Dennis: I’m not ready to quit

Despite increasing speculation over the past few weeks, Ron Dennis has confirmed he will be remaining at the helm of the McLaren F1 team for the 2008 season. Dennis has finally broken his silence and explained to reporters that he is not yet ready to quit Formula 1.

“There are lots of things that people don’t really understand that happened over the last few months,” Dennis began. “I thought pretty much at the beginning of last season it would be my last season of going to races, purely because of how long I have done it. But there were other things that came along and made me think. I didn’t feel I had to share that with anybody and I don’t understand why it became such a public issue.

“It is a process I go through every year and for some reason it got a bit more publicity. My effort, dedication and focus is to grow McLaren as a brand. My decision to stay is something that has become a much bigger issue than it really is. I am just a guy who enjoys going motor racing and if I don’t feel I have something positive to contribute then I won’t be here.

“I am continuing as team principal but it is the smallest part of my job – and a part that Martin [Whitmarsh] has definitely wanted to have for a while. But he will have to wait a little bit longer. I will approach it slightly differently to before.

“I think people don’t fully understand what my job is. We are running a group of companies and the winter is when I really concentrate on those other aspects of the group. This year I have concentrated very hard to position the group and each of the companies. Martin, as always, has been working with me on that process and you only have to look at his job titles to realise how big his jobs are. He is COO of the group, he is CEO of the F1 team and we have been sharing the workload for many years – and I give him more each year.

“It was just one of those moments on whether it was the right or wrong thing for him to become team principal but it was a conversation that we had and at this moment in time, my intention is to stay in all three jobs. And you have to remember I am not an employee.”