Vodafone set to leave Formula 1?

Hamilton signs with Mercedes for 2013  by Les Speed – via F1QA – September 28th, 2012

With Lewis Hamilton jumping the good-ship McLaren Mercedes and Mexican Sergio Perez quickly brought on-board as his replacement, can Vodafone be far behind?

Celebrity Life Image by JohnONolan via Flickr

Reports had confirmed that McLaren were offering Lewis quite a bit less then his previous deal, which possibly with Jenson Button as team-mate and the fact that Lewis hasn't won a World Championship for some time might have been justified. That argument could go both ways, as with co-number one drivers and a slightly unrealiable car, how could Lewis have won a World Championship anyway?

Nonetheless, in the last four years since Lewis did win his one and only World Championship, everything has gone up in price; gas, food, travel, etc. So to be offered a lower salary as reward for the years of service, probably didn't sit right with the Flash of Stevenage, OBE and of whom, with the firing of his greatest mentor, his father Anthony, is obviously a man of few sentiments and of many ambitions.

Enter, stage right, Mercedes, who have known and somewhat nurtured Lewis' career over the years, to throw one of their own overboard and scoop the disorientated Flash while the scooping was good. After-all, the team needed a good reason to get the board in Struttgart to continue funding their addictions.

That in itself warrants a report of its own – as does, how McLaren is actually faring after launching a $200,000 Supercar in the midst of a Global recession.

Yet, with Telmex backed Perez in at McLaren, what does that say, in addition to the lower pay-packet offer, about Vodafone's committment to the future? Especially, now with the dynamic-British-duo no more. And to the rumours of Coca-Cola as a 2013 McLaren sponsor?

Are they the Real-Thing, after-all?

If you do recall Schweppes was a McLaren sponsor for years, so the Woking outfit knows how to service a drinks company and current sponsor, Lucozade, a potential clasher with Coca-Cola, has recently taken to promoting its MaxiMuscle brand on the rear wing. Plenty of intrigue and B2B potential ahead, no doubt.

Enjoy the show!

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F1 ยป Hamilton hits 100GP’s in Germany

Lewis Hamilton: I still remember my first [F1 race] as if it were only yesterday…

2010 Canadian Grand Prix Podium: Hamilton, Button, Alonso Image by Gregory Moine via Flickr

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton will reach a landmark in Germany next weekend, when he takes in his 100th F1 race, and he has admitted that he finds it quite 'unbelievable' that he has already done so many grand's prix.

The 2008 F1 world champion has enjoyed much success since making his debut at the top level back in 2007, and while Silverstone last time out was disappointing and he only finished eighth in front of his home fans, he is already looking ahead and looking to strike back.

Indeed he is keen to mark his latest F1 milestone in style and given his current position in the drivers' championship, he is 37 points off Fernando Alonso, a win – his second win of the year – would be well-timed.

“I was quick to get over our disappointing weekend at Silverstone, running with the Olympic flame on the day after the race and then quickly turning my full attention to Hockenheim.

“Unbelievably, next weekend will mark my 100th grand prix. That's incredible, because I still remember my first as if it were only yesterday – I guess F1 has that effect on you!” Hamilton said.

Looking to the German GP more specifically weekend, Hamilton added that he likes the Hockenheimring, although he wishes he would have got the chance to race on the old longer layout.

“It's always been a regret of mine that I arrived in F1 too late to race on the classic Hockenheim layout, where the track disappeared for miles into the forests and was only broken up by a couple of relatively high-speed chicanes,” Hamilton continued.

“It must have been incredible battling round that track with minimal downforce, locked in a slipstreaming battle with another car and waiting for just the right moment to pounce and overtake.

“Still, I very much enjoy the updated track – it's a place that's built for racing: the hairpin at the end of the back straight is a classic overtaking spot, and the whole layout seems to make it more inviting for a following car to attempt an overtake,” he concluded.

 
 

Coca-Cola rumored as McLaren major sponsor…

 

F1: Sources Insist Coke Eyeing McLaren Sponsorship Deal
via SPEED Staff / GMM  |  Posted July 11, 2012   GMM Newswire
 

Button Rocket Image by polarjez via Flickr

Sources continue to insist that Coca-Cola is interested in entering Formula One as a sponsor.

Business journalist Christian Sylt suggested recently that Coke, arguably the most recognized brand name in the world, could replace McLaren's title sponsor Vodafone.

It had emerged that Vodafone is currently reviewing its major sponsorships.

Another F1 journalist, however, on Tuesday rubbished the “stupid” story on the basis that McLaren already has a drinks sponsor, Lucozade.

But two well-placed sources insist that the Coke rumors are real.

One of the sources said he can prove that Coca-Cola's global head of sports sponsorship has been obtaining detailed data on the beverage sponsorships sector in F1.

He said Coke has “more than a passing interest” in the sport.

The other source, meanwhile, said the Coke/McLaren link is so strong that a potential 2014 McLaren livery has been contemplated that harks back to McLaren's classic red and white of the '80s and '90s.

McLaren's current grey/silver livery dates back to 1997, but its engine partner Mercedes' rival works cars are now also colored similarly.

Moreover, the Woking-based team will begin to pay for its Mercedes engines from 2013, as Force India does already.

“If McLaren goes ahead and switches its livery, it would make sense to do it for a brand as big as Coke,” said Sylt on Wednesday.