Monday, March 1, 2021

McLaren explains lack of Mercedes branding on 2021 F1 car

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As the team revealed its new MCL35M at its Woking factory on Monday night, one notable absence from its newly tweaked livery was the famous three-pointed Mercedes star.

The badge also does not feature on the overalls of Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris nor on the team wear of key personnel.

While it seems slightly unusual for teams not to run the logo of their engine supplier, McLaren has explained that the absence is down to the outfit having a pure customer relationship with Mercedes – that does not extend as far as a marketing deal.

It is a similar policy at Racing Point, which has not featured branding of the Mercedes badge despite it being one of its customers.

At Williams, the logos do not appear on the car but do feature on the overalls of its drivers George Russell, who is a member of the Mercedes young driver programme, and Nicholas Latifi.

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It is understood that Mercedes’ customer engine deals with teams do not stipulate the need for them to feature the company’s branding on the cars, and each F1 manufacturer has its own policy in this regard.

Last year’s McLaren did feature the Renault name on the engine cover and the drivers’ overalls.

McLaren is clear that its switch to Mercedes engines this season is not about promoting the German car manufacturer but is instead purely about giving it the best chance to win races.

Team principal Andreas Seidl said on Monday: “We are definitely convinced that we are in a position, once we are there as a team, that the Mercedes power unit can help us to win races again in the future. Definitely.

“But, I think it’s important to make sure we focus on ourselves. We still have a long way to go on our side and on the team side, but we are happy with the progress we could make the last two years.

“At the same time, you know, there’s still a lot of things we need to get in place first on the infrastructure side and on the team side, before we actually battle for race wins again.”

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