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Ron Dennis to quit?

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#1 F.M.

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 07:56

Ron Dennis is expected to announce his complete withdrawal from the world of Formula One on Thursday.

According to widespread speculation and reports, the former McLaren team boss will remain Chairman of the Woking-based company but leave the running of the racing operations entirely to Martin Whitmarsh and his deputies.

It is believed the announcement, to be made at the McLaren headquarters in Britain, is in reaction to the 'lie-gate' scandal, with some newspapers likening it to Dennis ‘falling on his sword’ so that central figures like Whitmarsh and Lewis Hamilton can sidestep the blame.

The Daily Mail said the press announcement will follow an address to his staff, when Dennis is to 'tell them that his involvement in Grand Prix racing is over after more than 40 years'.

It is also rumoured that Dennis' announcement, to involve the 61-year-old explaining that he will focus entirely on McLaren's new production road car division, may be part of a deal with the FIA ahead of the World Motor Sport Council hearing later this month.

Dennis' long relationship with FIA President Max Mosley has been an acrimonious one, so his departure may appease the Paris body as it considers sanctions against McLaren for lying to stewards in Australia and Malaysia.

The Daily Telegraph reports that Dennis may have made the decision, including not flying to China this weekend, 'due to pressure' from Hamilton's father and manager Anthony, who is said to be furious about his son's involvement in the lying scandal.

It is said that Dennis, whose relationship with Anthony has been strained for some time, may no longer attend any races.


McLaren Group chairman Ron Dennis is to make an announcement about his future plans within the company tomorrow, AUTOSPORT has learned, amid suggestions he could step back completely from his involvement with the Formula 1 team.

Dennis, who relinquished the team principal role to Martin Whitmarsh on March 1, is to hold a press conference at McLaren's Woking headquarters to reveal plans for the automotive section of his company.

And it is understood that Dennis could use the opportunity to announce that he is now to switch his focus entirely to making a success of McLaren's road car plans, which would mean him handing over total responsibility for the F1 operation to Whitmarsh.

Such an announcement comes with McLaren embroiled in the controversy about the team and Lewis Hamilton lying to race stewards at the Australian and Malaysian Grands Prix.

Dennis announced at the launch of McLaren's 2009 challenger at Woking in January that he was to step down as team principal so he could focus on other aspects of the McLaren company.

However, he maintained links with the F1 team - and had a notable presence in the garage during the Australian Grand Prix.

Speaking about his decision to hand over responsibility to Whitmarsh, and McLaren's road car plans, at the January launch, Dennis said: "We have a very clear intention for our production car programme, which is really challenging. Any product we bring to the market will certainly fall, we hope, well the other side of this difficult financial period. We understand the challenge.

"I stress, and it is nothing to get too excited about, but it is absolutely time for Martin (Whitmarsh) to take over the job as team principal and, as of March 1, Martin will adopt that responsibility. I will still go to races, but not all of them, because I am passionate about Formula 1.

"I intend to work harder and will take on greater responsibility in certain key areas in the group. I will be full executive chairman. I still have many other responsibilities."

It is also reported that Hamilton will not be available for normal media interviews or appearances in the Shanghai paddock on Thursday or Friday.

Dennis is to attend a press conference at the McLaren Technology Centre this morning at 10.00am BST.


#2 Clatter

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 07:59


#3 F.M.

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 08:01

Originally posted by Clatter

Sorry, didn't look that far down. This one can be removed