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Dennis 'very nervous about ability of teams to sustain'

Former long-time McLaren team principal Ron Dennis admits that he worries about the future of F1 and 'the ability of teams to sustain' in the most expensive sport in the world.
Former long-time McLaren team principal Ron Dennis has revealed his fears for the future of F1, pointing to the financial fragility of some of the sport's competitors and conceding that he is 'very nervous about the ability of teams to sustain'.

In charge since 1981, Dennis stepped down from the helm at McLaren in early 2009, handing over the reins to his loyal deputy Martin Whitmarsh, but he continues to attend a large number of grands prix and insists he has no regrets, admitting to still being 'passionate about motorsport' – albeit concerned about what potentially lies ahead.

“I'm very, very nervous about the long-term economics of motor racing and the ability of teams to sustain – 107 F1 teams have come and gone since 1966,” he told Sky News.

Dennis remains executive chairman of McLaren Automotive and the McLaren Group, and he left his F1 role to concentrate on different challenges that have included the development of the company's new road-going supercar, the MP4-12C, a £500 million project.

“The automotive group will have three times the turnover of the racing operation,” the Englishman explained. “We intend to have a turnover of £1 billion in five years.”

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Rob01 - Unregistered

June 22, 2011 9:41 PM

HRT,Virgin,Lotus,Williams,ToroR.. all teams that could crumble/pirelli at anytime. Red Bull just showed Nascar that it could leave at anytime. They based it on poor results. If Red Bull starts to get poor results in F1 would they pull out? Sounds like a yes. Keeping in mind that they are a drinks company. At anytime the market for them could change. One new energy drink that grabs market share could kill a number of the hundreds of sponsorships they currently have. So Ron recognizing the fragility of the sport is probably spot on.

speedtrap - Unregistered

June 23, 2011 7:58 AM

It's a double edged sword. The global downturn forced the big manufacturers out. They could not justify the costs. HOWEVER, BMW, Toyota, Honda, etc came in for the prestige and spent the money because F1 is all about cutting edge development, some of which will end up in road cars. The big teams did not want cost cutting because it restricts the development and innovation. So if you want to be in F1, you need minimum $150m, per year to do it half way decent. McL and to a lesser extent Williams sell their tech expertise to industry which generates revenue. Red Bull make fizzy drinks. The name of the game, apart from getting a bigger share from Bernie, is to develop related cash flows. It is very very difficult to find big buck sponsors these days. Hispania should not really be there. Nor Virgin, Branson is just playing at it. BUT Lotus do deserve to be there and they just got a big big sponsor.

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