McLaren 2018 car’s looks will have the “biggest change” compared to all the other teams’, claims Zak Brown.
In 2017, McLaren donned an all-new black, orange and white livery in an attempt to freshen up its look after the departure of its legendary chief Ron Dennis.
But after Brown’s arrival as the team’s executive director, he has been doing things quite differently. From next season, McLaren cars will be powered by Renault engine, signalling it is time for another significant change for the British Brand.
Speaking with a Sports website Brown, said: “The car’s not going to look the same as last year,”
“Our whole brand, the visibility of McLaren, is going to go to the next level, and it’s going to be exciting.
“We know what a lot of the other teams are going to look like, but hopefully people will see the biggest change on and off the track at McLaren going into Australia.”
Is the team considering going back to its historical papaya orange, we asked, Brown said: “There will be some nod to our history, but we’re not done with the livery yet because a lot of that is sponsor dependent.”
Apart from a change to its livery, Brown hinted at a bold move in the garage for 2018.
He added: “We are calling it a new era, we are back and we are going to have some great things like a new garage. One of the things that McLaren hasn’t done in recent years is be a leader.
“With our garage and everything, we look like everyone else – so we need to step up and be the guys in Australia where everyone says, did you see what McLaren did?
“That is what McLaren always was. I think with our lack of competitiveness; we have kind of blended in. We need to get back to being a team that people are envious of. I feel we are on our way.”
Brown is keen to pick up a title sponsor after the deal with Vodafone ended in 2013. The team is looking for a principal partner rather than a title sponsor to make sure the McLaren brand is protected.
“We do need a title-level partner, all I’ve done is dropping the vernacular of title into principal and have looked at all of our commercial assets, which is not just the race car it’s our other forms of racing and things like our building and war rooms and things of that nature, and have looked at what’s the best way to commercialise the world of McLaren,” he said.
“Going through that exercise developed a plan that doesn’t require a ‘title partner’.
“It still requires a principal partner, just not a ‘title partner’. I know that’s semantics there, but it’s really about protecting the McLaren name. That’s all I’m trying to do is ringfence that and keep us as McLaren.
“I don’t really feel there’s that much value in the sponsor’s name being part of the team, but I do think it slightly diminishes the value of the name of the team when it’s being co-branded.”
McLaren has already signed three partners for the 2018 campaign and is hoping to add a few more before the season begins.
“We’ve signed three partners so far that we will start to announce and hopefully a few more,” he said.
“We won’t be sold out next year , it takes time, but I’m really happy with the on-track direction of the team, our driver line-up and our off-track, our commercial, our marketing engagement with the fans.
“It’s a great company with a great brand that has been under-leveraged in recent times.”