Dennis refuses to sell title sponsorship for under 50m

McLaren chairman Ron Dennis says a title sponsor must be willing to stump up around £50 million ($76m) a season if it's to have its logo on his car.

The Woking team has been without a title sponsor since Vodafone ended its partnership at the end of 2013. The telecommunications giant contributed upwards of £40m ($60m) a season along with other benefits.

The team has struggled to attract a replacement, despite Dennis' promises, partly in thanks to McLaren's lack of results which has seem them without a race win since 2012.

The 67-year-old has now described title sponsors as 'a thing of the past', and although unwilling to accept less than £50m for the privilege, he admits companies are unwilling to spend that sort of money these days.

"Title sponsorship doesn't exist anymore as a concept," said Dennis. "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."

He explained that McLaren's diversification into other areas means they're not so reliant on sponsors to make up their F1 budget like most of the teams.

"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 [revenue streams].

"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."

He's also adamant that their current slump, which he compared to Manchester United, shouldn't devalue McLaren's sponsorship because they're still one of the biggest and most successful names in the sport.

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