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Scotching a rumour

NEWS STORY
24/09/2014

Contrary to some media reports, Whisky company Johnnie Walker's relationship with McLaren is not on the rocks.

In the wake of last week's announcement that Johnnie Walker had become the "official Whisky of F1", there were claims in some sections of the media that this was at the cost of the long-lasting partnership with McLaren. Indeed, some suggested that the move represented "another blow" to the Woking team. Not so.

Pitpass understands that the new deal between FOM and Johnnie Walker's parent company Diageo is worth 1m a year whereas the existing deal with McLaren is worth 18m a year, and that, although McLaren's existing Johnnie Walker tie-up isn’t a title sponsorship, it is worth significantly more than some other teams’ title sponsorships, Williams and Martini for example.

Furthermore, Pitpass understands that the existing deal with Diageo, which continues until and including 2016, is very important to and greatly valued by both parties, and that all Diageo’s F1-related activities will continue to be channelled through the existing deal rather than the new FOM deal, and that both parties are extremely happy with the existing deal and have no plans to bring it to an end.

Indeed, only today Johnnie Walker and McLaren announced a competition whereby the winner will enjoy the "ultimate driving lesson" from Jenson Button.

We'll drink to that.

Chris Balfe

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