Fernando Alonso, IndyCar, McLaren Andretti, Indianapolis 500, 2017

McLaren: Indy 500 presence increases appeal to sponsors

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown says the team’s presence in this year’s Indianapolis 500 increases their appeal to potential sponsors.

What they say

McLaren is running a car for Fernando Alonso in the race this May.

I think North American remains key growth market, biggest sporting market in the world, Formula 1 I think has lots of room for growth. I’m not surprised it’s taking some time to develop a second race there.

We know [in] Formula 1 various business models need addressing and one of those are it’s pretty hard to be a promoter and make money if you’re not government-subsidised. They’ve got a new television partner, I know that had some struggles on its debut, looks like they’re addressed those issues and I think that it’s a good television partner.

We’ve got the festivals that they’re doing in Miami, having had a look at their plans next year it looks like there’s another one or two in America and another big market. I think they’re spending a tremendous amount of time trying to get a second race there and so it is making progress but it is going to take some time.

And that’s one of the reasons why we’re competing in the Indy 500 is when we go to Indianapolis and the IndyCar series, for seven out of 10 sponsor partners North America is an important market for them and Formula 1 right now can’t quite ring that bell as loudly as a lot of partners would like and so we feel that IndyCar racing for a variety of reasons, that being one of them, helps round out a true global proposition for our partners.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Will Williams miss Sergey Sirotkin next year?

I do understand why Paddy Lowe is so vocal about the fact that he was happy with Sirotkin. He was a decent driver, polite, quiet, brought ton of cash and was young so could still improve. He is a every team boss dream come true.

Now he has to work for his paycheck and make sure that Williams under his lead will build Russell and Kubica a midfield car. Kubica isn’t as quiet as Sirotkin so if Williams car will be garbage he will be the first to say it out loud then push everyone around hard to implement improvements. Fans also expect a lot from George and Robert given their potential and experience respectively – so now the pressure is on Paddy to put it all together this year. He can’t hope that fans will blame the drivers next year again.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Dsob and Michael Hu!

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On this day in F1

  • Born on this day in 1945: Future Le Mans 24 Hours winner and F1 championship runner-up Jacky Ickx

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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19 comments on “McLaren: Indy 500 presence increases appeal to sponsors”

  1. First order of business: happy new year to Keith, Dieter, Hazel, Josh, and the rest of the team, and to my fellow fanatics/fans!

    1. True dat.

    2. Yes, and many more to all.

    3. HNY2U2

      1. Happy New Year, everyone!

    4. Yes, Happy New Year, everyone!

      It is a pleasure to read your articles and everyone’s comments.

      I’ve even gotten used to the new RaceFans name and sometimes find it hard to remember what we* used to be called. I never thought that would happen!

      * Yes, ‘we’, because we’re all a part of this amazing family, right! :O)

    5. @phylyp @faulty @paulheppler @robbie @shimks Thanks to all – sorry for the delay in replying I’ve been on the road a lot recently. Best wishes to you and everyone else for a fantastic 2019!

  2. Firstly, a happy new year to the whole racefans.net community.
    Now onto the points:

    Hopefully, next time FA would be able to reach the chequered flag there.

    Regarding the COTD: If the FW42 were to be equally uncompetitive to the FW41, then the fans should also realize to stop blaming the drivers for last season’s results. As I’ve pointed they probably wouldn’t really have been any different with a different pairing than they were with the Stroll-Sirotkin pairing.

  3. So it’s only one car?.

    1. Two. Second car details TBD.

  4. I wonder what else could increase McLaren’s appeal to sponsors.. Maybe some decent results? Oh no, I’m just being silly

    1. Pretty simple, having a race team in IndyCar promotes McLaren in North America better than F1. Mind-boggling that Ferrari & Merc haven’t done the same.

      1. Unless Ferrari and Mercedes commit to producing an IndyCar engine, they’d have to race with either a Chevy or Honda engine– and I can’t see either team committing to that.

        IndyCar, however, would love to have a 3rd supplier, but it has to be someone who manufactures cars as well (so Cosworth, for instance, can’t just say “We’ll build one!”– although there’s rumors of a Ford/Cosworth or Aston-Martin Cosworth engine that keep surfacing)– Even though the “Chevy” engine is an Ilmor special, and Honda HP Powertrains doesn’t build cars. ;)

        1. Yep, both Ferrari and Merc should become engine suppliers with the new 2.4L engine regulations for 2021.

  5. The Renault Nissan tale could get ugly. Nissan does not seems interested in a merger and the forces opposing such a move are growing it seems.
    Not sure if a big fight for power will influence the Renault team, but it is not good.

  6. It is more than a little surprising how much impact individual people have in some really large and broadly based corporations. Consider the impact at Ferrari on the loss of their leader, here is Nissan / Renault about to turn themselves inside-out as their conjoined leadership starts to founder, McLaren and Williams seem to be suffering from some indecision from those in charge of steering the ship. As Steve Jobs noted, “You want to make everyone happy, don’t be a leader, sell ice cream.”
    The fall-out from the Renault situation will be spectacular, that’s my guess. Gonna be a bumpy ride.

    1. I think all that Ghosn situation isn’t only about tax problems. He wanted to fully integrate Nissan and Renault and that seems to had importunated some people. I saw in a news somewhere that Renault didn’t fired him yet, in the other side Nissan was very quick in announcing his dismissal.

      1. BlackJackFan
        3rd January 2019, 4:51

        This is my view as well.

  7. Can you guys imagine Michael Schumacher finally waking up 10 or 20 years from now and learning his son has won Formula 1 World Championship in the meantime?? Beyond moving…

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