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F1 stars back Diageo’s anti-drink driving campaign

Scotch whisky brand Johnnie Walker joined forces with Formula One racing stars to launch an anti-drink driving campaign during the weekend’s British Grand Prix.

Johnnie-Walker-Jenson-Button
Formula One racing star Jenson Button is backing the Join the Pact anti-drink driving campaign

The initiative is a collaborative effort between Johnnie Walker, the Department for Transport’s ‘THINK!’ road safety campaign and McLaren Honda.

F1 drivers Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso, chief executive officer Ron Dennis and racing director Eric Boullier all added their signatures alongside the #JOINTHEPACT and ‘THINK!’ logos – the first time the ‘THINK!’ sign has appeared on the side of an F1 vehicle – to the side of the McLaren Honda car in an effort to remind people not to drink and drive.

“We want to give a strong message to the public to never drink and drive, and can’t think of a more powerful way to do so than to partner with the government and Formula One stars to deliver this message with one voice,” commented Andrew Cowan, country director, Diageo GB.

This is the 10th year that Johnnie Walker has supported McLaren and the new venture comes as part of the brand’s global Join the Pact campaign, which hopes to have collected five million pledges from people to never drink and drive by 2018.

So far, 2.5 million signatures have been collected from all over the world, including 25,00 from the Ryder Cup in 2014.

“Driving safely at any speed means every driver has to be fully in control at all times, something you can’t do if you drink,” urged Jenson Button, McLaren Honda Formula One Driver and 2009 F1 World Champion. “Racing drivers like to be fast but we also want to be safe.

“So to be able to support the anti-drink drive message on my McLaren Honda in front of my home fans and to get their support behind me and the campaign will be extra special.”

A total of 300,000 members of the public were expected to turn out to the Silverstone weekend, while an estimated 80 million global viewers were predicted to watch the race being broadcast on TV.

Furthermore, Johnnie Walker was also offering safe rides home across the UK using UBER for the first time over the weekend.

“Drivers know that drink-driving is a dangerous offence which can ruin lives,” said Andrew Jones, road safety minister. “However there are still some who put themselves and other road users at risk by getting behind the wheel when they know they shouldn’t.

“That is why we are calling on drivers to make sure they don’t risk their safety and the safety of others by drink-driving this summer.”

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