New rumours say Ron Dennis to quit this week

Posted on

| Written by

The Sunday Times claims Ron Dennis will hand over the role of chief executive at McLaren to Martin Whitmarsh this week. According the newspaper Dennis had planned to relinquish his role in the team at the end of 2007 but postponed the change because of the espionage affair.

The story alleges Dennis’s decision to step down is of his own choosing and not because of pressure from Mercedes, which was claimed by Marca last week.

But if Dennis does quit this week there will surely still be questions about whether he jumped or whether he was pushed.

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

28 comments on “New rumours say Ron Dennis to quit this week”

  1. If indeed he does leave, I’m sure it will be to protect Mclaren from ridicule, since apparently the whole spygate affair had been personalized and directed towards Ron.

  2. Despite being a Ferrari fan, I’d be gutted if Ron left McLaren, as it would mean that they wouldn’t have a natural leader to see them through the most difficult period in their history (Martin Whitmarsh doesn’t seem dominant enough to take control). Hopefully he will stay and steer McLaren through the crisis, like Jean Todt did at Ferrari last year after the departures of Brawn and Schumacher. Without Dennis to guide them, McLaren could crumble under the pressure from Ferrari, Williams, BMW etc.

  3. Ron can be annoying, but he also cares deeply. I think he probably planned to retire on the back of winning the world championship last year. He may have even promised his wife that I suppose.

    But his team needs him. He wants to win one last time. And I would be happy, after all he’s been through, to see him blubbing tears of joy come the end of the season.

  4. Yes, I agree. He is a mother of carity, who was born to take care those that don’t have a bed to sleep…. No one can remember a single affair in his years in fron of McLaren, even a single loud word. In fact, I was waiting for the first multirole Nobel award to be given to Ron, you know, because of his discoveries in Economy (100 million $ fin), Physics (How to be and not to be at the same time, how to spy and not to know, best of cuantic theory), and Peace (the way he managed the Alonso-Hamilton duel is to be written in history books).

    God. I’d like to get the same treatment Ron is receiving if I’m succesful destroying my business, because the usual thing that should happen is to be jailed by the owners after trashing 100 million $.

  5. One thing I forgot. Could it be that Ron has been fired and Mercedes has bought what he needs to own McLaren? Ouch… that must hurt british proud…. to know that each McLaren victory is because of German power….

  6. If the source is only marca you shoudln´t waste your time mumbling about it, it will probably be only b******* made in hte office bored with no news to talk about
    Seriouslly, the sports newspaper in spain are the owrst, and their somilarities with periodism is only a matter o coincidence, not a matter of hard work.
    At least if it would be a normal newspaper

  7. Martin is more than capable of taking the reins but I would prefer Ron to stay on. We keep losing all the characters from the pitlane – EJ, Peter Sauber, Stoddy etc…

  8. Last week the only source was Marca and as I wrote at the time there was good reason not to believe it. However the Times claim to have a source of their own.

  9. I do not care much whether he stays or he goes. He planned to retire anyway and he groomed Whitmarsh to take over. Now the question is more about the timing of his departure. If he leaves now few will believe it was his own decision …

    No matter how trustworthy the Marca paper may be, the very lame response from McLaren to all the buzz Marca’s story created is weird… Perhaps they did not really know how to respond …

  10. if I take my opportunity to say Ron isn’t sor Teresa isn’t because reading Marca has twisted my mind. It’s because I’ve been watching Formula 1 for 20 years and Mr Dennis has taken a lot of fire since then. We could remember his management between Lauda and Prost and what Niki said about Ron…. and how Prost was pushed out of McLaren, and Senna later… or what was behind the curtain before the current pact between teams could be signed. All teams are fiery rivals, but it’s a common fact Ron isn’t a funny guy with lot of friends between his principal mates. 10 of 10 of them would be happy watching him go (don’t believe what they say after the guy is gone) and it would not happen with any other principals… I’m sure that if Frank Williams was to be fired every one in the paddock would feel pain.

