The telecoms giant first entered an agreement with the British team ahead of the 2007 Formula One season, jumping ship from Ferrari in a deal thought to be worth around £60m.
McLaren had planned to reveal its new title sponsor on December 2nd after Vodafone confirmed earlier in 2013 that it would be withdrawing from Formula One at the end of the year. However, the team opted to scrap the unveil plans. This decision coincided with Kevin Magnussen’s confirmation for 2014, leaving Sergio Perez without and seat, suggesting that Telmex – a major backer of Perez – may have been the planned title sponsor before the move to drop the Mexican driver.
The team’s website is now absent of Vodafone branding, with a slick black design replacing the red and white colours of the telecom company. Further to that, the team’s name is simply “McLaren Mercedes”, having been preceded by “Vodafone” for the past seven seasons. You can see the changes here.
2013 was one of the worst seasons in McLaren’s history as neither of its drivers could score a podium finish, let alone a race win. Having finished fifth in the constructors’ championship, Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen will be hoping to return the team to winning ways in 2014 with a new title sponsor.
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic.