No title sponsor for McLaren
McLaren has confirmed they will launch their 2014 car without a title sponsor, but insist it will not be restricted financially by the absence of a main backer.
The partnership with telecoms giant Vodafone has come to an end after seven seasons but, despite hopes a new title sponsor would be secured by their online launch, the team will unveil the MP4-29 on Friday January 24 without a replacement.
But despite the fact that Vodafone - who reportedly provided as much as $75 million a season to the Working team - has decided to 'focus their energies on non-F1 avenues of marketing spend', a host of other sponsors means McLaren head into the 2014 campaign 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," managing director Jonathan Neale told Autosport.
"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."
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