McLaren Formula 1 Team Announces Richard Mille As New Sponsoring Partner
Following a 30-year sponsoring partnership in Formula 1, TAG Heuer and McLaren finally went their separate ways in November of 2015. This is a period of time spanning several Formula 1 world championship-winning teams including historical drivers such as Ayrton Senna, Mika Häkkinen, and current F1 darling Lewis Hamilton.
The move was particularly surprising because 25 percent of McLaren Technology Group’s shares are held by Techniques d’Avant Garde (TAG), former owner of TAG Heuer. TAG Heuer now fully belongs to luxury group LVMH.
As Formula 1 heads into its 2016 season, which opens on March 20 in Australia, the top two driver spots see Fernando Alonso (world champion in 2005 and 2006) and Jenson Button (world champion in 2009) in the drivers’ seats. McLaren finished ninth in the 2015 constructor’s championship.
Since its debut with Bruce McLaren in 1966, the highly successful McLaren Formula 1 team has won more F1 grand prix races (182) than any other team. It has also won 20 world championships with legendary drivers such as Emerson Fittipaldi, James Hunt, Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, David Coulthard, Ayrton Senna, Mika Häkinnen, and Lewis Hamilton.
Today, McLaren’s Ron Dennis announced in Woking, England that another watch brand is set to step into these big sponsorship shoes, a brand that fits the bill perhaps even better in terms of brand messages and commonalities. Dennis is co-owner, CEO, chairman, and founder of McLaren Technology Group. Since 1981 he has also been the team principal of the McLaren Formula 1 team. “We’re at the beginning of this partnership, both as brands and as individuals,” Dennis, who praises commitment, said during the live introduction at the McLaren Technology Center.
That brand is Richard Mille – and I would even say “…is naturally Richard Mille…”
Richard Mille, who previously sponsored the Lotus Formula 1 team, which was taken over by Renault at the end of the 2015 season, is now the official partner of the McLaren F1 team for the next 10 years.
Above and beyond that, both the brand and the man Richard Mille have natural ties to car racing and Formula 1.
But above and beyond even that, in their respective industries both Richard Mille and McLaren manufacture exotic, top-of-the-line, ultra-expensive products in limited quantities.
You’ll be out about $265,000 if you decide to buy one of McLaren’s entry-level 650S models.
The entry to the Richard Mille brand is about $120,000 for the RM 63-01 Dizzy Hands.
Both brands, however, offer products that range in the millions in terms of pricing – and both are leaders in their fields when it comes to new technologies. Just have a look at the tourbillon timepiece Richard Mille created for tennis champion Rafael Nadal to see what I mean.
This is truly a match made in heaven, particularly as I learned that Button was already a Richard Mille fan and customer before the partnership and its natural, familial beginning ever took place. And now I can’t wait for the 2016 Formula 1 season to begin!