9 September 2014
F1 Italian Grand Prix: More changes to come at McLaren
The makeover at McLaren still has some way to go, as pieces fall into place and personalities gel, F1 team boss Ron Dennis admitted at Monza.
While Ron Dennis would not be drawn on the prospective McLaren driver line-up for 2015, he openly admits that the ongoing overhaul of his team will continue for some time.
Martin Whitmarsh's departure, and Eric Boullier's subsequent arrival in the specially-created role of racing director, was only the tip of the iceberg as McLaren attempts to reinvent itself in a time of falling sponsorship and disappointing results, and Dennis revealed at Monza that there is still some way to go before the team can emerge in full working guise.
“There will be more changes over the next three months, but primarily to make sure the machine works properly,” he explained, “When you bring people together, you bring their personalities together and that doesn't come out for a month or two. Then you've got to shape everything to make sure it all works smoothly...”
Insisting that, despite returning to take charge of the Woking operation ahead of the 2014 campaign, he has no desire to be 'a gear in the machine' at race meetings 'because that means I can't stand back and watch how it all works', Dennis revealed that the results of the McLaren makeover would probably not be fully apparent for some time.
“The inevitability is you want to look different but, actually, that's not where you've got to start,” he reasoned, “All of how we look and what we do will come later – it's a complete change and it will just take time.
“Race results, of course, as ever, will be measured every two weeks, but really I want the company to be measured in a year or two, when everything has fallen into place, because I think F1 teams need to re-invent themselves. You can't wait for other people to do it, so we're doing it our way and, hopefully, we can constructively contribute to the future of F1, because we have to change.
“The model we've got is just the model we've evolved over the years and evolution is not always a good way to move forward. We can either embrace change and use it, or ignore it at one's peril.”
Regardless of the direction McLaren takes, however, Dennis insists that F1 will always play a major part in its future.
“Within the group, there will always be this very important platform called the F1 team, and that F1 team - and the people within it - have nothing else on their minds than to win the races,” he acknowledged, “There's no obligation on anyone in the F1 team to generate income - they don't even own the surface of the racing car.
“The model has changed, and a well-planned strategy takes time to implement. At the same time, we have to put together the four components for success in F1. It takes time when you bring people on board – the really good people have long contracts and periods of notice, then you're trying to jigsaw everything to make sure it works. It's now all coming together.”
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