Brown critical of F1's failure to sign new trackside sponsors


While, to most, the vast areas of papaya on the McLarens appear to be a blank canvas just waiting for some sponsor stickers, team boss Zak Brown claims that looks are deceiving and that in reality the Woking outfit has signed more sponsors than any of its rivals.

"There's a perception that goes back 10, 20 years of stickers on the cars, which is that; 'we'll equate the size of what the sticker on the car is to what we think the money is'," he tells

"That just isn't the case these days. And certainly not for us," he insists. "Because the partnerships run a lot deeper than just straightforward a logo on the car."

"If you're measuring off outward activation, if that sponsor's primary objectives are something like a (business-to-business) or employees' engagement, you're not necessarily going to see that," he explained. "We don't festoon the car with logos, that doesn't necessarily mean that we don't have substantive, long-term partners onboard.

"Ferrari's done one deal. Mercedes has traded one deal. So I think fortunately our shareholders and myself know that it's not going to... it just doesn't happen.

"I know that's my background and therefore everyone is expecting every inch of the car to be sold. The reality is we have done five deals, put aside Kimoa. I haven't seen another team do more than two. So we are deliberating."

Ignoring the sponsor influenced liveries the McLarens have sported over the years, most notably Yardley, Vodafone and, of course, Marlboro, in the eyes of most, visually at least the current cars appear to be severely under-subscribed, especially when one looks along the pitlane to the likes of Williams, Sauber, Racing Point and the Red Bull teams.

Curiously, in what some might see as a defensive move, Brown appears to take a swipe at the sport's powers-that-be for their own shortcomings on the sponsor front.

"Fortunately we've got very, very committed shareholders who also understand Formula One hasn't really announced a sponsor," he says. "They've done some media. We haven't seen a new trackside partner."

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Published: 29/08/2018
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