McLaren Racing has announced a new multi-year partnership with British American Tobacco.
The deal will be “focused solely on BAT’s potentially reduced risk products and grounded in technology and innovation”, said McLaren in a statement.
Tobacco advertising is banned in sport and McLaren has not indicated whether the deal will be reflected on the livery of the team’s new car for the 2019 F1 season, which will be launched on Thursday.
“We welcome BAT to the McLaren team and support their ambition of delivering meaningful and lasting change through innovation,” said McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown.
“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.”
BAT previously ran its own Formula 1 team, British American Racing, which competed between 1999 and 2004 before being taken over by Honda.
BAT chief marketing officer Kingsley Wheaton said: “We’re extremely proud and excited about this new partnership, further enabling us to accelerate the pace at which we innovate and transform ourselves.
“It gives us a truly global platform with which to drive greater resonance of our potentially reduced risk products, including our Vype, Vuse and glo brands. Ultimately, innovation and technology will support us in creating a better tomorrow’ for our consumers worldwide.”
The only other F1 team currently connected to a tobacco brand is Ferrari, who is sponsored by Marlboro producers Philip Morris International. Ferrari’s cars carry the logos of PMI’s Mission Winnow initiative, which is currently subject to investigations in Australia as to whether it is being used to promote tobacco.
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