Pictures: Emirates becomes sponsor of McLaren Formula 1 Grand Prix team

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Emirates Airline has become the latest Gulf carrier to link up with Formula 1 Grand Prix racing, signing up as a partner of Team McLaren Mercedes.

The “Fly Emirates” insignia will be featured on the front and rear wings of the McLaren MP4-21 Formula 1 cars (pictured below), on the overhauls of drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya, and in the team's pit area. 
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Photos © Team McLaren Mercedes


The announcement, made yesterday at the ITB Berlin travel and tourism convention, comes just ahead of the first Grand Prix of the 2006 world championship this weekend in Bahrain – an event that is sponsored by Emirates’ local rival Gulf Air.
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The tie-up was announced by McLaren team principal Ron Dennis (left) and Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Emirates chief executive (right).



Emirates is believed to have agreed an initial one year deal with McLaren, ahead of the arrival of the team’s new long term title sponsor, the Vodafone mobile telephone network, next year.

 “Grand Prix racing attracts millions of followers around the globe, and we believe it will be an excellent vehicle to further Emirates’ brand awareness,” Sheikh Ahmed says.

McLaren’s Dennis added: “The 2006 Formula 1 world championship promises to be an exciting season and with support from a company like Emirates we are off to a good start.”