FORMULA 1

McLaren's 130 million Honda contract offset by losses

Zak Brown, McLaren's racing CEO, has been speaking about the need to make a 'business decision' over their relationship with engine supplier Honda.

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A McLaren ya no le compensa el dinero que les paga Honda
VALDRIN XHEMAJ EFE

One of the few reasons that McLaren has continued to maintain Honda as their engine supplier has been due to the fact that the Japanese company contributes about 130 million euros a year to the coffers of the team from Woking. But we've now reached a point when that payout no longer compensates the English team.

There are so many more things that can be lost, or unable to be gained, than solely what is merited by the contract with Honda. And McLaren CEO, Zak Brown, has now admitted this.

McLaren's Spanish driver Fernando Alonso steps out of his car after the third practice session of the Formula One Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai.

McLaren without Honda comes down to business sense

“I think it just becomes a business decision,” said Brown. “As nice as the Honda contract is and I'm sure there's lots of teams here that would love to have the contractual relationship, at the end of the day you start losing a lot of money in prize money which is all easily documented. We lost sponsor partners to other teams.

Zak Brown is eager to bring in a new sponsor for next season and regain some that has been lost due to poor performances on the track and the drop in image on the back of that. The cars of Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne continue to have a lot of free advertising space.

McLaren Executive Director Zak Brown in the pitlane during practice for the Canadian Formula One Grand Prix.

Losing sponsorship, Zak Brown

“You've got two different types of sponsor losses, you have those that leave the sport, sometimes you don't know if that was you or the sport or circumstances, but when someone leaves a team to go to another team what that means is they are happy with the sport, they're not happy with the team.

“We've had more of those in the last couple of years than we've probably had - and maybe not statistically - in the last decade.

“So when you start adding that up it starts to offset the positive element of the contractual relationship with Honda where we are getting those revenues we're depositing, there's not outgoing, obviously that's not the case with a lot of the teams here,” he concluded.

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