McLaren Honda has gone this year without a title sponsor, but has alleviated that a bit with the announcement of Chandon on Wednesday as an official partner.
Chandon, a sparking wine brand under the Moët Hennessy umbrella, will adorn the cars on the side of the chassis behind the front tires and ahead of the sidepods. It takes the place of where Johnnie Walker had been present this year.
It’s been announced as a long-term partnership, as well.
“The McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team’s story is characterized by human endeavour, filled with heroic champions who have stood on sport’s global stage. This is a team that seizes the moment and remains open to new challenges,” Christophe Navarre, Chairman and CEO of Moët Hennessy, said in a release.
“Chandon couldn’t be happier to partner with the McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team. This is a rich new occasion to bring our fans together around the world, and to enjoy the depth of this connection.”
Added Ron Dennis, McLaren Technology Group Chairman and CEO, in the same release: “It is extremely exciting that Moët Hennessy has chosen to join with the McLaren Honda team through Chandon to form a unique, long-term partnership.
“The fit between Chandon and McLaren Honda is a natural one with both sharing a passion to innovate in whatever we do, combined with a unique style and approach. It is a great privilege for everyone at McLaren Honda to partner with Chandon, one of the iconic brands in the prestigious Moët Hennessy portfolio.”
Cynically, one could suggest, this is a way for McLaren to be able to feasibly sip champagne in the midst of one of its worst seasons on record.
The team has scored just 17 points this season and ranks ninth in the Constructor’s Championship, with a best finish of fifth in Hungary.
The team’s last win came in 2012, when Jenson Button won the Brazilian Grand Prix season finale.