McLaren have announced their current partnership with mobile telecommunications giant Vodafone will end this season, prompting speculation over who will partner the British team from 2014 onwards.
Vodafone, whose logos have adorned the flanks of the silver cars since 2007, are believed to have been paying around $75 million a year for the association with the high-profile sport.
The rumour-mill suggests the arrival of Mexican Sergio Perez at the team may bring significant interest from Telmex, the telecommunications firm owned by the World’s richest man Carlos Slim. Mr Slim has backed Perez from an early age and his company’s logos currently sit on the Sauber machine which Perez drove in 2011 and 2012.
McLaren have confirmed the split with Vodafone but Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh denied Perez’s controversial signing in September to replace the outgoing Lewis Hamilton was based on financial reasons, claiming:
“I did have a conversation with Carlos Slim … but we have made an offer to Sergio, we are paying him well and there are no side deals.
“I’m not saying that ultimately there won’t be other fresh partners coming forward because of it but that wasn’t the motivating force [behind signing Perez].”