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Estrella Galicia leaves Ferrari for McLaren return in F1 beer merry-go-round

Spanish beer brand Estrella Galicia 0.0 has returned to the McLaren Formula 1 team as the Woking outfit’s official beer partner after three years with Ferrari.

Press Conference with Lando Norris, McLaren Carlos Sainz, Scuderia Ferrari Sir Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG

Photo by: Jake Grant / Motorsport Images

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In an unusual merry-go-round of beers, the Maranello team is in turn replacing the departed sponsor with Peroni, the top Italian non-alcoholic brand that was previously with Aston Martin for three seasons.

Owned by brewer Hijos de Rivera, Estrella Galicia has long been associated with Carlos Sainz, having supported him from his GP3 days in 2013.

The company entered the top level of the sport in 2015 with Toro Rosso when Sainz made his F1 debut alongside fellow rookie Max Verstappen. The following year it stepped up its involvement with logos on the car.

It then joined Sainz in his team moves, first to Renault for the last part of the 2017 season, and then onto McLaren in 2019.

In 2021 it accompanied him to Ferrari, and it remained a partner of the Italian team for the last three years, a period that saw Sainz score two victories.

Carlos Sainz, Scuderia Toro Rosso at a Estrella Galicia event

Photo by: Jose Maria Rubio

Carlos Sainz, Scuderia Toro Rosso at a Estrella Galicia event

However, last January Ferrari confirmed in a statement to the financial media that it had agreed a multi-year deal starting in 2024 with Asahi Europe and International Ltd, although at the time it did not specify which of its non-alcoholic brands it would promote, with Peroni still involved in its ongoing Aston deal.

The announcement signalled to Estrella Galicia that it wouldn’t be able to stay with Ferrari and indeed Sainz beyond last season, obliging it to look elsewhere if it wanted to remain in the series. A return to McLaren emerged as the preferred option.

“We’re thrilled to have Estrella Galicia back racing with us as official beer partner,” McLaren boss Zak Brown said.

“With a great tradition within F1, Estrella Galicia is a brand that matches our energy for innovation, and we’re excited to have them alongside us once more as we go into the new season.”

Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren, and Lando Norris, McLaren

Photo by: Andrew Hone / Motorsport Images

Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren, and Lando Norris, McLaren

Estrella Galicia chief marketing officer Jose Cabanas added: “As part of our internationalisation process having great partners alongside you is a key factor for success.

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“McLaren Racing and Estrella Galicia not only share common values such as authenticity, craftmanship, and innovation but also a strong spirit of differentiation and a non-conformist attitude in everything they do.

“We are thrilled to start a new chapter in our F1 journey in papaya colours and I’m sure that we will have great things to toast for during the season.”

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