Thursday, March 13, 2008

McLaren boss Dennis to stay on

Reports that McLaren-Mercedes chief Ron Dennis would step down appear to have been premature.
The 60-year-old boss of the hugely successful British team told staff on Tuesday that he would be staying on to oversee the campaign of drivers Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen this season.
A spokesman for McLaren said that Dennis addressed a meeting of employees at the team's spectacular factory near Woking before leaving to catch a flight to Australia.

The Englishman will be on the pit-wall at Melbourne's Albert Park circuit to monitor the progress of Hamilton and his new team-mate this weekend.
A number of media reports this month have suggested that Dennis, who owns 15 per cent of the team and took control of McLaren in 1980, might be on the verge of stepping down.
A proud and meticulous man, he was deeply hurt by the spy scandal which enveloped his team last season and led to a £50 million ($139.8 million) fine by the governing body.
Dennis has recently announced that he is to separate from his wife Lisa and declared that he is keen to pursue interests outside Formula 1.
But not just yet. Dennis personifies his operation to a far greater extent than most bosses. Because he is neat, precise and cautious, so are all his employees.
The McLaren garage is always the most immaculate on the pit-lane, the "Brand Centre" — the team's portable hospitality building — always the smartest.
Such attention to detail reflects the personal values of the team principal, who learned such virtues as a young mechanic working with the Cooper Formula 1 team in 1966, tending the car of future world champion Jochen Rindt.
He will not have wanted to bring his long career to a close in a welter of allegations and counter-claims.
Dennis would rather wave farewell on the back of a triumphant season from Hamilton, the protégé he has nurtured from childhood and who so nearly won the title in his debut season last year.

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