Right in the middle of one of the worst seasons in McLaren's illustrious history, latest financial statements for 2014 showed McLaren turned a $23.5 million net profit for 2013 into a net loss of $37.6 million in 2014, with “compensation for (the) loss of office of a director” to the tune of a cool $15 million, most likely being paid to former McLaren employee Martin Whitmarsh, now CEO of Ben Ainslie Racing Americas Cup team who left the team after 24 years working for the Woking concern.
Writing for Forbes, F1 business journalist Christian Sylt said the latest financial statements for 2014 showed such a dramatic turn down in McLaren's financial fortunes for a number of reasons, including a one-off severance and restructuring fee of $54 million paid to Daimler after the team opted out of their customer Mercedes deal to allow works Honda power for the 2015 season.
Revenue during the 2014 season had also reduced, with chief executive Jonathan Neale saying that was “predominantly due to decreased prize monies and sponsorship”. Evidence of this can be seen by the startling lack of sponsors adorning the sides of both McLaren cars in the last couple of seasons, and the failed attempts to gain a title sponsor.
Even though McLaren’s on track performances continue to underwhelm this season, chairman Ron Dennis insists that “we expect the McLaren Technology Group to return to profit in 2015”.
Although far from short of money, with increasing pressure on the once dominant team and engine manufacturer to succeed in 2016 McLaren will hope the teams financial position increases in seasons to come.
With premium former World Champion drivers Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button on the driving strength, proven team Principal Eric Boullier in charge and the legendary Ron Dennis ever present in the background, McLaren's fortunes (both on track and off) surely cant be far away from a much needed revival.
Lets hope 2016 brings better luck to the Woking team and they can prove a suitable challenger to the Formula One leading teams next season.
Do you think McLaren will turn things around in time to challenge for wins in 2016? Let us know in the comments section below!
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