McLaren to lose Vodafone title sponsorship

2013 F1 season

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Shanghai, 2007McLaren have confirmed their title sponsorship arrangement with Vodafone will conclude at the end of this year.

The team said Vodafone “has decided to focus on business priorities away from Formula One sponsorship”.

McLaren added it would not confirm the identity of its new title sponsor but “will make an exciting announcement on 2nd December 2013, following the last Grand Prix of the season”.

“We’re immensely proud that, having been set a number of ambitious challenges by Vodafone back in 2007, together we’ve met or exceeded each and every one,” said team principal Martin Whitmarsh.

“Our focus is on continuing to drive results for all our partners throughout the 2013 season and we look forward to making a major title partnership announcement towards the end of the year.”

Vodafone has been McLaren’s title sponsor since 2007 (pictured). Prior to that it was a sponsor of Ferrari.

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121 comments on McLaren to lose Vodafone title sponsorship

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  1. James (@goodyear92) said on 14th March 2013, 4:42

    So, with Honda presumably being the engine supplier for McLaren in 2015, it seems we’ll see a radically different looking car that year, and a mostly different one next year.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 14th March 2013, 4:49

      @goodyear92 I wonder if we might get a glimpse of McLaren orange as an interim livery again, as we had in 1997 (when West replaced Marlboro) and 2005 (after West departed).

      They painted one of their recent cars in a metallic version of their classic orange last year.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 14th March 2013, 6:37

        I hope they do. Although with winter testing only happening in the new year (after the sponsors are announced) there is little need for it.

        • hello kitty said on 14th March 2013, 12:11

          sanrio (the owners of hello kitty) are rumoured to be considering sponsorship, I kid you not!

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 14th March 2013, 8:25

        Honestly, I think the yellow-orange is over-rated, really rather ugly, and almost impossible to match with a sponsor colour. Maybe it would workas a secondary or tertiary color, but not as the main colour.

        • MaroonJack (@maroonjack) said on 14th March 2013, 9:32

          These photos look a bit off because of excessive HDR, but the colour of this MP4-12C Spider is very nice. No offence PM, but how can you comment on whether colours are ugly or not, if you can’t actually see them?

          I saw it through the colour-blind web page filter and sure, it’s not pretty. I also saw the latest Catheram using the same filter, and their green doesn’t look good either, but guess what: this isn’t how these colours appear to most of us. It’s not how they actually look like.

          By the way, it’s possible to incorporate sponsor logos without using their colours. Just look at Lotus. All of their sponsors, except for Total, are gold on black, and they seem to be fine with that.

          I think that the return of orange McLarens is possible regardless of their title sponsor. I also suspect that this change would be welcomed by fans.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 14th March 2013, 11:07

            @maroonjack – My colour-blindness only works with certain combinations of colours. Green has to be involved. Individual colours are no problem.

          • MaroonJack (@maroonjack) said on 14th March 2013, 11:43

            @prisoner-monkeys Just out of curiosity: which kind is it? Protanopia, deuteranopia, tritanopia, or something else?

            As far as I know it doesn’t actually matter which cones are affected, it distorts your perception of the whole colour range. This is especially true when we talk about the M cones (aka “green cones”), because their responsivity spectrum lies in the middle and significantly overlaps the spectra of S and L cones. At least that’s what I remember from my graphic design classes dealing with human visual perception.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 14th March 2013, 12:14

            @maroonjack

            Lets keep on the topic of F1, and off the topic of posters personal life.

          • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 14th March 2013, 12:45

            That is a point with these colors though. When I first saw a McLaren car in real life I was amazed at how weird the color looked. They picked some oddly fluorescent red (pink almost) so the color would look like Marlboro red on TV. Same with Ferrari (to a lesser degree).

            Orange would probably have the same problem as shown in this photo. It looks almost red.

            Looking ofor “orange tinted” sponsors, they could try to go with ING again. They have a big campaign about being orange and their orange always clashed with the yellow and blue of Renault.

            ING was really happy sponsoring F1. They made back their money already in deals done during race weekends. Unfortunately the general public doesn’t understand sponsoring and therefore assumes it’s just a waste of money. I doubt ING will be allowed to make money off of sponsoring F1 again.

          • MaroonJack (@maroonjack) said on 14th March 2013, 12:45

            @mike We’re discussing car liveries, so it’s definitely F1 related. PM brought up his colour-blindness a couple of times in similar discussions. He seems to be open about it, I find it quite interesting and I’d still like to know more about it. I often use colour-blindness simulators when I design websites, brochures, posters etc. I definitely meant no offence with my questions and I hope that no one was offended.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 14th March 2013, 21:30

            They’re still horrible colours, and difficult to match to any sponsor colours.

  2. Armchair Expert (@armchairexpert) said on 14th March 2013, 4:48

    I won’t sleep until 2nd December with all this excitment coming from announcement in 10 months time. Thank you Martin for ruining my life.

  3. Lord Stig (@lord-stig) said on 14th March 2013, 4:50

    Honda. Nuff said…

    • AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 14th March 2013, 5:59

      I doubt Honda will be title sponsor of McLaren in 2014 while they’re still running Mercedes engines.

      • latvian said on 14th March 2013, 7:01

        maybe they won’t!?

        • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 14th March 2013, 8:31

          They are. Honda won’t have an engine ready for 2014.

