The bottomless pockets of the tobacco industry are once again being tapped by the F1 world, with McLaren – informally known as Marlboro McLaren back in the glory days of both F1 and cigarettes – signing a deal with British American Tobacco to inject some cash into the team.
BAT pulled out of F1 sponsorship in 2006 when tobacco advertising was outright banned. Of course, the cars won't be branded like massive rolling cigarette packets any more in this more enlightened age of clean-breathing, as this latest monetary injection is designed to promote BAT's move into vaping and other smoking alternatives; so expect the team's cars' exhaust fumes to be tinkered with to output cinnamon or chocolate scents.
The wording of the deal is therefore as awkward as you might imagine, with McLaren saying the sponsorship arrangement focuses on the "potentially reduced risk products" offered by BAT, which in the UK means its Vype vaping and ecigarette system that scientists usually agree is a probably less bad a thing to inhale. [McLaren]