Honda F1 website

APRIL 22, 2005

An interesting development in the land of drink

In the pre-post-tobacco era, Formula 1 teams are beginning to look to alternative sources of funding and many an eye has alighted on the spirit world. This does not mean that F1 sponsor hunters are now using Ouija boards but rather that they are looking at alcohol producers to come up with the cash now that tobacco companies are being pushed out. Liquor companies have restrictions on what they can in many countries and so motor racing is an attractive option, even if the correlation between hard drink and hard driving is a tenuous one (at best). However, McLaren did manage to talk Johnnie Walker owner Diageo into a deal and it is therefore of interest to note that rival Pernod Ricard is to buy Allied Domecq in order to create a spirit company to rival market leader Diageo in a $14.7bn deal. This is likely to streamline the whisky business and it may be desirable for Pernod Ricard to market in competition to Johnnie Walker in F1.

Pernod Ricard currently owns the Chivas Regal, Glenlivet and Glen Grant brands while Allied owns Ballantine's and Teacher's.