McLaren have announced that they are to partner with tobacco firm British American Tobacco to promote their range of “potentially reduced risk products” marking BAT’s return to the F1 grid for the first time since they sold control of the BAR team to Honda at the end of the 2004 season.
Direct tobacco sponsorship has been banned in F1 since the end of the 2006 season, but as this deal and Ferrari’s partnership with Philip Morris under the Mission Winnow branding shows, teams are able to partner with tobacco firms to promote technological advancement and non-tobacco (mainly e-cigarette & vaping) products.
The multi-year partnership, going under the name of “A Better Tomorrow” is “centred on accelerating BAT’s transforming agenda, leveraging its portfolio of potentially reduced risk products.”
Zak Brown, Chief Executive of McLaren Racing, said: “We welcome BAT to the McLaren team and support their ambition of delivering meaningful and lasting change through innovation. BAT’s transformation agenda is central to this partnership and we are pleased to share our technical experience and expertise in helping to accelerate this.”
McLaren are due to launch their 2019 car and livery this week on Thursday (14th) and we expect to see the new branding on the car then,