@calum – Joe Saward reckons that GlaxoSmithKline will take the title sponsorship role at McLaren next year. Since they have recently offloaded their Ribena and Lucozade brands, he’s tipping their Boost health food supplement as the most likely title sponsor, so as to capitalise on its popularity in India and their planned expansion into Asia. In that case, I imagine that they would cycle through brands – like the Lucozade/Maximuscle changes last year – in Europe and the Americas.
Of course, AT&T used to be Williams’ title sponsor, but only had minor branding on the car. It’s possible GSK could be a title sponsor with a brand like Claro getting prominence on the car and GSK using the name for promotional purposes.
@abdurahman – Claro is a mobile phone provider, not unlike Vodafone. In fact, I’m pretty sure they have a strategic alliance with Vodafone to use one another’s network infrastructure in the Americas. It’s one of several brands owned by Carlos Slim – the world’s richest man – under the America Movil banner. He also owns Telmex, TelCel, Embratel and a couple of local brands. Claro itself is very big in Latin America, and is one of the four biggest mobile phone network operators in the world with over fity million customers.
@wsrgo – Yes, they did. They sponsored Sauber while Sergio Perez was there, and continue though Esteban Gutierrez (you can also see minor branding for America Movil’s other brands, Telcel and Telmex, on the cars):
They also have branding on the McLaren, which was introduced at this weekend’s race. I’m having a bit of trouble locating a picture of it, though; Claro replaced Tooned on the back side of the rear wing.
@prisoner-monkeys There is an image of the MP4-28 with the Claro branding on the rear wing on the F1 website. It is image 64 of 64 in the race day image gallery. I can’t send the link here because of F1.com’s mad copyright protections.
@geemac – It’s also a bandwidth thing. Hotlinking images (even if Keith hasn’t formatted the blog to allow it, other forums do) chews through their bandwidth, which anyone would be eager to avoid, since it costs them money.