End of an Era: Ron Dennis Severs Final Ties With McLaren Group

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by Paul Jeffrey, Jun 30, 2017.

  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium

    Ron Dennis Leaves McLaren.jpg
    Ron Dennis has finally cut ties with the McLaren Group in what is reported to be a £275m deal, ending a 37 year relationship with the famed British manufacturer.

    Dennis was relieved of his duties with the McLaren Formula One team at the end of 2016 following several years of disappointing results off the back of a deal with Japanese engine manufacturer Honda, a deal brokered by Dennis himself and heralded at the time as the first step towards bringing McLaren back to the sharp end of the Formula One field.

    Despite his removal from active duties within the main Formula One team, Dennis retained a 25 % stake in the McLaren Group in which he has built up over the years, a position he now relinquishes as he removes all ties between himself and the McLaren group of companies.

    Recently having celebrated his 70th birthday, Dennis will forever be regarded as one of the most important figures in Grand Prix racing over the past half century. Responsible for no less than 158 Grand Prix race wins and 17 World Championships, plus building the McLaren franchise from simply a Formula One racing team to one of the worlds leading car manufactures and advanced technology businesses, the importance of Ron Dennis to the McLaren group cannot be underestimated.

    “I am very pleased to have reached agreement with my fellow McLaren shareholders" said Dennis of the announcement today. "It represents a fitting end to my time at McLaren, and will enable me to focus on my other interests. I have always said that my 37 years at Woking should be considered as a chapter in the McLaren book, and I wish McLaren every success as it takes the story forward.

    “Perhaps my greatest satisfaction is the Formula 1 team’s outstanding racing safety record, which is a tribute to the dedication and efforts of hundreds if not thousands of talented and conscientious employees whom I have had the privilege of leading.

    “I will continue to consult for various companies and work with the UK Government’s Ministry of Defence Innovation Advisory Panel in helping to improve the technology, the culture and the organisations that together safeguard the UK’s national security.

    “I will also continue to run my family’s charitable foundation – Dreamchasing – which focuses on mentoring and financing children and young people from all walks of life, so that they may aspire to and succeed in whatever their career dreams may be. It was working with Lewis Hamilton, whom I took under my wing when he was just 12 years old, and who became Formula 1 World Champion with McLaren in 2008, that inspired my idea to establish Dreamchasing as a charitable foundation.

    “Now that my time at McLaren has come to an end, I will be able to involve myself in a series of other programmes and activities, especially those focused on public service. I will continue to indulge my passion for supporting contemporary artists and collecting their work, but most of all I will be driving new ideas and projects forward.

    “Last but far from least, I wish McLaren well, and I send my greatest thanks and best wishes to my colleagues in all corners of its business, and at every level of seniority. Truly, they are the best of the best. And, well funded to succeed and grow, and led by an ambitious management team, McLaren is ideally poised to build on the successes that I am so proud to have contributed to during my time leading such a great British group of companies.”

    Dennis leaves McLaren at a perilous time in the hugely successful teams history in the sport. Struggling in the wake of constant underperformance from engine partners Honda, and seemingly struggling to acquire big name sponsorship that was at one time a given for the British outfit, the team will require considerable reorganisation behind the scenes to fill the gaping void left by such a huge personality as the 70-year-old Englishman.

    It is thought that Dennis has sold his shares to current company shareholders TAG, the Luxembourg investment group run by entrepreneur Mansour Ojjeh, and Mumtalakat, Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund. Both the McLaren Technology Group and McLaren Automotive Group will now be brought together under a single holding company called McLaren Group.

    In a fitting tribute to the single most influencial member of McLaren since the passing of team founder Bruce McLaren in 1970, Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa (Executive Chairman and Executive Committee principal) said:

    “I would like to pay tribute to Ron’s immense contribution to the McLaren success story over the past 37 years.

    “As soon as he had taken over the running of the team in the late autumn of 1980, it was immediately clear that here was a man whose ambition to surpass the achievements of all previous Formula 1 team principals would not be checked. Together with Mansour Ojjeh of TAG Group, whom Ron soon introduced to McLaren and whose support has been invaluable to its success for a third of a century, Ron rewrote the record books in the 1980s and 1990s, winning Grands Prix and World Championships as a matter of apparent routine. But it was not routine: it was in fact the result of a lot of clever thinking and a huge amount of extremely hard work.

    “That ethos remains at McLaren, and I am very proud now to be assuming the position of Executive Chairman, alongside Mansour, my fellow Executive Committee principal, who will continue to work with me to drive McLaren Group forward to new successes.

    “There will be time in the near future to outline our plans, for the coming months and years will be an extremely exciting time in the story of McLaren. But now, today, it is appropriate that we pause to express our gratitude to Ron. So, on behalf of McLaren and all who sail in her, may I say three heartfelt words: thank you Ron.”
    The immediate future of the McLaren racing team should not be affected by this announcement, as racing activity will continue to be lead by Team Principle Eric Boullier and Executive Director Zak Brown.

    McLaren Ron Dennis Leaves.jpg McLaren Ron Dennis Leaves 4.jpg McLaren Ron Dennis Leaves 3.jpg McLaren Ron Dennis Leaves 2.jpg

    For more Formula One news head over to our Formula One sub forum and get yourself involved with our awesome racing community!

    Do you think Dennis would of been the right person to steer McLaren out of its current slump? Should the Englishman have left the team earlier that last year? Will Formula One see the links of Dennis again in future? Let us know in the comments section below!
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2017
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  2. Gui Cramer

    Gui Cramer

    Only twice I've supported teams, and the earlier Ron Dennis/McLaren period was one of them.

    Last edited: Jun 30, 2017
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  3. paracletus


    Not surprised.

    Hopefully, Ron will start a new racing team.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2017
  4. thewarmer


    How Long before Honda gets the boot now , that was one of Dennis last deals , though for all the money the new leadership have at the McLaren Group , it will still be hard for them to get access to power of current standards from any of the top teams other than just the basic customer power units.

    But nothing can be taken away from Dennis , from his beginning has mechanic at McLaren to turning them into a world beating team & Hiring some of the best drivers & designers of all time.
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  5. Eric Rowland

    Eric Rowland

    Sometimes the hardball-er becomes the hardball-ee...it's a shame to see Ron become the target of the modern corporate power play but he had a good run. He dominated F1 for most of the 80s and 90s and made McLaren an icon of motor racing and road cars. I really liked the way he stood by Mika when he had his accident and for him to eat all those hot peppers on a bet with Ayrton in Mexico was gallant. Marlboro, carbon fibre, West, Mercedes, Honda, Hamilton, Senna, Prost, Lauda, etc...and "Ron-speak"...he had a way in the F1 bidness.........net worth $865m......
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  6. Kakusso


    Amazing career. It should be Sir Ron Dennis.
  7. Jim Layee

    Jim Layee

    Ive never been a Ron fan and always considered Mclaren to be the opposition. But I 100% agree that he deserves a gong
  8. Bobby Pennington

    Bobby Pennington
    Assetto Corsa Club Manager Staff Premium

    Like Ron or not, he was great for F1 and Mclaren. I was never his biggest fan, but I hated to see him go. Ron, Frank Williams and Patrick Head will always hold a special place in my heart. They are Racers.
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