McLaren will be without a title sponsor when it launches its new Formula 1 car on Friday, the team has confirmed. But despite hoping to have replaced departed telecom backer Vodafone by this stage, the team insists the finances of its racing operations will not be hampered by the absence of a main backer.
McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale (LEFT) said that, due to the support of a host of sponsors, the team heads into 2014 with a larger budget than ever.
“The McLaren Group is a private company, so we don’t have to show a profit every year in the same way as PLCs do,” said Neale. “The McLaren Group has sometimes declared a very significant profit in the past, but we don’t have to do so if it doesn’t suit our strategic objectives so to do.
“Our shareholders – Ron Dennis, Mansour Ojjeh and Mumtalakat – don’t receive dividends. They’re more interested in growth. So, although we won’t be announcing a new title partner when we digitally launch our new MP4-29 on Friday, we’re in very good shape financially.
“We’ve got a large number of brilliant partners – Mobil 1, Santander, GSK, Johnnie Walker, Hilton, Hugo Boss, Tag Heuer and SAP – and they all share our ambition and commitment to achieve success. As a result, McLaren will have a larger operational budget in 2014 than we’ve had in any previous year.”
McLaren originally planned to announce a new title sponsor on Dec. 2, but those plans fell through. It then hoped that there would be an announcement at the launch of its 2014 car but this will not now happen either.
It is understood the team remains in talks with several major companies about potential title sponsorship deals, although the arrival of Honda in 2015 is believed to include significant commercial backing.