Tag Heuer has confirmed it will switch from McLaren to Red Bull for the 2016 season, bringing to an end its 30-year partnership with the Woking-based team.
Company CEO Jean-Claude Biver has told Swiss magazine L’Hebdo that as of 2016, it will sponsor the Red Bull team, which comes as a major blow to McLaren which has recently struggled with new engine partner Honda.
“Yes, we just signed with Red Bull in F1 for next season,” he said. “It’s a young, dynamic and go-getting team, perfectly matching the strategy of TAG Heuer.”
Biver failed to confirm if they would end their deal with McLaren, but a spokesperson for the team confirmed it would.
“McLaren’s partnership with Tag Heuer has been one of the most successful and enduring sponsorships in sporting history.
“It is therefore with gratitude we announce the end of our 30-year partnership, satisfied as both parties are with a job well done.”
Tag Heuer is just one of many which have recently fled McLaren, including major sponsor Vodafone and Hugo Boss, whilst Santander has scaled back its involvement to focus on Ferrari.
It’s also believed Diageo’s Johnnie Walker could walk away if Aston Martin’s proposed deal with Force India goes through, as the spirit manufacturer is likely to become a major sponsor and quite possibly a stakeholder in the Silverstone team.