You just can't make this up. In a clever case of McLaren having the last laugh, the Woking-based outfit has sold a presence on its Halo to Gandys, a lifestyle brand known for its stylish... flip-flops!
From the outset, the mandatory cockpit safety device was mocked, torn apart and berated, with everyone comparing the component to a giant flip-flop adorning F1's cars.
That image obviously inspired McLaren's marketing department which has just secured a commercial deal with Gandys.
"Gandys was founded by brothers Rob and Paul Forkan, who were inspired to start the brand after tragically losing both their parents in the Tsunami that affected much of southeast Asia in December 2004," read McLaren's press release announcing the partnership for the Australian GP.
"The Gandys brand began with a single flip-flop design, with its initial success enabling Rob and Paul to achieve their goal and open the first Orphans For Orphans foundation kid’s campus, in Sri Lanka in 2014.
"Now, for the Australian Grand Prix, Gandys branding will feature on both McLaren cars. Today’s announcement means Gandys will become the first brand to take advantage of the unique shape of the new-for-2018 Halo cockpit protection structure, which has frequently been compared to the distinctive upper of a flip-flop.
"Additionally, Gandys and McLaren will collaborate to create a limited-run ‘Halo-edition’ flip-flop, with 100 per cent of all profits going directly to the Orphans For Orphans foundation. They will be available from gandyslondon.com and all Gandys' London stores, as well as through mclarenstore.com."
John Allert, McLaren Chief Marketing Officer, said:
"We’re delighted to have Rob, Paul and the team at Gandys join us for the Australian Grand Prix.
"The placement of the logo, on the MCL33’s Halo, was not only perfect from a branding perspective, but also a great opportunity to underline Gandys’ charitable commitment to providing a safer, more protective environment for those at risk.
"Collaborating with Gandys on a limited-edition co-branded product was also a meaningful step for us. By giving 100 per cent of all profits to the Orphans For Orphans charity, McLaren is also able to help a very deserving good cause.
"Showcasing this partnership in Australia, where we race just a stone’s throw from Melbourne’s beautiful St Kilda beach, just felt like the best possible opportunity for Gandys to showcase its brand and noble cause on the international stage."