McLaren's BAT branding to increase significantly for 2020 F1 season

The McLaren Formula 1 team says its 2020 livery will be "quite special" as a result of an expanded sponsorship deal with British American Tobacco

McLaren's BAT branding to increase significantly for 2020 F1 season

McLaren began a partnership with BAT earlier this year to promote the company's electronic alternatives to cigarettes.

On the back of McLaren's run to fourth in this year's constructors' championship, BAT announced ahead of this weekend's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that it will be increasing its financial commitment in 2020, as well as sponsoring the team's IndyCar effort.

The revised deal, which seals BAT's place as McLaren's biggest sponsor, will lead to a larger brand presence on the car - with its product names set to feature on the sidepods, inside the halo and on the front wing.

Speaking about the changes to the car's livery, McLaren CEO Zak Brown said: "Our car design, which we will won't reveal until we unveil our race car in February, it looks quite special.

"I think you'll like what the race car looks like with the various categories that BAT use on the race car.

"So I don't want to spoil that debut. But I will say it will look quite impactful and be very noticeable on the racetrack."

Brown stressed, however, that the Woking-based outfit would stick to its historic orange papaya colours despite BAT's increased involvement.

"BAT is our big biggest partner but we will always stay core to our papaya," he said.

"It is a kind of celebration of the history of McLaren and our colour palette."

Despite BAT becoming a principal partner of McLaren's, the company said it does not plan to lift its involvement further and become a title sponsor.

Kingsley Wheaton, BAT's chief marketing officer, said: "We have no particular aspirations to be title sponsors. We're very happy with where we are.

"That's actually because the nature of our partnerships from the tobacco days over a decade ago have changed.

"This is about technology. It is about innovation and it is about brands. We're very happy where we are."

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