McLaren removes A Better Tomorrow branding for Australian GP

McLaren’s British American Tobacco branding will not feature on its MCL34 at this weekend’s Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix.

It was announced earlier this year that McLaren had entered into a new sponsorship agreement with BAT, the company that owned the BAR squad in the early 2000s.

Tobacco advertising is prohibited in Formula 1 but the company intended to promote its ‘A Better Tomorrow’ scheme, which advertises a “portfolio of potentially reduced risk products”.

But for Australia McLaren’s MCL34 will feature 7-ELEVEN branding, with the convenience store being one of BAT’s biggest customers; it has effectively given the company ‘pass-through’ branding rights for the Australian market.

It is understood that BAT’s ‘A Better Tomorrow’ branding will be back on the car for the second event in Bahrain, as it was during pre-season running in Spain.

The move follows that of Ferrari, whose long-term partnership with Philip Morris International led to the company’s new ‘Mission Winnow’ project appearing on the SF90.

But for Australia all Mission Winnow branding has been removed from the car and instead Ferrari will commemorate the 90th anniversary of its founding with a special livery.

Australia has strict laws governing tobacco branding and authorities in the country intended to undertake an investigation into Mission Winnow, prior to Ferrari tweaking its livery.