JULY 13, 2015
McLaren should be ruing title sponsor stance
McLaren's financial situation could be compounded by a lack of title sponsor, a report in the Sunday Times suggested.
The struggling Honda-powered team is a distant ninth in the constructors' championship, with most insiders not expecting the Japanese carmaker to make a big leap in the second half of the season.
However, the FIA has at least rubber-stamped an extra, penalty-free engine for Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button to use in 2015.
Honda will almost certainly now deploy the rest of its in-season 'tokens' for a significant upgrade.
"We have to make a great effort, analyse the data and use our tokens to make a step forward in the second half of the season," the marque's Yasuhisa Arai is quoted by El Confidencial.
"We have several ideas to apply to the engine to get more power and reliability," he added. "When will we use the tokens? It is a big secret!" he added.
Spain's El Mundo Deportivo suggested the upgrade boost, to possibly debut as soon as the forthcoming Hungarian grand prix, could be a worth an impressive 70hp.
However, given the huge gap to the front of the grid, the financial damage to McLaren this year is already inevitable, given the way official prize money in F1 is awarded based on success.
Not only that, the Woking based team resisted dropping its rate for a replacement title sponsor three years ago after the loss of Vodafone, and it appears unlikely a candidate will step up in the current situation.
"It is astonishing that this could happen," an industry expert told the Sunday Times recently. "They could have got 50 million (pounds) back then in a three-year deal so 150m has gone missing from their budget.
"Now results are through the floor, they have had two mediocre seasons and this one looks utterly dire, and sponsors can name their price or go elsewhere," the source added.
Team boss Eric Boullier acknowledged the situation.
"It (2015) is going to hurt our internal revenues and we will have to find a way to cover this," the Frenchman admitted.