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Ron Dennis to step down from McLaren - The Woking chief set to switch focus away from F1

Published by Christine


During the launch of the brand new MP4-24, Ron Dennis finally put the speculation to rest and announced that he would be stepping down as team Principal from McLaren before the new season. Martin Whitmarsh takes over the role, whilst Ron will continue as Chief Executive of the McLaren Group.

It's been on the rumour mill for a long time - that Dennis is thinking about/probably should/is likely to move away from such a public role in the team. After Spygate, the press hounded him to leave, but he was determined to prove them wrong. With a successful championship campaign behind him, this looks to be a case of exiting while he's ahead.

Ron has been at the helm of McLaren since 1981 and has seen the team through both good and bad times. He's led them to seven Constructor's Championships, and ten Driver's titles, and has overseen the production of a host of competitive cars. He's forged good relationships with drivers that have seen him succeed, but there have been more than a few who have come away from a stint at the team with bad feelings. Whether you like his methods or not, though, Ron has been a personality in the paddock. Known for his extensive use of the English vocabulary, a tearful look, and a methodical approach, Formula 1 will be different without his presence.

However, if change is on the horizon, it looks like it could be for the better. Since Whitmarsh has taken a more active role in the running of the team, we've seen some fun advertising campaigns that show McLaren don't have to take themselves quite so seriously.

Of course, one big aspect of this decision is how it will affect Hamilton. The defending champion has been very close to Mr Dennis from the very beginning of his career, and although he's proven an outstanding competitor, how will he react with his entourage reduced by one? Nevertheless, this news is all about Ron. He's done some great things, and has booked himself a big slot in the annals of F1 history. Let us know how you feel about the news, whether it's a long time coming, or you'll miss him once the season starts.