Following its disastrous Formula One season last year, in which it was fined a staggering Â£50m for allegedly possessing technical secrets belonging to Ferrari, McLaren has now posted a loss of Â£2.3m for 2006. This is down from Â£14.3m profit the year bafore.
The McLaren Group is is part-owned by Mercedes, with a 40pc stake, and Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund, Mumtalakat, with Â£30pc. Ron Dennis owns part of the rest with the Saudi-run TAG Group.
The Group was hit on all fronts. Sales of its Â£300,000 flagship car, the SLR, produced with Mercedes, fell from 649 in 2005 to 261 in 2006.
The ban on tobacco advertising in F1 reduced its turnover to Â£206.6m, and Lewis Hamilton’s failure to secure the world title meant further losses. Without the rookie’s efforts though, Fernando Alonso may well have won the title for the team.
Even a great performance by Lewis counted against them in 2007. Truly the stars were not on their side. They will be praying for better fortune this year.