Thuesday, 09 january 2018, 06:14
McLaren executive director Zak Brown has suggested that his team will undergo the 'biggest change' of all the Formula One teams from the 2017 season to the upcoming 2018 campaign as McLaren alter their aesthetic design as well implement their new Renault engines.
The departure of long-time chief Ron Dennis has coincided with the introduction of a new black, orange, and white design which will be used from the start of the new season.
McLaren have enjoyed a spell devoid of success whilst using Honda engines for the past few years, but have now ditched the Japanese manufacturer in favour of Renault parts, and Brown has suggested these changes will be the biggest of all the teams.
"The car's not going to look the same as last year," Brown told Motorsport.com.
"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. 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."
Brown went on to suggest that the start of the upcoming season will usher in a new era for McLaren, who are eager to get back to the big time in the team rankings.
"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," he continued.
"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."
When Brown joined the team, he mentioned that it was important that McLaren gain a title sponsor - something they have yet to do. However, he believes they need a principle sponsor rather than a title sponsor in order to protect the McLaren brand.
"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."