ExxonMobil leaves McLaren for Red Bull F1 team

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LONDON (Reuters) – McLaren have lost another long-term partner to Formula One rivals Red Bull with oil giant ExxonMobil following the example of Tag Heuer.

Red Bull said in a statement on Thursday that ExxonMobil will replace Total as their official partner for fuel, lubricant and motor oil in 2017.

The Mobil 1 and Esso brands will feature on the cars driven by Australian Daniel Ricciardo and Dutch teenager Max Verstappen, as well as on overalls and helmets.

Red Bull’s Renault engines carry the branding of Swiss watch company Tag Heuer, who left McLaren at the end of the 2015 season after a 30-year partnership.

ExxonMobil have been McLaren’s partners for the past 21 years, during which time they have claimed three drivers’ world championships, one constructors’ title and 78 race victories.

McLaren are the second most successful team in Formula One history but have not won the constructors’ title since 1998 and have struggled to be competitive in their latest partnership with Honda.

The shareholders recently ousted Ron Dennis as chief executive and chairman, ending his 35-year involvement with the team.

Red Bull racked up four successive drivers’ and constructors’ titles between 2010 and 2013. They ended the 2016 season in second place to Mercedes, with McLaren sixth overall.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Toby Davis)

 

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