McLaren's on track performance over the last few years has resulted in many of its long-standing sponsors leaving.
Luxury Swiss watch brand, Tag Heuer, is ending its 30-year sponsorship with one of Formula One’s most famous teams in McLaren as it jumps ship to Red Bull.
The loss of its long-term sponsor will serve as a huge blow for the struggling team which has failed to win a single race since 2012 and recently concluded its worst ever season.
A spokesman for McLaren confirmed the news saying "It is therefore with gratitude that we announce the end of our 30-year partnership, satisfied as both parties are with a job well done.”
Tag Heuer chief executive, Jean-Claude Biver, told Swiss magazine L'Hebdo in an interview that the brand had signed a deal with Red Bull, whose deal with Japanese watch brand Casio ends this year, for next season.
Discussing the new partnership with McLaren’s more successful rivals Biver said "it's a young, dynamic, go-getting team that fits perfectly with the Tag Heuer strategy.”
The Honda powered team’s poor performance in recent years has resulted in F1’s second most successful team ever losing a number of sponsors who have aligned themselves with the cars in contention for championships. The Surry-based team have been without a title sponsor since 2013, when Vodafone departed.
More top brands have followed suit leaving the car looking distinctly bare in comparison to the others in front, despite the team having the brand appeal of two world champions in Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button. Iconic German fashion brand Hugo Boss- a partner of 33-years with McLaren- also jumped ship at the end of last season as it agreed a deal with world champions Mercedes.
Santander, another top sponsor, has reduced its involvement with the team while Diageo-owned whisky brand Johnnie Walker has been linked with a move to Force India, the team co-owned by liquor magnate Vijay Mallya.