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Hamilton drives Prost's '86 title-winning McLaren 03 Dec 2009

Lewis Hamilton with the McLaren MP4-2C (left) and the McLaren MP4-23 © McLaren (L to R) TAG Heuer president and CEO Jean-Christophe Babin, McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh and McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton © McLaren

Lewis Hamilton was at the McLaren Technology Centre (MTC) on Wednesday evening to help team partners TAG Heuer celebrate its 150th anniversary. The famous watchmakers have also announced an extension to their McLaren partnership.

The event was awash with VIP guests, but that didn’t stop a Formula One car stealing the limelight, as Hamilton drove Alain Prost’s 1986 McLaren MP4-2C - the machine in which the Frenchman took his second world drivers’ title - around the spectacular lakeside entrance to the MTC.

“To be able to sit in the very car driven by one of the team’s greatest champions, Alain Prost, is a great honour,” Hamilton said of the MP4-2C, which has been lovingly restored by the team’s engineers. “It was incredible to get to drive such a piece of history, and to experience a little taste of Formula One’s, McLaren’s and TAG Heuer’s glorious past.”

McLaren’s relationship with TAG Heuer, which dates back to 1985, is one of the longest sporting sponsorship deals in history and 2010 will mark its 25th anniversary.

“To announce the extension of a partnership that has already prospered for 25 years not only says a lot about the very close relationship that exists between TAG Heuer and Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, but it also speaks volumes about the appeal, strength and sustainability offered to all partners by Formula One,” said McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh.