Ron Dennis has said that his McLaren team’s divorce from long-term technology partner Mercedes was an entirely amicable one, and has been in the best interests of both parties.
The German engine supplier decided last winter to pursue its own F1 project with what was the Brawn team, as differences emerged over control of McLaren, as well as the Woking concern’s nascent road car project.
“It was completely and utterly amicable,” Dennis told Arabian Business magazine. “They continuously over the years wanted to have control of McLaren and we continuously told them we did not want them to have control of McLaren.
“The more they wanted it, the less we wanted to give it to them. Because you look at what happens… the influence they [car manufacturers] control is not always productive. CEOs change overnight. I have got 30-odd years of my life in this company, huge quantities of friends and people who have been through thick and thin with me, and I made it very clear to Mercedes-Benz, as did the other shareholders, that we are not for sale. They hankered always.”
The Englishman, who last year stepped out of the F1 limelight, said that both parties had been completely open with each other and that they were still working effectively together.
“We initiated it, we wanted to be independent. This wasn’t something which we weren’t party to. I mean engine supply to Brawn in 2008 [for the 2009 season] required our consent.
“At the end of the day we were a fully integrated partner of Mercedes-Benz, and we still are. We are fiercely competitive on circuit, but off circuit we are still firm friends. I wouldn’t call it a sweetheart deal, but it was a win-win situation.
“They got exactly what they wanted: a grand prix team they had complete control over and we had continuous engine supply and the ability to promote our product and build the McLaren brand.
“It was just a win-win situation. In the end, obviously, when we all realised this was going to happen, it was all very logical.”