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Tag Heuer lands engine branding rights as Red Bull deal confirmed

Formula One team Red Bull Racing has confirmed a deal with luxury watch brand Tag Heuer, with the Swiss company set to take on branding rights to the team’s power unit from the 2016 season of the motor racing championship.

The deal between the two parties was first disclosed last month and was officially unveiled today (Friday). The multi-year agreement names Tag Heuer the official timekeeper, official watch partner and team performance partner of the team and will begin ahead of the 2016 campaign.

Tag Heuer will be granted naming rights to Red Bull’s new power unit, which will be supplied by French automotive manufacturer Renault. The new car will be named the Red Bull Racing-Tag Heuer RB12.

“Formula One is deeply rooted in Tag Heuer’s DNA, and Red Bull Racing is a young, dynamic and driven team, which perfectly fits with our marketing strategy,” Jean-Claude Biver, chief executive of Tag Heuer, said. “It will give Tag Heuer great visibility and allow us to make our partnership exciting, different and innovative.”

French automotive manufacturer Renault yesterday (Thursday) confirmed its intention to return to full-works status in Formula One after signing key contracts to acquire the Lotus team. Renault currently supplies Red Bull with engines but the relationship between the two parties has been highly strained during the 2015 season.

Christian Horner, team principal of Red Bull Racing, said: “Tag Heuer and Red Bull are two transcendent brands which have both a passion for racing and a drive to do things differently, and this unique collaboration is further evidence of that. Tag Heuer has been an icon in the world of Formula One for many years and we’re delighted that they’ve chosen to continue their association with the sport by teaming up with us.

“Our shared values of innovation and a desire to stand out from the crowd make this one of the most exciting partnerships in F1. We are also pleased to see Renault confirm its long-term commitment to F1 and would like to thank them for their contribution to the team since 2007. Their technical partnership with Ilmor gives us confidence, and we look forward to the 2016 season.”

The 2015 season brought to an end Tag Heuer’s long-standing association with rival team McLaren, while Red Bull’s partnership with Japanese watch brand Casio also expired after last weekend’s season-closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.