McLaren posts £3.2m 2016 loss amid poor results with Honda

McLaren's Formula 1 team made a post-tax loss of £3.2m in 2016 as a result of the reduced prize money it received thanks to the poor first season of its reunion with Honda

McLaren posts £3.2m 2016 loss amid poor results with Honda

McLaren's Formula 1 team made a post-tax loss of £3.2m in 2016 as a result of the reduced prize money it received thanks to the poor first season of its reunion with Honda.

In 2015 McLaren Racing made a profit £5.2m on turnover of £188m, but turnover fell by £8m in 2016 and it recorded a loss overall.

Annual prize money always reflects the performance of the previous season, and McLaren's ninth-place finish in the 2015 constructors' championship meant it received a 2016 payment of £16.5million.

That is half what it would have received had it replicated its fifth-place finish as a Mercedes customer in 2014.

The significance of the numbers is that the team made a loss even with free Honda engines and substantial financial support from the Japanese manufacturer.

Next season the team will have to pay for its customer Renault engines, although marketing deals are likely to reduce the cost, and McLaren faces a challenge to balance the books in the short-term.

It received a $31m payment for its improved 2016 performance with Honda, which resulted in sixth place in the championship, but its prize money in 2018 will be impacted by a likely ninth place this season.

The accounts also reveal that the team spent £23.7m on car development in 2016, up by £4.6m on the previous year, as it prepared for the major changes to the 2017 regulations.

"On track our chassis has shown excellent results throughout the 2017 season with good correlation between testing and on track performance," said McLaren chief operating officer Jonathan Neale.

"We believe our new partnership with Renault Sport will provide a powertrain that once combined with our chassis will provide us with opportunities to achieve our goals and win races in the near future."

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