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Dennis back in charge at McLaren

2014-01-17 08:57

BUT WHAT ABOUT MARTIN? With the return of Ron Dennis (left) as McLaren team principal, ousted team boss Martin Whitmarsh's future at the team seems uncertain. Image: AFP

ROB HARRIS

LONDON, England - Ron Dennis regained control of McLaren's Formula 1 team, returning as chief executive in a bid to revive the team's flagging fortunes.

McLaren made no mention of team principal Martin Whitmarsh, creating uncertainty about his future after failing to deliver any titles during his five years as team boss.

Whitmarsh succeeded Dennis, who stepped aside from his involvement with the F1 side of the business in 2009 after 27 years as team principal amid the fallout from a lying scandal.

MCLAREN MISERY

Stripped of his executive authority of the main racing business, Dennis was left with responsibility for building a range of commercial sports cars, remaining chief executive until 2012 before becoming chairman.

Now, while also retaining the chairman's role, Dennis returns as CEO in charge of the F1 outfit he led to 10 Drivers' championships, the most recent produced by Lewis Hamilton in 2008, and seven Constructors' titles.

McLaren endured another miserable season in 2013, finishing fifth in the Constructors' championship with Jenson Button ninth in the Drivers' standings and team mate Sergio Perez 11th.

Dennis is tasked with making the team competitive again, with plans to implement a new structure at McLaren from February 2014.

‘NEW CHAPTER OF MCLAREN’

Dennis said: "My fellow shareholders have mandated me to write an exciting new chapter in the story of McLaren, beginning by improving our on-track and off-track performance.

"Over coming weeks I intend to undertake a thorough and objective review of each of our businesses with the intention of optimising every aspect of our existing operations, while identifying new areas of growth that capitalise on our technologies and, where appropriate, further investing in them."

Dennis first became involved in F1 at age 18 in 1966, working alongside driver Jochen Rindt at the Cooper team. After stints at Brabham and projects in Formula 2 and 3 he returned to F1 in 1981 with McLaren and assumed full control of the company.

"I am excited by the prospect of returning to the role of group chief executive officer and working with my many colleagues and fellow shareholders to fulfill our objective - which is to win at whatever we do," he said.

The change at the top of McLaren comes less than two weeks before pre-testing begins in Jerez, Spain. The championship begins with the Australian GP in Melbourne on March 16 2014.

If Whitmarsh left McLaren, one potential replacement as team principal would be Ross Brawn, who stepped down from that role at Mercedes at the end of 2013.

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Read more on:    mclaren  |  martin whitmarsh  |  ron dennis  |  england  |  racing  |  f1  |  motorsport

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