Is It Time For Dennis To Quit F1?

January 10, 2008 at 12:40 am Leave a comment

One of the hottest F1 honchos in 2007 is Ron Dennis. And this year, Mercedes-Benz reportedly is ‘on the verge’ of buying a majority shareholding in McLaren – a move that is bound to precipitate Ron Dennis’ withdrawal into retirement.

It can be recalled that 2007 was injurious to the reputation of Dennis and the McLaren team. Those are the reasons why watchers predict the honcho will withdraw from F1. The rumors intensified when the team unveiled the MP4-23 on Monday at Mercedes’ headquarters in Stuttgart.

Earlier, The Times reported that the honcho ‘looked uneasy and confined himself to a short introduction’ and it was noticeable that Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren’s chief executive, who took center stage.

The Guardian, meanwhile, noted that “It was the first time in their 13-year partnership that McLaren had unveiled their new formula one car on Mercedes’ home turf and, although the unexpected presence of Bernie Ecclestone, the formula one commercial rights holder, may have signaled formal absolution for the British team after their involvement in the last season’s espionage scandal, the fact that Dennis took very much a back seat at the formal press conference fuelled speculation that the 60-year-old McLaren chairman might be considering a dignified retreat into semi-retirement.”

Asked if he will be taking a back seat, Dennis told Planet-F1: “We are formulating the future in lots of ways. But there is absolutely no decision on anything that relates to people’s positions within the company. We’re very focused on the future; we know what we are doing and where we are going. It’s as simple as that. There’s no real change in any way shape or form.”

“It’s not a question of even spending time thinking about the past. I’ve spent too much time in that period, so I’m just very focused on the future. Our company has a fantastic history, a great partnership with Mercedes Benz, and we are forward-thinking. We wanted to put ourselves in a position of looking forward and concentrating on doing what we do best, which is win races,” he added.

“I’m a racer at heart,” he concluded. “My enthusiasm is as strong as you would expect it to be having done this for the best part of 40 years.”

Mercedes currently owns a 40% stake in the team with Dennis in possession of a 15% shareholding with which the car manufacturers would become majority shareholders, reported Planet-F1.

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