McLaren hints at imminent staffing boost


McLaren chairman Ron Dennis has hinted at imminent staffing boosts for his team, which he believes will make it even stronger over the next few years.

Although the outfit has lost highly rated engineer Phil Prew to rival Mercedes, Dennis has suggested that top-line additions are in the pipeline to arrive at Woking, once they have served gardening leave elsewhere.

"F1 has learned the art of lock-up," said Dennis. "You are talking about a top person, and you have to wait a year. And the teams are wealthy enough to sit them on gardening leave for a year.

"We have done a lot of work to improve our technical group and, as time passes by, you will see our own efforts to improve the quality of our technical group. It will start to unfold as people inevitably move around.

"We have lost no real top people. The last person who chose to move had many reasons to move, which was Phil Prew. He is moving to an administrative role between the team that is making the engine and the team that is making the car.

"It is an important position for Mercedes, but not a front line position. There is a lot more to it than meets the eye.

"Do we like losing good people? No. But if I had to weigh up, who have we got joining the team over the course of the next years, versus who we have lost in the last two years, the balance is heavily in favour of the future."

Fighting fit

Dennis also believes that he is still the right man to lead McLaren back to glory, despite its recent struggles.

"Do I feel fit for the job? I feel I am extremely healthy, as far as I now. I look after myself, I don't get falling-over tired and I am highly motivated – and I will die with ambition," he said.

"I will always be ambitious. F1 is challenging but, as I've said, it isn't my challenge. It is the challenge that I choose the right people.

"That is the challenge in any business: choose good leaders. You don't always get it right but that is the challenge."

And Dennis believes his efforts since returning to the helm at McLaren have helped deliver a much-improved structure.

"I still have a firm belief that we have one of the best teams of people that we have had for a long time," he said. "Our engineering group is highly motivated, and focused.

"You cannot change things quickly, and recover quickly. Do I believe we have got the people and the ability to do the job? Yes I do. I didn't feel that a year ago or the year before."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Teams McLaren
Article type Breaking news
Tags phil prew, ron dennis