McLaren chairman Ron Dennis has quit his F1 role with the company completely, forumula1.com understands. The 61-year-old figurehead was reported to be clarifying his position within the organisation and today’s news comes as no surprise.
Despite McLaren’s difficult start to 2009, for which Dennis had abdicated the role of team principal, Dennis is thought to want to concentrate on the other aspects of the McLaren brand which include the road car manufacturing department.
His role will now be fully assumed by Martin Whitmarsh, his long-time deputy. Whitmarsh has faced questions about his suitability for the role after presiding over the ignominious ‘lie-gate’ affair, but has shown no intention of stepping down. Up til today, speculation abounded that Dennis would return to the F1 team to aid the struggling Whitmarsh, but today’s news appears to be a vote of confidence from Dennis.
In a statement Dennis said that he had full confidence in Whitmarsh.
“This was my decision. I have no qualms about leaving Martin to look after all matters connected to F1,” he said.
He went on to suggest that his ambiguous F1 role up to this point might have been a distracting factor, and that it was better for the F1 team just to get on with their job while he gets on with his.
“I admit I’m not always easy to get on with. I admit I’ve always fought hard for McLaren in Formula 1. I doubt if Max Mosley or Bernie Ecclestone will be displeased by my decision. But no one asked me to do it.”