McLaren wants Vodafone backing in 2006

McLaren says that it would like to start its relationship with Vodafone earlier than the 2007 start date which has been announced.

"We would like to be Vodafone this year," the team's Martin Whitmarsh confirmed. "Discussions are going on at the moment."

Ferrari has a deal to run with Vodafone backing in 2006 but there is thought to be a possibility that the Italian team could replace Vodafone immediately and thus allow the British mobile phone company to move to McLaren although there would presumably have to be something in the deal to sweeten it for Ferrari. There is, however, very little point in having a disinterested sponsor on the car unless there is not enough money in the kitty at Maranello.

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