McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh on Saturday admitted that scandals past and present would give the team's sponsors pause to evaluate their commitment.

McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh on Saturday admitted that scandals past and present would give the team's sponsors pause to evaluate their commitment.

So soon after the 'spy-gate' affair and $100m penalty of 2007, McLaren is now gripped in 'lie-gate', triggered by Lewis Hamilton and sacked team manager Dave Ryan being economical with the truth when addressing stewards in Australia.

It has been reported not only that Mercedes-Benz is questioning its commitment ahead of the World Motor Sport Council meeting next Wednesday, but that the same is also true of key corporate backers.

"You would expect in these times any of our sponsors to be prudent about what they're doing," Whitmarsh said in Bahrain on Saturday.

"No one can commit to being with us for many, many years beyond their existing contracts. We're realistic in that regard. We need to do a better job in all sorts of departments."

There is a feeling inside the Sakhir paddock that, in light of the recent scandals and negative headlines, McLaren is angling for a new start.

F1 regulars have commented upon McLaren's different approach in Bahrain, including a drinks bar and contemporary music around the team's designated hospitality building here.

"We have to try to be better in many ways. There is no revolution going on here, but there is evolution. We need to be more accessible, more frank and open," Whitmarsh continued.

"We should reflect more on the positive aspects of this sport perhaps a bit more than we have in the past."

 

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