Ron Dennis: Gone or on a leave of absence?

Ron Dennis: Gone or on a leave of absence?

The Spanish daily sports newspaper Marca has apparently reported Dennis will hand in his resignation after the race in Australia and Mercedes will accept it with regret. Ron Dennis, McLaren, Team Principal, Chairman and Norbert Haug, ...

The Spanish daily sports newspaper Marca has apparently reported Dennis will hand in his resignation after the race in Australia and Mercedes will accept it with regret.

Ron Dennis, McLaren, Team Principal, Chairman and Norbert Haug, Mercedes, Motorsport chief.
Photo by xpb.cc.

Dennis started his involvement with McLaren in 1980 after a merger of Ron Dennis' personal Formula 2 team, called Project 4, with the McLaren team. Dennis and his business partners took control of the operation in 1981, buying out the other shareholders. Dennis still owns 15 percent of the company originally named after its founder New Zealander Bruce McLaren who was tragically killed in 1970 in a crash at Goodwood while testing the team's new M8D Can Am car.

Following the so called Spygate debacle in which the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team were fined a record USD100 million and effectively removed from the F1 constructors championship, the latest report adds to the speculation concerning Dennis' future at the team.

Indeed Dennis having recently reduced his shareholding in the McLaren Group and the fact the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes' 2008 car launch was held at the Mercedes-Benz museum in Stuttgart had already fueled rumours that Dennis is planning to move aside. Dennis additionally played more of a background role at the launch than in previous years.

Martin Whitmarsh, the CEO of McLaren Racing and second in command is rumoured to be the one who will take over the embattled team which failed to secure the 2007 drivers title after leading the driver's championship for most of the year. In fact today's quote on the final preseason test in Barcelona was given by Whitmarsh on the team's behalf.

However far from any official confirmation McLaren, speaking to motoring commentary site Pistonheads.com said: 'We have no comment on speculation as we would then be doing it all the time, but the status quo remains the status quo.'

This was echoed by a Mercedes representative who told Pistonheads: "It's rubbish, but I think the official line is the status quo remains the same."

In further news today, McLaren Group confirmed today that they continue to cooperate in the ongoing 'spy' scandal investigation by the Modena Magistrate.

Dennis' departure from McLaren could be disastrous for the team's morale so close to the start of the season. Indeed star driver Lewis Hamilton, who has recently extended his contract at McLaren has a particularly close relationship with Dennis.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Norbert Haug , Lewis Hamilton , Martin Whitmarsh
Teams Mercedes , McLaren