McLaren echoes Ferrari by removing BAT branding for Australian GP

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McLaren has followed Ferrari by removing all branding linked to sponsor British American Tobacco for the Australian Grand Prix.

In an initiative similar to Philip Morris' 'Mission Winnow', the Woking-based outfit will feature BAT's 'A Better Tomorrow' project on their cars and driver overalls this season.

However, after Australian authorities investigated whether the former was simply a backhand way to promote cigarettes, both teams have taken no chances.

Ferrari will run a special 90th-anniversary livery, while McLaren has struck a one-off deal with supermarket brand 7-Eleven.

"BAT is an outstanding corporation that has a long history in motorsport," McLaren CEO Zak Brown said at the car launch last month.

"Our partnership's one that is technology based with their newer generation products. We don't have any relationship with the tobacco side of the business.

"Their industry is one that's transforming and is technology driven. So we think there are areas where we can work with them and help them in their transformation journey around technology.

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"What took place 10, 15, 20 years ago, the world is a different place and their landscape has changed and Formula 1 is a good platform for them," he added.

"One of the things that McLaren prides itself on in partnerships is working with leading innovative companies, and you can definitely put BAT into that category," he concluded.