McLaren drops BAT branding for Australian GP


McLaren has removed the BAT logos from its car and team kit in Melbourne, following Ferrari's move to remove Mission Winnow branding to avoid the risk of litigation in Australia linked to the country's anti-tobacco advertising laws.

Earlier this week, the Scuderia announced that it had deleted the Philip Morris International 'Mission Winnow' branding on its SF90 for this weekend's opening round of the F1 world championship.

McLaren has followed suit, discarding in Melbourne the British American Tobacco 'A Better Tomorrow' initiative it will be promoting this season.

The allocated space on the Woking-based outfit's MCL34 will be taken this weekend by Japanese-owned American international chain of convenience stores, 7-Eleven.

Speaking last month at the launch of McLaren's 2019 contender, CEO Zak Brown denied that tobacco companies were coming back to F1 through a back door.

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

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

Both Ferrari and McLaren are expected to display their respective tobacco company alternate brandings - or initiatives - at Bahrain later this month.

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