McLaren facing sponsorship trouble

 after WMSC hearing

Formula One team McLaren could run into problems with both its engine partner and sponsors if it is hit with a major penalty at next week's World Motor Sport Council hearing, admitted its CEO.

McLaren has been summoned to appear before the FIA's World Motor Sport Council on April 29 to answer charges that it brought Formula 1 into disrepute over 'deliberately misleading' stewards. The misdemeanour was alleged to have happened with regards to Jarno Trulli overtaking Lewis Hamilton behind the safety car in the closing stages of the Australian Grand Prix.

Dieter Zetsche, chairman of Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler AG, said that "an unreasonable punishment" could result in Mercedes re-evaluating its position as engine supplier to the team.

Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren’s CEO, told Autosport: "There have been some comments that I might be asked about from Dr Zetsche in Daimler and my reaction to this is you would expect in these times any of our sponsors to be prudent about what they are doing."

"Noone could commit to being with us for many, many years at the moment beyond their existing contract, and we're realistic in that regard. But clearly we've got to do a better job in all sorts of departments."

It is believed McLaren will be given a two-race ban by the Council at Wednesday's hearing.

Source:Sport business International

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