekend. From dramatics on the track to an overwhelming amount of celebrity sightings, it’s safe to say Sin City’s first race in 40 years was quite a memorable event.
One of the more popular activations over the weekend was the partnership between Michelob ULTRA and Williams Racing. The brands celebrated their first year of partnership since 2016 by announcing “Lap of Legends,” a television special that will bring fans even closer to the sport with a first-of-its-kind real vs virtual adrenaline-fueled 16-lap race.
Made possible thanks to the help of innovative technology, artificial intelligence, and augmented reality to bring legendary Williams Racing drivers back to the track, one real driver will compete against virtual versions of former Williams drivers. The drivers featured include Jenson Button, Jacques Villeneuve, Mario Andretti, and more.
“We’re once again using technology in service of great storytelling. With ‘Lap of Legends,’ we are delivering Michelob ULTRA’s point of view with a unique piece of entertainment that fans will most surely enjoy,” Ricardo Marques, Vice President of Marketing for Michelob ULTRA, said. “We’re also incredibly proud to count on this partnership with Williams Racing, undoubtedly one of the most iconic names in the history of Formula 1.”
Michelob and Williams say that they rifled through thousands of hours of racing footage to make the virtual drivers. The AI iterations mirror not only their original cars but also the strategies and techniques unique to the individual drives.
“Lap of Legends” will air as a one-hour special on AMC and BBC America, along with Roku, in Spring 2024.
While Red Bull has made a statement in the auto racing world over the last several years, Williams was a force in the 1980s and 1990s. From 1980 to 1997, the UK-based group won seven drivers’ championships. In that same period, they notched nine constructors’ victories, the second-most after Ferrari. Compared to other racing groups in 2023, Williams is ranked No. 10 in valuation at $725 million. The estimated revenue for this year alone is approximately $160 million, per Forbes.
The two drivers representing Williams Racing for the 2023 F1 season are Alex Albon and Logan Seargant. Albon, a 27-year-old Englishman who is also Thai, joined the team in 2022 and has two podium finishes. Sergeant, a 22-year-old American from Fort Lauderdale, joined Williams after the 2022 season.
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