Times are tough in Formula 1 as McLaren unlikely to launch with title sponsor

McLaren will unveil their 2014 car on Friday

McLaren will unveil their 2014 car on Friday (File photo)

The McLaren team has not found a new title sponsor to replace telecoms group Vodafone in time for this week’s launch of its latest car, proof if ever it was needed, that times are tough in Formula 1

McLaren is in talks with potential partners but is not certain whether they will be able to bring in a title sponsor this year after the telecoms group dropped out at the end of last season.

McLaren, who last season failed to finish on the podium for the first time since 1980, said that they have the funds to compete this year despite the loss of a sponsorship worth an estimated €55 million per season.

“I’m pleased to say that McLaren Racing will have a larger operational budget available to it in 2014 than it’s had in any previous season in McLaren’s history,” McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale told PitPass.

Jonathan Neale

Jonathan Neale

Neale pointed to a roster of blue chip sponsors, “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.”

The team is owned by three shareholders who can also help to support them – Bahraini investment fund Mumtalakat, Saudi businessman Mansour Ojjeh and group chief executive Ron Dennis.

For Formula 1 the McLaren situation provides a hard look at the stark reality that prevails in the sport, if a team with such a massive legacy is struggling to find backing, how difficult is it for others?

McLaren will present its new MP4-29 on Friday in an online-only digital launch. (Reuters)

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  • Junior Johnson

    Hey guys ive got a grate idea what if we sponsid maclaren.We could all donate money to the team and it could have big yallaf1 fans sticker on the sides and front and back.How cool would that be.My brother said he would give me two million for sponsoring is their any body else who can put it some money they can contact me directly please.We can also help maclaren by buying maclaren cars to give them more money.Yes i know its expensive but maybe you could share it with say five of your frends that have money and you can each drive it one day of the week and one weekend of the month.Imagine how grate it woul be telling your frends you drive a car built with f1 tecnological inventions! My brother already has too maclaren cars so you could say he has reely helped maclaren this year in possibly racing another year in f1.He chose maclaren because he is good frends with lewis hamilton who used to race with them

  • Junior Johnson

    We could even get to choose the colors of the car by vote.I vote that we paint it the color of the american flag

  • RBC

    Suck $#!£ McLaren. Last year saying you had lots of options to replace Vodafone and now no Lewis, no podiums, no sponsor and no Merc engine deal. Add that to your $100m fine you arrogant bunch of a$$holes.

  • sarahsdadjeff

    Sure their McLaren they will develope as all teams struggle with the new regs. 2015 and the Honda package will be great to see how this evolves.I. see Red and White and Marlboro powered by a Honda. Funny how we mingle? I want to see a great season. Don’t know much about these up and comers but happy to see Kamui back.Why has he not have Hondas backing? You can be damned sure. He will be driving a Honda in 2015, No doubt about it…….

  • Spartacus

    As I’ve already stated I think we’ll lose a couple of teams this year. F1 is expensive and costs have gone up with the new power train. McLaren won’t be one of the teams going, but look mid to back of the grid.

  • alberto

    In my opinion it’s as simple as this: make of F1 the fastest league and masses of sponsors and fans will come back. Most pay-drivers will disappear and more talent will contribute to more spectacular racing. F1 similar to GP2 performance, like Hulkemberg recently said, is a step in the wrong direction, therefore unactractive for both fans and drivers. Nowadays F1 cars are super safe, green technology is welcome but allow the cars to go faster, enough with the FIA restrictions, also engineers’talent needs to be expressed more. Enough also with Tilke circuits, unfair he designs most of new F1 race tracks, which are arguably boring. The day F1 will go this way or a new formula will, it will be a big win for the sport!

  • Hugo

    As long as Sam Michael is in any team I wouldn’t sponsor it.

  • Tamburello_1994

    I would never in a million years ever think Mclaren would find themselves here. Things have been going steadily downhill since Lewis bolted – It’s been one embarrassment after another.

    I was just getting use to Williams with a bare car . . . . Now McLaren too? Maybe they will just have the drivers names on side of the cars like the non tobacco compliant liveries from back in the day.


  • tic tac

    Lewis Hamilton……

  • F1 sucks now

    @ tamburello , I do totally agree with you , And what a coincidence that Sam Michael has been involved in both teams debacles , IMO they should let tobacco and alcohol companies advertise ones again to get the best drivers on the grid again