Vodafone extend McLaren title sponsorship

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Vodafone will continue as title sponsors of McLaren until at least the end of 2013 under a new contract announced today.

The telecommunications company will become the team’s “official total communications partner”

McLaren Group executive chairman Ron Dennis said:

The success that Vodafone McLaren Mercedes has enjoyed since our two companies? partnership began in 2007 has been prodigious. Of the 68 Grands Prix that have been staged during our partnership, our drivers have scored 21 wins and 55 podium finishes.

Going forward, I?m confident that Vodafone McLaren Mercedes will build on and improve on our already impressive track record, delivering an ever more powerful return on investment for Vodafone, and proving once again what a formidable global marketing tool the sport of Formula 1 remains.
Ron Dennis

Vodafone joined McLaren in 2007 having previously sponsored Ferrari from 2002 to 2006.

71 comments on “Vodafone extend McLaren title sponsorship”

  1. I wonder … now that McLaren is not Mercedes’ de facto works team, they could reasonably drop the chrome (iconic as it is) – and replace it with white. A retro livery for 2011, then, with Vodafone in the place of Malboro?

    1. Oh Mr Monkey! Don’t start suggesting that! I’d love to see a return to that. However I do love the latest chrome, its shiny! So much better than the boring black and grey of the late 90’s and early 00’s.

      1. Perhaps red and white with chrome, kind of like a cross between the Midland F1 and the old Malboro McLaren liveries?

        1. that would be pretty snazzy if you ask me! It’d definitely look better than the current one which… is pretty bleh

      2. Also, I like that you call me “Mr. Monkey”.

    2. I’ve never really liked the chrome, always preferred the look from the 80’s and early 90’s

    3. I’d like to see them go for some chromey orange/bronze. Orange is McLarens ‘official’ colour isn’t it?

      1. Yes, but it clashes horribly with red. Though perhaps they could work little bits into one of the cars to further distinguish between their drivers.

        1. Yes, but it clashes horribly with red.

          That didn’t stop Renault!

          1. I am reasonably certain I designed that livery. I am, after all, colour-blind. So it looked good to me – largely because I could only see two tones, the red and the yellow. I can think of no other reasonable explanation.

    4. I wondered that when the split was announced, but I can’t see McLaren going back to red and white. The chrome silver has become iconic of the shiny modernism of the McLaren as it is today – it’s instantly recognisable even to people who don’t really follow F1 in a way that only Ferrari emulates.

      1. Oooo I like that “avatar”, Casanova.
        The full Euler identity would be even nicer though !

    5. I like the silver-and-red look but if they’re going to return to a traditional colour scheme surely orange would be more appropriate? Early versions of the MP4-12C have been pictures in a rather nice shade of metallic orange.

      1. It is a nice shade of orange :)
        I cant exactly picture it on a F1 car myself, i’d need to see it, but i imagine they could pull it off

      2. It would look nice, but I think Ferrari would have something to say about it. I think what I’d really like to see is an asymmetrical livery. The BAR001 and Honda RA107 might not have been fan favourites, but I think that if they got it right, the cars would look very good.

      3. jsw11984 (@jarred-walmsley)
        21st October 2010, 10:07

        Didn’t they run either the ’07 or ’08 test car in orange?

        1. Yeah, it’s their testing colour. Bruce McLaren used to enter cars painted “traffic cone yellow” (I think that’s the name); McLaren simply retained it for testing, just as Honda used to run their test cars in black.

      4. DeadManWoking
        21st October 2010, 13:35

        While I would love to see a return to the classic McLaren orange color, this can never happen with Vodaphone as their title sponsor. Orange Telecom is one of Vodaphone’s major competitors!

        1. Very good point!

    6. McLaren’s colors are now silver, black and red.
      It took them years to re-establish a McLaren brand after Marlboro left, so closely associated were they with that iconic color-scheme – they won’t do that again in a hurry. They’ll hold onto their new colors and brand identity, and slot different partners into the car’s “sponsorship windows”.

      Silver and black works with anything, it’s neutral enough to allow all manner of future title sponsor to slide in, but still shiny and dynamic enough to catch the eye

      Papaya was then, and they will respect it through road car launches and the historic cars in the factory concourse, but the MTC is a big and very silvery corporate statement, I wouldn’t expect those meticulously laid floor tiles to change to orange anytime soon.

      I would however do winter testing in a car painted totally Vodafone Rocket Red though … throw the sponsors a bone, but it also plays havoc with digital-camera sensors, and would make it harder for rivals to pick out any aero details from a blown-out red muddle.

      1. thestig84 (@)
        21st October 2010, 11:26

        Spot on. Mclaren like to have lasting partnerships and keep things like colour schemes that work the same. They have build up a very recognisable, cool (imo) image no need to change it.

