McLaren’s new title sponsor plan “is happening”

2014 F1 season

Jenson Button, Kevin Magnussen, McLaren, Shanghai International Circuit, 2014McLaren’s plan to announce a new title sponsor in the near future is still progressing, according to racing director Eric Boullier.

Ahead of the start of the season last month Ron Dennis said his team would “definitely feature a title sponsor in the next few events”.

Speaking in a McLaren phone-in today Boullier said: “The plan Ron discussed is happening.”

“Until we have signed the package, signed the final contract obviously nothing will be announced or changed. As long as we are in that position we will keep going with what we are doing now.”

McLaren have showcased different sponsors on their sidepods in the first four races of the season. Boullier said the team’s continuing lack of a title sponsor does not affect their budget.

The team are in their final season of using Mercedes engines before reuniting with Honda next season. But Boullier insists they are not marking time while they wait for next year to arrive.

“You can’t allow yourself to think and wait in motor racing,” he said.

“And actually the 2013 year should be a benchmark for us to never do it again. And 2014 should be seen as a year which is not a transition year but a year of let’s say, rebuilding a winning team.

“And then in the middle of this we have obviously this extra challenge to obviously today work very efficiently with our partner Mercedes. But then obviously later in the year to start to implement a Honda arrival. But it’s just part of the challenge.”

2014 F1 season

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41 comments on McLaren’s new title sponsor plan “is happening”

  1. Peter Hunter (@holdenv8) said on 23rd April 2014, 12:13

    More than their sponsorship, I’m looking forward to seeing how they go with Honda power in 2015. In the previous turbo era Honda started slowly with Spirit and then Williams, and pretty much went on to dominate the scene from 1986, despite Alain Prost winning the World Championship using the TAG-Porsche engine that year.

    How will Honda go with the new technology? I can’t see them lagging behind for too long, if at all.

    • Steven said on 23rd April 2014, 18:12

      Mercedes are the ones that should be worried; they have the strongest engine, and I don’t see how they can prevent McLaren from sharing a lot of the information about the Mercedes engines with Honda. My assumption is that they’ll be at least on par with Mercedes at the beginning of 2015.

      On another note, I think it’s kinda cool that McLaren switches up sponsors from race-to-race and country-to-country. I mean, sponsors like Vodafone, Telefonica, Santander, etc. don’t make sense outside of Europe (at least in North America, I know these brands don’t exist). It’d be much nicer if they could update liveries from race-to-race as well (do liveries need some sort of FIA approval?). I mean, how awesome would it be if in Abu Double, they raced a Gulf livery, but in the US, they race an Esso/Exxon livery, and BP for Britain, etc.

      • Nick (@nick-uk) said on 23rd April 2014, 18:46

        I imagine pretty much everything needs approval. I think back to a few years ago in Monaco where Kimi had a tribute helmet to James Hunt which was banned – he still wore it of course if I remember correctly. The reason stated I think, was that it was unauthorised advertising for the then upcoming film Rush.

      • OOliver said on 23rd April 2014, 21:55

        The engine alone is not everything, as evidenced by Mclaren’s current form, which to me should be a worry for Honda, as they won’t even have another team to use as a benchmark.

      • zimkazimka (@zimkazimka) said on 24th April 2014, 5:51

        Global TV audience is obviously more attractive to sponsors. So, even if the brand doesn’t exist in the US, the rest of the world will still see it on TV.

      • Strontium (@strontium) said on 24th April 2014, 19:50

        Liveries can be pretty much whatever throughout the year, but any major changes require permission (e.g. Coulthard’s last race livery), which is not given easily.

    • tmax (@tmax) said on 25th April 2014, 20:01

      Lot of people were excited about the Williams Renault partnership too thinking about their history. We all know how that went. !!!!

  2. Baron (@baron) said on 23rd April 2014, 12:18

    If I was Honda, I would be a little nervous right now….

  3. Maybe the race by race/country by country title-sponsoring deal is more profitable to McLaren for the moment, they can directly target their customers and fans.

  4. suffolk (@suffolk) said on 23rd April 2014, 13:21

    With a lack of sponsorship, the return of Honda and the pace of the McLaren in recent times, could it be deja vu for Jenson in 2015: another Earth Dreams car!

  5. ruliemaulana (@ruliemaulana) said on 23rd April 2014, 13:33

    For once I’m glad we can’t post gif comment in F1F.
    I’m picturing lots of Ron Paul classic before.

  6. trotter said on 23rd April 2014, 13:34

    I always found the name “Earth Dreams” extremely morbid. It sounds like dreaming in death, under ground, in your own grave. Hence the name (but without capital E) “earth dreams”. Sounds like an euphemism for being buried alive or something like that.

