McLaren promises more new sponsors ahead of 2018

McLaren executive director Zak Brown says his team is on course to add more sponsors to its new-look car before the start of the new Formula 1 season, as he predicts it hitting its 2018 revenue targets.

McLaren promises more new sponsors ahead of 2018
 Eric Boullier, Racing Director, McLaren
Zak Brown, Team principal United Autosports
 Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32, Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32
Zak Brown
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32

Having this week confirmed a major new partnership with computer company Dell, Brown expects further deals will be sorted before racing gets underway – and that even more could follow if the team confirms its step up the grid.

"Everything commercially is going really well," said Brown, when asked by Motorsport.com about the team's sponsorship situation.

"We announced Dell, so we are now three announcements in. I would anticipate having another one or two before the start of the season and then it is ongoing.

"Once the season starts things slow down a bit, but you never stop. There is a lot of good commercial interest and then when we hit the track, that will also help – because there are some people, understandably, who want to see how we perform.

"Coming off of ninth in the championship last year, it doesn't make selling partners any easier, so if we can quickly demonstrate we are no longer a ninth-placed team, that will just build on itself."

Brown has been clear for months now that there will be no new title sponsor as such for McLaren, but he still sees other opportunities for a major partner to deliver a big financial boost.

"We don't want a title sponsor, but let me clarify what that means. We do want a principal partner, which is title-level branding.

"I think that unlike in NASCAR where the title sponsor of a team gets a lot of mentions, I don't think many people refer to Mercedes as Petronas Mercedes – they call it Mercedes. You never hear it from commentators, it is never written that way.

"So I want to keep the name McLaren, so not every three to five years it is West McLaren, it is Vodafone McLaren, it is Marlboro McLaren. We are McLaren.

"I don't think we will have a principal partner going into this season. We definitely want one. Our business ramp up is one where we want to get back to where we were in sponsorship over a three to four year period.

"We are on target for our financial goals for sponsorship revenue for this year, and I think again that will just build momentum."

New look

McLaren is close to finalising a brand new look for its car in 2018, which could include a switch to the team's more historical papaya orange colours.

Brown is giving little away about the change, but has promised fans something 'striking'-looking.

"We continue to listen to the fans," he said. "We want it to be a striking livery. It is almost done, but some of it is a little bit sponsor-dependent.

"Maybe outside of Sauber, as I am not exactly sure what they will do with their Alfa Romeo branding, I think we will look more different on the grid than anyone else coming out of last year."

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