afaqs! news bureau

WhatsApp introduces a new race car emoji in partnership with the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team

WhatsApp is lighting up the Empire State Building green and launching a new race car emoji to celebrate its rapid growth in the United States, announcing double-digit growth in both daily users and messages sent on WhatsApp in the US.

It released the new custom race car emoji that over two billion users will be able to use immediately in their chats, just in time for the Miami Grand Prix this coming weekend.

Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 driver Lewis Hamilton, and CEO and team principal Toto Wolff, together flipped the Empire State Building’s famous light switch and turned the building’s tower lights a bright WhatsApp green. The lighting was followed by a light show takeover of the building’s façade, which featured an animated projection of the new emoji racing through New York City.

(L-R): Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff
(L-R): Lewis Hamilton and Toto Wolff
Sansho Scott/

The celebration continues tomorrow, when WhatsApp and Mercedes-AMG F1 will bring the emoji to life as it shuts down Fifth Avenue for the demonstration of a Formula One car in Manhattan. Hamilton will be at the wheel of the speed demo, taking place alongside a life-sized replica of the emoji race car.

Will Cathcart, head of WhatsApp said, "Year after year WhatsApp is gaining solid ground in the U.S. because people want a private and secure way to communicate across platforms. WhatsApp is not only the best way to chat about a race with friends around the world, but also within the U.S. too, and we’re excited to celebrate this growth together with Mercedes and the Empire State Building."

Toto Wolff, CEO and team principal, Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team, said, "In recent years, our sport and WhatsApp have both been on an impressive growth journey in the United States. The partnership between ourselves as a team and WhatsApp, our official messaging partner, is therefore a natural fit. We rely daily on WhatsApp for the privacy and security it affords in our communications, which is vital in F1."

“We are also both passionate about connecting people through shared experiences, committed to telling incredible stories, and setting the benchmark in our respective fields. As we prepare for the first stateside Grand Prix this year, it is fantastic to celebrate our collaboration with several iconic moments and activations in New York City that are certain to get people talking.”

Lewis Hamilton said, “I’ve always felt a special connection with the United States. I remember going to New York as a kid and dreaming about living in the city and I’ve been fortunate to spend a lot of time here since then. I’ve had many incredible experiences and connected with many amazing people in New York, but to drive an F1 car down Fifth Avenue and light up the Empire State Building is incredibly special. It’s something I never thought would be possible and it’s been even better to do it in partnership with WhatsApp, an app that keeps my connection to the US alive by making it easy to stay in touch with so many people stateside.”

Coinciding with the growing popularity of Formula 1 in the United States, WhatsApp announced a partnership with the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team late in 2023 as the official messaging partner for the team.

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