    One thing I would clarify… I read lots of british press instead of Marca and As. I would say that 12-2 more or less. So I won’t let taking fire from that flank.

  11. Frank Williams fired? Are you sure u know your F1? Anyway, Ron has his own style which I believe is born out of his own rise from the lower ranks into being a successful team owner. There is no free lunch, you have to compete to establish your supremacy, its not a role assigned freely.

  12. One and done; one more driver’s and/or constructor’s title and he can retire with glory as opposed to shame attached to his name. But you know Ferrari (Luca) will continue their bleating and whining over last years controversies. Indeed, I don’t think Luca or Jean will ever let it go. It’s their nature to be relentless when the enemy is down. Which is why Ron as the figurehead has to eventually go.

    If Renault manage to out pace Ferrari this year Luca will blame the IP they stole from McLaren, who in turn stole it from Ferrari.

  13. Oliver I think Architron is suggesting that people would be more sad to see Frank fired than Ron. Frank has more friends etc.

    Ron has always been prickly and always been difficult. And he’s not always done right by everyone either. His team has to win. But I don’t like to see him pushed out like this. That’s my feeling.

  14. So Ron is no angel? – could anyone think that the business of F1 could last without some hard cases – if a competitor has an advantage – you have to nullify or equal it – Sport/money is not earned by fools it is wasted(fia fines excluded – ps where has that gone then MAX?- RSVP pls)- the ferrari witch hunt/comedy – they won(not) and you still want blood – big ron was a leader – like him or not he made mclaren (with a german engine – merde) – but if he goes I would love it to be on a high rather than with – we are banned from use of offensive language here – tiffosi!! gloating – said it sorry Keith – come on this season so we can see what happens on the track

  15. Alan, I agree with many of your feelings on Ron’s situation. I am a newcomer to this sport, but it appears Ron has been a major guiding force in F1 for many years now, and for that he deserves some credit.

    It may be very ture that, as some of you have suggested, he would have retired had McLaren won one or both of the championships. After being on the path to both, only to lose them to very disappointing circumstances, perhaps we need to wonder if he’s had enough of the tough times and wants to hand off control to allow McLaren to begin the Whitmarsh/Hamiltion era on a fresh sheet of paper.

    Regardless of when he steps aside, I hope he can ride off with some respect from the F1 community, even from those who have rooted against McLaren over the years.

  16. Alan, what you’re saying about fiery competition with no limits trying to acquire and mantain advantage is right to everyone involved in Formula 1 team management…. but I wonder why Ron isn’t loved all around. I feel that even an outsider like Briatore has more friends in Formula 1. And please, don’t misunderstand me…. I’m sure he would do the worst things to win on Formula 1.

  17. I’d hate to see Ron go, but as the whole distateful episode last year was a personal vendetta against Dennis, perhaps he thinks it would be in McLarens’s best interests that he retires?

    Of course Mad Max and di Montezemolo will not stop pushing until they get the result they want.

    On another note – I bought my program for the Melbourne GP on the weekend and had to laugh at this printed on the Ferrari page “After winning both of last years titles with a little help from the powers that be”


  18. Dennis has been saying for a while now that he has his succession planned and mapped out in advance. He alludes to stepping aside or stepping up instead of stepping down. We have no way of knowing whether last years farce will speed up or delay those plans, but I doubt it will alter them. He will not quit, and he won’t (can’t) get fired, so it’s up to him to decide what role he will play. My hunch is, even if he was going to step back this year, he’ll push it off a year, just to put some distance between it and the scandal.

    Ron may not have been the most touchy-feely character, and his mode of communicating was off-putting to some, but to me, the more Max bashed and insulted him, the more I moved over to Ron’s camp. He appears to be a control and neat freak, logical and unemotional, but he has spoken about the great pain he feels losing, and joy in winning. He’s not emotional in that Latin passionate way, but he clearly has a passion for the sport. One of the racers.

