Tag Heuer has chosen to switch its sponsorship from McLaren to Red Bull.
Tag Heuer is to bring to an end its 30-year alliance with McLaren and switch to rival Red Bull. The brand has featured on the team’s cars since the MP4/4 of 1985 after former TAG Heuer CEO Mansour Ojjeh became involved in McLaren.
In a major overthrow, the iconic watch brand has chosen to unite with Red Bull from next season, bringing into question the team’s partnership with Casio.
In an interview with Swiss magazine L’Hebdo, Tag Heuer CEO Jean-Claude Bivet said: “We have just signed Red Bull Racing in F1 for next season.
“It is a young, dynamic, go-getter, perfectly consistent with the TAG Heuer strategy.”
The loss of Tag Heuer is a major sponsorship hit to McLaren as the group has been without a primary sponsor since Vodafone departed at the end of 2013.
McLaren has also confirmed the split by saying, “McLaren’s partnership with Tag Heuer has been one of the most successful and enduring sponsorships in sporting history.
“It has lasted 30 years, during which time both parties have achieved enormous success together.
“On track the team has won grands prix and world championships with such iconic racing heroes as Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen and Lewis Hamilton.
“Off track Tag Heuer’s association with the team has caused its watches to become globally synonymous with high technology, precision and speed – three principal hallmarks of the McLaren brand.
“It is therefore with gratitude we announce the end of our 30-year partnership, satisfied as both parties are with a job well done.
“Our relationship with Tag Heuer’s parent company LVMH continues via our new partnership with Chandon, announced last month.”