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Ron Dennis leaves McLaren F1

Fri, 16 Jan 2009

Ron Dennis hands over the reins of McLaren F1 to Martin Whitmarsh


Ron Dennis has finally had enough of F1. Who can blame him?

From the heartache of losing the 2007 championship and a year or more of real grief with F1′s officials, Ron has had enough. The worst part was undoubtedly the ‘McLarengate’ episode with accusations of theft from Ferrari and the ensuing fines and grief. But at least the 2008 season ended on a high with Lewis Hamilton winning the F1 championship at the very last gasp.

But Ron is not putting his feet up – far from it. Although, as Car Magazine reports, he has handed over the leadership of the McLaren F1 setup to Martin Whitmarsh, he intends to be busier than ever. And he probably will be.

McLaren are getting close to officially revealing the P11 road car, which is the first proper McLaren since the mighty F1. The McLaren SLR, although a good collaboration with Mercedes, certainly at the beginning, was never the sort of car that turns Ron, and McLaren, on. It was too much the Grand Tourer. Not at all in the mould of the light and nimble, ultimate supercar, that is the F1.

So Ron is going to throw his efforts in to other McLaren projects instead of letting F1 dominate his life. He said:

‘Let me make one thing clear: this is very definitely not retirement. In fact, I intend to work even harder from now on… I intend to work even harder on growing the McLaren Group, which encompasses McLaren Automotive…’

And it is clear that the new P11 is going to take the fight to the likes of Ferrari’s F430 and Lamborghini’s LP-560, as a light and nimble, mid-engined car.

Good luck, Ron. We can’t wait to see the P11!

By Cars UK