Motor racing: McLaren will have new title sponsor for F1 car launch

McLaren Formula One driver Jenson Button of Britain drives during the qualifying session of the Brazilian F1 Grand Prix at the Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo on Nov 23, 2013. The McLaren Formula One team have not found a new title sponsor to re
McLaren Formula One driver Jenson Button of Britain drives during the qualifying session of the Brazilian F1 Grand Prix at the Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo on Nov 23, 2013. The McLaren Formula One team have not found a new title sponsor to replace telecoms group Vodafone in time for this week's launch of their latest car. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (REUTERS) - The McLaren Formula One team have not found a new title sponsor to replace telecoms group Vodafone in time for this week's launch of their latest car.

McLaren are in talks with potential partners but are 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 they had the funds to compete this year despite the loss of a sponsorship worth an estimated US$75 million (S$96 million) a 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 was quoted as saying on the pitpass.com website.

Neale pointed to a roster of sponsors including clothing company Hugo Boss and the Santander banking group.

The team are 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.

McLaren will present their new MP4-29 car on Friday in an online-only digital launch.