    • Bullfrog (@bullfrog) said on 23rd April 2014, 14:19

      …exactly what they should have done with the “creative” “genius” who came up with the idea.

      • andrewf1 (@andrewf1) said on 24th April 2014, 3:04

        I know, if they had maybe plastered the car with shades of blue and space pictures of our planet Earth we wouldn’t have had such morbid visions….oh wait..

        What is wrong with you people?

  7. Harry Gilbert (@harrygilbert) said on 23rd April 2014, 14:08

    does this story not sound strangely similar to that of boullier-lotus-quantum?

  8. kpcart said on 23rd April 2014, 14:30

    mclarens problem at the moment is the chassis. they have the best engine, but are struggling to keep up with teams like Williams and Force India with the same engine. I believe all 3 are given an inferior engine to team Mercedes by Mercedes, that may be true or not.
    If Honda build a rocket powered engine for next year, then Mclarens chassis might not need to be the best to win, as team Mercedes are proving this year – with the best engine but arguably an inferior chassis to Redbull and maybe Ferrari.

    • Baron (@baron) said on 23rd April 2014, 16:07

      Inferior engines? Not permissible within the rules and I’m quite sure the other teams would have spotted any ‘inferiority’ by now. So, why would you believe it?

      • mantresx (@mantresx) said on 23rd April 2014, 16:40

        @baron They all have the same engines but they don’t use the same fuel, as I understand it Petronas is much better than Mobil that Mclaren uses so that can explain some deficit in straight line speed/consumption etc. Also rumored is that Shell updated their fuel for China that’s why there seemed to be an even bigger improvement than aero updates alone would bring.

        • Baron (@baron) said on 23rd April 2014, 16:49

          They have to have their fuel agreed and homologated by the FIA. Teams can supply data on several different fuel mixes for different track temperatures and altitudes, but they have to be approved and are tested by the FIA at each race to ensure compliance. I don’t think there’s anything exotic going on that would make a significant difference in car speed but possibly in operating temperature which might affect consumption a little, but it’s not major.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 23rd April 2014, 16:47

      The reason the customer teams are not able to get as much out of the engine as Mercedes themselves is a simple matter of working hand in hand, having intensive contact during development of both chassis and engine kpcart.
      The engines are exactly the same (the rules do not allow for preferential treatment of a team/car with regards to engines), but they fit that tiny little bit better with the whole Mercedes car and setup is what makes a lot of difference. As well as Mercedes having put in a huge amount of effort especially for this year (see the complicated nose construction needing 4 FIA crash-tests to succeed)

    • OOliver said on 23rd April 2014, 21:58

      The customer Mercedes teams, are sometimes even faster on the straights than the main factory team, which implies they all have powerful engines. Where the likes of ForceIndia, Williams and Mclaren are failing, is in the aero department.

  9. BasCB (@bascb) said on 23rd April 2014, 16:44

    LOL, Boullier must feel a bit like returning to last year with the “Infinity” deal thing on the verge of happening for the whole of the year.

  10. DaveW (@dmw) said on 23rd April 2014, 16:51

    Let me guess…The new title sponsor is “Honda.”

  11. sato113 (@sato113) said on 23rd April 2014, 16:56

    According to McLaren
    2013: a transition year post Hamilton
    2014: a rebuilding year (ie. a transition year) as they prepare for the Honda regime
    2015: a transition year as the new Honda engine builds up to speed.
    2016: ? I guess they might wanna fight for a title by now???

  12. sonia luff (@sonia54) said on 23rd April 2014, 18:46

    I think Mclaren/Honda will sprint out the blocks next season.The reason being that Mc have had that engine in the back of their car for 2 yrs that I know of. They may or may not have run it on a track somewhere but they will have a pretty good idea of how they’re doing.My money’s already on them for next yr.

  13. SauberS1 (@saubers1) said on 23rd April 2014, 22:44

    It’s very interesting.

  14. maxthecat said on 23rd April 2014, 22:59

    Sadly i think they have an image problem and Ron returning won’t help that. They’ve become stuffy and lost something along the way. They need a result and so does Button. Unless he turns it around i think it’ll be Kmag and Stoffel next year.

  15. Brian C (@bcracing) said on 24th April 2014, 3:07

    I put 5 bucks on either Coke or Subway or both.

  16. andrewf1 (@andrewf1) said on 24th April 2014, 3:10

    Maybe Mclaren should consider painting that God-awful nose in black, I’m 100% sure it would significantly increase the likelihood of a sponsor closing the deal.

  17. Arki (@arki19) said on 24th April 2014, 3:39

    The livery is so nondescript – change in sponsors’ logos included. The results being achieved at the moment can be described in the same way :(

  18. regs (@regs) said on 25th April 2014, 14:19

    If it’s going to be Huawei then they just have to restore orange/redish livery.

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