Mercedes, sponsor, back beleaguered McLaren

Fri, 14 September 2007, 05:36

Two of McLaren’s most significant backers on Friday pledged their continuing support to the team.

Ron Dennis’ Woking based outfit was on Thursday disqualified from the 2007 constructors’ championship and fined $100m for its involvement in the Ferrari espionage scandal.

Norbert Haug, competition director for McLaren shareholder and engine partner Mercedes-Benz, told the news agency ‘sid’ at Spa-Francorchamps: “We continue to stand with our partner and also formula one.”

The German also refused to accept that either marque has suffered a blow to its reputation.

He insisted: “I do not believe that people see us as a imitator of others’ ideas.”

McLaren sponsor Grupo Santander, meanwhile, also played down suggestions that the team may now be facing an exodus of its previous supporters.

The Spanish bank commenced a five-year, $90m sponsor deal with McLaren in 2007.

“We are totally convinced of the personal integrity of Ron Dennis and that of the McLaren team which has over the years shown a high level of professionalism and corporate ethics,” Santander director-general Juan Manuel Cendoya told the news agency Reuters.

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