      2. It’s one thing to have colors that work well with many sponsors, it’s another to incorporate it well. The current design scheme is pretty blase and forgettable. If there’s one thing I like about the current Renault’s it’s that they stepped outside the box and stand out now. I’d rather see McLaren do something a little different from the rest of the field and catch our eyes.

    7. Actually, you know what I’d like to see?

      A pink car.

      Don’t laugh – it can work: http://www.kollectablekaos.com.au/images/Biante-18303G.JPG

      Triple Eight Racing, the V8 Supertaxi team sponsored by Vodafone, did it for the Sydney 500 last year: https://www.v8superstore.com.au/catalog/images/craig_lowndes_2009_telstra_500_143.jpg

      1. yea vodafone tripple 8 runs red black and chrome, but they have no links to mercedes, keep the chrome McLaren, dont go to boring white, 80% of the f1 cars in the field are painted white dont join the trend, McLaren hav the most unique looking cars on the grid

        1. 80% of the cars? Sauber, Williams and Force India are the only cars with any (significant) white on them.

    8. One thing that you have all seemingly forgotten is that chrome is for bath taps, not F1 cars.

    9. I dont think that will happen. Vodafone runs the same Red/Chrome livery on cars that they sponsor in other series, that have nothing to do with McLaren. V8 supercars comes to mind, but I feel like Ive seen it in other series too…

      On the other hand, they might be doing that as a nod to the VMM F1 team. Either wayI think the chrome is here to stay.

  2. It pleases me how quickly and effectively Formula 1 has moved on and continued to thrive after kicking its tobacco habit. When you think about all the influence and representation big tobacco used to have in F1, with Williams, McLaren, Renault, Jordan, BAR, Prost/Ligier, Lotus, etc, it’s pretty remarkable that now only one team is left with tobacco sponsorship.

    1. And Phillip Morris could well be on the way out – I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Scuderia Ferrari Santander next year. Mobile phone companies like Vodafone, petrochemical empires like Petronas and banking and financial groups like Santander are the future of Formula 1 sponsorship. I’d add energy drinks, but who in their right mind would be mad enough to take on Red Bull?

      1. Ha! Relentess Racing! Bring it on!

      2. Well, Monster have started sponsoring drivers recently. Maybe soon they will sponsor a team (probably not as the title sponsor, but it’s a start).

  3. That will be a two year extension minimum then? Mclaren are an interactive team nowadays, having a facebook group with competitions and their twitter page, which had a hoody jumper design competition in which the winner’s design was put in the online shop: so I think it would be good if at the end of the year Mclaren put up 3 liveries on their website, chrome, White, black; then got us to vote for our fave!!

    However we know it will be a chrome one, I wonder did anyone ever complain about the monotonous Marlboro liveries they were churning out in the 80s?

  4. Is anyone on here a whizz at Photoshop? Perhaps they could post pictures of a Vodafone Mclaren, one with black instead of chrome, another with White instead of chrome?

    1. I’ve been using Photoshop for over seven years now. Here you go…

      Black: http://imgur.com/5i3qk.jpg

      White: http://imgur.com/2Bz2i.jpg

      1. I’m not going to be offering you a job any time soon I’m afraid :-)

      2. Magnificent Geoffrey that is amazing, made me chuckle this morning!

      3. I love your work. You must have a lot of time on your hands Magnificent Geoffrey.

        1. But if you squint, the black one actually looks quite cool!

      4. Haha don’t lie to us, these are actual photo’s aren’t they?!

      5. LOL nice paint job there. It seems to make the car look pretty bulbuous in black and quite airy in white :-D

      6. Best photoshop work I’ve ever seen! :-) I like the white tires. Not just whitewall, but white all over!

    2. Can’t help you with that, just heading out for the day, but here’s a couple of quick shops I did around about this time last year …



      1. Very nice. We should resurrect the photoshop thread on the Forum

        1. Someone diSomeone did an absolutley awesome shop of the Mp4 24 in Snickers livery, which was as unexpectedly funny as the car looked awesome. I’m sure we have lots of very talented shoppers, go breath life into the thread, that guy did several other awesome ‘shops of the McLaren, i’d like to see a few other cars in different liveries.

          1. I’d like to see that snickers livery. Sounds very strange.

      2. The second one is gorgeous.

      3. jsw11984 (@jarred-walmsley)
        21st October 2010, 10:10

        Looks good, however the first looks almost exactly like the Renault this year and the bottom one looks like the Mercedes works car

      4. Dude, I LOVE he Papaya scheme. I would seriously like to see a car done up like that on the grid. So much more eye catching.