          • coefficient (@coefficient) said on 14th March 2013, 8:53

            I bet the Honda Advanced Research arm keeps abreast of F1 Regs. There is also the rumour that Honda have employed ex Ferrari engine guy Gilles Simon to take over the Pure Racing engine programme which was already at an advanced stage when Pollock had to call time on it due to funding. Also, I find it more than coincidental that when the Honda rumour first surfaced over a year ago Martin Whitmarsh denied it vehemently and then promptly visited the Pure factory to see how their engine was coming along.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 14th March 2013, 12:15

            promptly visited the Pure factory to see how their engine was coming along.

            Citation needed! :D

          • luchingador said on 14th March 2013, 14:52

            Honda Mclaren Mercedes xD

  4. andae23 (@andae23) said on 14th March 2013, 4:53

    So… they will announce their sponsor in December, which implies they’ve already made the deal… that’s just mean. I get that they made the deal with some company, whose name isn’t revealed because of the current Vodafone deal, but why would you make public that you will announce something in 10 months time?

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 14th March 2013, 4:54

      @andae23

      why would you make public that you will announce something in 10 months time?

      I would say it’s to take the edge of the ‘doom and gloom’ stories. This is their third big loss in six months: Lewis Hamilton, Paddy Lowe, Vodafone.

      • andae23 (@andae23) said on 14th March 2013, 5:00

        @keithcollantine But why just not announce the loss of Vodafone in the first place? For instance: in November they announce “No more Vodafone, but we will announce the new sponsor soon!” and then in December”After the loss of Vodafone, tadaaa – this is our new sponsor!” – makes a lot more sense.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 14th March 2013, 6:42

        What @journeyer writes makes a lot of sense. To stop further rumours they confirm that Vodafone indeed stops all its sponsorship of motorsport.

        The delay in announcing the new partner might also have to do with that partner currently already supporting a team on the grid and not wanting to upset that relationship by an early announcement of them leaving (to give Sauber time to find a replacement for Telmex?)

        • Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 14th March 2013, 7:20

          @bascb I meant to say “NOT their plan”. Glad to see you still got the point though!

          Yes, I’d agree with your Sauber hypothesis. Dimi Papadopoulos (aka f1enigma) has also tweeted that Sauber might be up for sale again after a couple of possible investors pulled back. I would be surprised if those two stories were not connected in some form.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 14th March 2013, 7:25

            Lets hope Sauber gets a win and finishes at least 6th to have buyers taking an interest then! If F1enigma thinks that, its likely based on his normally very reliable sources, so likely to be only too true.

    • AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 14th March 2013, 5:57

      @andae23, my first thought about the early deal was: it must be something from Mexico, then. But maybe I’m wrong/too cynical.

    • David not Coulthard (@) said on 14th March 2013, 6:42

      @andae23

      why would you make public that you will announce something in 10 months time?

      Wait until you see a restaurant ads more than 50 kilometres from the restaurant – I’ve seen one before. You’l probably ask something like “Why would you advertise it 76 kilometres away?”, but that’s just how the earth spins, I guess.

    • andae23 (@andae23) said on 14th March 2013, 7:00

      Thanks for the replies guys, makes a lot more sense now.

    • Hairs (@hairs) said on 14th March 2013, 9:48

      Why does everyone assume that it was ever up to McLaren what the timing for this announcement would be? As pointed out above by @journeyer, the FT already broke this story, probably because it involves Vodafone cutting out a massive expenditure during the next 12 months, and it’s end of financial year time in the business world.

      McLaren are a big deal in f1 circles but in this relationship they’re very much the junior partner. If the FT hadn’t forced their hand, the timing of the announcement would have been up to Vodafone anyway.

  5. Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 14th March 2013, 4:56

    “We’re immensely proud that, having been set a number of ambitious challenges by Vodafone back in 2007, together we’ve met or exceeded each and every one,” said team principal Martin Whitmarsh.

    Was one of the challenges to win only 1 WDC in 6 years?

  6. Victor. (@victor) said on 14th March 2013, 4:56

    Probably off to Mercedes. Also, I hope their new title sponsor isn’t Lotus – Lotus-Mclaren-Honda would be fun though.

    Realistically though, Telmex?

  7. OOliver said on 14th March 2013, 5:03

    I guess we now get to see Carlos Slim’s face on the cars.

  8. GeeMac (@geemac) said on 14th March 2013, 5:04

    After the arrival of Perez I can’t help thinking that it will be Telmex…but that seems to obvious a choice to be true.

  9. zimkazimka (@zimkazimka) said on 14th March 2013, 5:15

    C’mon, it’s Telmex, which is excellent news for the team, hence they are ‘excited’ for the December announcement already in March.

  10. wsrgo (@wsrgo) said on 14th March 2013, 6:28

    but “will make an exciting announcement on 2nd December 2013, following the last Grand Prix of the season”.

    What are the odds that we’ll come to know of it far before that time?

  11. Silverkeg (@silverkeg) said on 14th March 2013, 6:57

    I think the most exciting thing about this announcement is…New Livery!!

  12. PaulK (@paulk) said on 14th March 2013, 7:03

    So Telmex McLaren-Honda for 2014?

  13. Jay Menon (@jaymenon10) said on 14th March 2013, 7:08

    So in 2015 it we will have Telmex Mclaren Honda

  14. Thething said on 14th March 2013, 7:29

    It’s possible that it will be Telmex. But a few weeks ago some arabs said they wanted to sponsor a team as well. So I’m thinking about Emirates McLaren-Honda.

  15. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 14th March 2013, 7:59

    Will McLaren’s reliability improve once Vodafone leaves?

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