So, Vodafone has announced its seven year relationship with Formula 1 team McLaren will end at the close of the current season, which kicked off last weekend.
The news has prompted intense speculation about who will replace Vodafone as the F1 team’s title sponsor in 2014, with telecoms tycoon Carlos Slim’s name front and center in many reports due to his long-standing relationship with Sergio Perez, the driver McLaren drafted in to replace Lewis Hamilton when he jumped ship for Mercedes.
I have no qualms about saying ‘told you so’ with regard to this news. As far back as October, when Perez was confirmed by the UK-headquartered team, I speculated Slim’s Mexican carrier Telmex may replace Vodafone as the title sponsor.
Of course, nothing is yet set in stone. According to reports, McLaren plans to reveal a new deal in early December. While some suggest Perez’ performance in the current season may play a part in any deal with Telmex, the flip side of the coin are suggestions McLaren only picked the Mexican driver because of the deep pockets of his personal backer.
Whatever happens, just remember you read it all here first.