No Title Sponsor in 2018 for McLaren-Renault
So it seems that McLaren-Renault will go into the 2018 F1 season without a major title sponsor. Former McLaren team principal Ron Dennis believes that the practice of having title sponsors in F1 is redundant. Current McLaren CEO Zak Brown agrees with Dennis in that regard. However, the likes of Red Bull and Sauber have attracted support for next season. But Brown and McLaren-Renault are not changing their stance.
Brown said “I don’t think we’re going to have a title sponsor per se. What I think we’re going to have are major partners. If you look at F1 no one really refers to the name of the team’s title partner, so I don’t think there’s a lot of value. We’re McLaren, we’re not ABC McLaren.There’s major branding, but we don’t want to sell the title, we want to remain the name of the team – McLaren. In NASCAR the drivers are trained to get out of the car and say, ‘I’d like to thank my Chandon Ford today.’ That doesn’t happen in F1, so we want to protect our brand.”
Brown believes that McLaren’s interest was piqued by changes in F1 as a whole and the team’s situation as the transition from Honda to Renault begins. He said, “We have signed some sponsors, but I don’t know exactly when we’re going to announce them. We’re not done yet, so all sponsors are welcome! We’ve got a lot of excitement. There’s a good buzz around F1, TV ratings are up, live attendance is up, new owners, strategic vision, so there’s momentum behind F1. And then there’s momentum behind McLaren. We’ve got Fernando [Alonso], we’ve got Stoffel [Vandoorne], we’ve got Lando [Norris] coming through the ranks, we’ve got a new engine partner, so generally we feel that there’s some wind at the tail, as opposed to a headwind.”