Yacht clothing chain backs Button

The marketing team at Henri Lloyd, the UK yacht clothing brand, must be grinning over their cornflakes this morning with the news that the British Formula 1 motor racing driver, Jenson Button, has claimed pole position in the inaugural race of the season, in Melbourne.

For Henri Lloyd is sponsoring the newest team in the Formula 1 paddock, Brawn GP.

Brawn GP was founded this year by the former technical director at Ferrari, Ross Brawn. He led a management buy-out of the Honda Racing team when, four months, it opted to pull out of Formula 1. Back then it appeared as if Button and his team-mate Rubens Barrichello were staring at a bleak future.

Now, in one of the most remarkable turnarounds in sporting history, the Brawn GP duo will start from the front row.

In addition to providing Brawn GP’s team and travel clothing and the official merchandise range, the Henri Lloyd brand will appear on the BGP 001 car throughout the 2009 Formula 1season.

A yachting/Formula 1 partnership is not new. The current F1 world champion, Lewis Hamilton, was sponsored last year by the backers of the Vendee Globe skipper Alex Thompson, Hugo Boss. Hamilton took part in the Round the Island Race, in which Thompson’s boat was disqualified.