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McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown has revealed sponsors are not being charged to back Fernando Alonso's Indy 500 bid because of the team's disappointing form in Formula 1.

The multiple-title winning team hasn't scored a podium since its switched to Honda power in 2015 and is currently without points so far in 2017, but has maintained a high profile in recent weeks as a result of the team's decision to make a one-off Indy 500 bid with Alonso at the wheel.

However, while the team stands a good chance to do well in the Indianapolis 500 this weekend after Alonso qualified a fine fifth for Sunday's 200 lap race, Brown has revealed none of McLaren's sponsors have been charged extra for it.

Pointing out it was a programme agreed after they signed up to back the F1 team, Brown says it was nonetheless the 'right thing to do' in recompense for the team's difficult period in F1.

"Our partners are all mega excited by Indy," he said. "it's something that we're doing as part of our larger motor racing program to deliver for our partners. So there isn't anything that we charged incrementally for. I think they're good partners, you need to recognise when you're delivering and when you're not.

"We're not delivering on track, which directly impacts their exposure. And so this is a great way to offset that loss of exposure that we're generating now in Formula 1 with tremendous amount of exposure. So we felt that was the right thing to do.

"Commercially it's to make sure we deliver to our partners what the exposure that we promised we'll generate."

Brown took over as McLaren CEO in place of the ousted Ron Dennis earlier this year and has stated one of his primary objectives is to lure a title sponsor back to the team in 2018. McLaren has been without a sizeable title backer since Vodafone ended his multi-million deal at the end of 2013.

 

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