Incoming McLaren executive director Zak Brown has ruled out the possibility of the Formula One motor-racing team securing a new title sponsor in time for the start of the 2017 season.
Telecommunications company Vodafone served as McLaren’s most recent title partner, with its agreement with the team having expired at the end of the 2013 season.
Brown has placed sponsorship deals high on his list of priorities but has conceded that the 2017 season will come too soon for any potential top-tier partner.
“Clearly, a title partner is something that, on a commercial basis – and it is something that I am most linked to – is going to be critically important,” Brown said, according to the Autosport website. “But I would start taking a look at 2018.
“2017 is already here and I don’t have any tricks up my sleeve on that one yet.”
Brown cited sponsorship, fan engagement and performance enhancement as three key areas he will look to develop when assuming his role at McLaren next month.
He added: “It’s not an inexpensive (title) sponsorship. It is great value, it is global, so when you break it down it is money very well spent. But I’ve not been on the inside (at McLaren) so I don’t know how many near misses they have had.
“By no means do I have a magic wand and think having a title partner is going to be an easy feat.”
Brown, the former head of the CSM Sport & Entertainment agency, joined McLaren last week as the team continued its reshuffle amid the departure of Ron Dennis as chairman and chief executive of McLaren Technology Group.
An American marketing executive, Brown had also been touted for a senior position within F1 management following the series’ takeover by Liberty Media.