Dennis: We’re the Man United of F1

The Woking-based outfit have not won a grand prix since Jenson Button's triumph in Brazil in 2012, and have only claimed one podium finish since then, finishing fifth in the Constructors' Championship for the past two seasons.

Lewis Hamilton's title in 2008 now seems a very distant memory, while the top-of-the-table battles with Ferrari and Williams in the late 1990s and early 2000s a different era entirely.

The team has not had a title sponsor since Vodafone ended their partnership in 2013, and Dennis believes that this is a sign of a change in general strategy rather than that the team is in decline.

"Title sponsorship doesn't exist anymore as a concept," Dennis said. "If you look at what title sponsorship would normally be, it would be somewhere between 40-50 per cent of your budget. 

"Where the budgets are for a competitive team, no company will come in and give you that kind of money.

"Therefore what you do is you cut it up into bite-sized pieces, so you get a range of companies with similar philosophies to join you on the car. 

"Do we have room for bigger brands on our cars? Yes we do. But the reality is that we put ourselves in a position where the technology side of our business is providing different dynamics [of revenue]. 

"We haven't given up on the idea of attracting larger sums of money to our car, but what we don't want to do is put big brand names on at low levels of money.

"I feel a bit like Manchester United, which has had a run of crappy football games and gone down in the league.  

"I still think we are Man United, I still think that we can come along and say 'will you sponsor us? We are still Man United'. 

"The last thing you should do is suddenly start doing deals that are last place in the league table. That is maybe flawed, but I don't think so. That is the way I think." 

Dennis is resolute in his belief that McLaren will recover from their current dip and speaking at a recent promotional event the Briton asserted that Honda were the supplier needed to get them back to the top.

"We will have success because history shows that Honda always succeeds and the Honda-McLaren partnership of the ‘80s is something we intend to reproduce," he said,

"I hope to be stood [here in Japan] in the not too distant future celebrating the World Championships that I’m very confident we will win together, given some time. The first challenge is to win a first Grand Prix and, in the short term, compete in Australia and finish with the most competitive result that we can possibly have."

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