    Flavio has mentioned that Bernie is his best friend, and that they talk 6 times a day. He is inside the system. Ron fought the system, with only his team and F1 in mind, as opposed to Ferrari, who only have the team in mind. In a way Dennis is both establishment and maverick. I have great respect for how he took the whole mess on the chin and said “Let’s move on” when he was indeed treated to, in Brundles words, a witch hunt.

    I hope he stays on for as long as keeps him happy. The sport is far better of for him being in it.

  19. Today’s Guardian repeats the story but says the switch will happen “over the next couple of weeks”.

  20. and Autosport runs the story that he will pass the things on to Whitmarsh, just not sure when …

  21. Bye Ron, F1 will be a more colourful place without you! xx

  22. Oh, yes, much more colorful, much more red…

  23. Bring it on

  24. Last year he failed to secure the title for MacLaren despite having the best car and two of the three best pilots of the paddock. He failed managing the pilots. Then, in the Spygate he claimed not to be aware of the whole thing… true or not he also failed managing the team. I will get fired for much less.

  25. Ok, I think what is happpening now is more of an internal affair rather than Ferrari pushing somewhere, as some of the more paranoid/delusional folks seem to suggest here. All the pushing that Ferrari did was done months ago and this is one of the aftershocks of the whole affair which is being digested internally.
    Now if Ron had nothing to do with anything and is clean and white as a peace-pigeon’s feather I don’t think this would be happening, and I do think now that it will happen as most of the press all over the world is reporting it. I thought, and still think, that Ron knew of the whole affair due to his, shall we say, stronger than usual regime. He then tried to cover it up, failed, and now will have to pay. This will be an internal affair and we will never hear what really happens, but if he gets ousted internally this is proof that he did something wrong, what other reason could they have to destabilise the team like this before the season?

  26. Michael K: but if he gets ousted internally this is proof that he did something wrong, what other reason could they have to destabilise the team like this before the season?

    You could do better than that??? Guys like Toncho already have an answer right before you eyes: failures in management(despite all clean). And why do you insist that he would be ousted internally? Is it not possible that he’s just feeling too old?

    About the mismanagement of the drivers, I don’t know if the others could have done better, be it FB or JT. Because I think it’s very hard to manager 2 best/competive drviers in a winning car, and let’s face it: Ron is the only one in F1 who have even tried to team up 2 best drivers together, he tried to bring MH and MS together, he has brought us AS vs AP, KR vs JPM.

    I of course agree mostly with what Alex Andronov and Arnet said. Without RD, Mclaren just would not be the same, just like Williams without sir Williams and PH. I wish RD could have been 30 years younger…

  27. BTW about why it is not likey that he will be ousted internally(if you don’t believe what MW and NH/Mercedes said), BE rubbished that claim too, Ron owns 15% of McLaren, but he still has supports from other shareholds so that Mercedes/no one can push him out. Some of you guys still think Ron should be fired for what happened in 07′, and won’t believe it/can never understand, that Ron still have supports from people inside McLaren. Those are the people who see the contribution Ron made despite his possible mistakes.

    I’m still waiting for McLaren to do it for Ron, but if Ron decided to leave, I wish him all the best!!! 28 years with McLaren, maybe it’s now time to take really good care of himself. But I believe that would be bad for McLaren’s future, and bad for F1, 2 WDCs teammates we will never see.

  28. I have a lot of respect for RD and races won’t be the same without him. I can also consider the possibility that he is just leaving out of personal reasons (age, famiilly, tired of races,…) BUT Ade can you consider that he may be “forced” to go by his partners??.

    Afterall he has not win a championship for seven years despite having huge budgets and great pilots (the last two champions have been racing with MCL recently) According to RD RAI was not good enough for being champion (same with Montoya btw)… Then we got the spygate where most probably he knew all way, tryed to cover it up and ended handing the constructor title to Ferrari. I am just saying here he has made a lot of things wrong recently.

Comments are closed.