An F1 Team Might Take a Bored Ape Across the U.S. Grand Prix Finish Line

As a part of an ongoing partnership with the Williams Racing team, crypto exchange Kraken will allow fans to submit and vote for NFTs that will be displayed on cars during the U.S. Grand Prix in October.

AccessTimeIconAug 1, 2023 at 2:05 p.m. UTC
Updated Aug 2, 2023 at 3:21 p.m. UTC
  • Crypto exchange Kraken is crowdsourcing which NFTs will adorn an F1 car
  • Six total NFTs will be incorporated on the Williams' car in the race

If you look closely, you might catch a Bored Ape crossing the finish line during a Formula 1 race this fall.

In an ongoing partnership with British Formula One team Williams Racing, crypto exchange Kraken will place non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on the back of the team’s cars competing in the U.S. Grand Prix this October.

But which NFTs to choose? Kraken will be crowdsourcing its race car decals by allowing users to submit their NFTs and vote on their favorite characters.

Starting August 1, any NFT holder whose asset is listed on Kraken’s native NFT marketplace will be eligible to submit their token before the contest closes on August 18. Williams and Kraken will then select the top 20 entries, putting them up for a community vote from August 28 to 31.

The four most popular NFTs, as well as two NFTs selected by Williams team drivers Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant, will be displayed on the car during the Austin-based Grand Prix on October 22.

Lou Frangella, Head of Brand Partnerships at Kraken and former VP of Partnerships at FTX.US, subsidiary of fallen exchange FTX, told CoinDesk that incorporating NFTs onto the back of Williams’ cars will bring attention not only to individual projects but also to the NFT market as a whole.

“NFTs are an essential part of the cryptocurrency ecosystem, and I think they represent many different things – they are ownership for some people, and there are very engaged communities in a lot of cases,” said Frangella. “Whenever we have the opportunity to lift up the crypto community, we want to use our platform to be able to do that.”

In March, Kraken announced its Williams sponsorship deal aimed at bringing crypto educational experiences to F1 fans across the globe. Frangella told CoinDesk that since the spring, Kraken has displayed the bitcoin white paper on the nose of Williams cars, celebrated Bitcoin Pizza Day with the team by sending pies to its 800 employees and hosted fan meet-ups at various racing events.

“We're just continuing to use our partnership as a way to properly educate and be a resource for people – not just F1 fans, but anyone that the sport crosses paths with, whether you're a Williams fan or not, to propel our mission,” said Frangella.

It didn’t take long for crypto sponsorships to find their place within the luxury sport of F1. In February 2022, Red Bull’s racing team signed a $150 million partnership with crypto exchange Bybit. Most recently, Sui blockchain also signed a multiyear deal with Red Bull, with a goal of bringing Web3 experiences to its fans.

While NFTs have yet to be seen on the race cars themselves, they’ve previously been present at racing events. In May, F1 ticket provider Platinum Group issued NFT tickets for the Monaco Grand Prix, offering buyers access to the race as well as future ticket discounts.

Edited by Rosie Perper.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Cam Thompson

Cam Thompson was a news reporter at CoinDesk.