    1. Hopefully that’s the death of the orange livery idea. Why anyone thinks it’s a good idea is beyond me!

      1. jsw11984 (@jarred-walmsley)
        21st October 2010, 10:11

        Because its McLaren’s traditonal colours, however what I would like to see is a nod to their founder and run a silver and black livery featuring a silver fern.

        1. thestig84 (@)
          21st October 2010, 11:32

          A little Kiwi on the car like old days would be better than the fern imo

        2. I’m well aware of it being tradition, it still look horrible.

      1. Oh but thats a horrible orange. Mettalic orange is the way to go.

      2. That looks like crash test dummy orange! I suppose it’s appropriate for testing only!

  5. Another thought – why doesn’t Vodafone have their name on the back of McLaren’s rear wing? It’s the right colour but there’s no logo.

    My only guess is it’s not part of the deal otherwise it would be there.

    1. They didn’t have Vodafone there last year, did they? I think they might have set it aside for a new sponsor, but never found one.

      1. They had Santander on the back of the rear wing last year, but they jumped ship.

        1. Santander didn’t exactly jump ship, any picture of McLarens racesuits will tell you that, Lewis’s apearances in their UK adverts as well.

          Santander are keen to keep Lewis and indeed Jenson for the UK market. What I reckon is that Santander still owns the advertising space on the back of the McLaren, but it’s agreement with Ferrari prevents it from putting up it’s logos.

          Otherwise, who wouldn’t put their logos there? thats a big rear wing to be on.

          1. That was my guess at first too, they used to own that space, and although the Santander/McLaren sponsorship contract extension only appears on racesuits, I wonder if they still are tied into owning the space on the wing.
            Maybe it’s the cost of doing business, if they want Lewis in their Abbey ads, they need to pay for racesuit and rear-wing space.

            .. But I’d have thought they’d have been able to sell it on if they still “owned it”, XTB took their airbox space no problem, and Vodafone occasionally sell-on the small air-vent spaces beside the cockpit, so maybe in the chilly economy, it wasn’t possible to find someone to stump up the necessary 10 or 15 mill for a wing.

  6. The rear of the wing said ‘Santander’ in 2007, Alonso was the reason that said sponsor joined Mclaren, then he left to join Renault, but Santander remained for 2008 and 2009. However Santander now sponsor the Ferraris, again because of Alonso, but the Spanish banking group still sponsor the Mclaren race overalls.

  7. Anyone remember the all-black McLaren posted last year? I wish I’d saved it, the original photo was deleted ages ago,

  8. BeyondThePale
    21st October 2010, 13:55

    I’ve been thinking of all the awful things I would like to do to Ron Dennis, but I can’t thing of anything remotely awful enough.

    1. DeadManWoking
      21st October 2010, 14:07

      If you need some help why not ring up Max for some suggestions?? 8)

  9. I love how noone is really fussed about the sponsorship and we’re all just bothered about alternative liveries :P

    I’ve always hated the chrome as it just looks tacky and cheap. It wasn’t so bad when it was chrome and black but it’s just awful now. I would like to see if stay though as it is slightly different to the rest of the grid. This season we have 1 red car (one red and black too); Mclaren, HRT and Mercedes are pretty much just different tones of one colour, the tedious Williams, white in the Ferrari, Sauber and Williams and the RBr and STR are always nearly identical oh and 2 green ish cars. It was even worse last year as there was white in the Renault, BMW Sauber, Williams, Brawn and Toyota.

    Some individual liveries really have been great in recent years; basically every Renault (including the R29), Ferrari are usually beautiful, Lotus has its traditional colours and Virgin bnut I wish there was more variation with the colours schemes up and down the grid.

    1. EH? Chrome silver and rocket red? Who you comparing to etchersketch brown HRT and silver crayon mercedes?

      McLarens look awesome ;)

      1. All just variations of grey. Almost all of them are awful too.

        1. I will agree that the Mercedes looks horrid, but its shape is half of the reason for that judgement. Definitely the ugliest car on the grid. I don’t mind the chrome and red McLaren – and I do want it to stay, but I also think the West McLarens looked a lot better, especially the 2001-2003 cars.

  10. Yes! They should go back to the early ’90s and have white and the vodafone red. I’ve never liked the chrome – plus chrome never looks real on video games ;)

  11. Dennis:
    “The success that Vodafone McLaren Mercedes has enjoyed since our two companies’ partnership began in 2007 has been prodigious. Of the 68 Grands Prix that have been staged during our partnership, our drivers have scored 21 wins and 55 podium finishes.”

    Amazing that he left out one key accomplishment from that period. Had he won too many titles that he forgets some of them?

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