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Dennis denies new quit rumours.


Ron Dennis has played down suggestions that Lewis Hamilton's dramatic Formula One world championship victory in Brazil would see him call time on his role at the head of the McLaren team.

Such speculation has been rife since last year's acrimonious season, in which McLaren was embroiled not only in a war of words with 'star' driver Fernando Alonso, but also in the murky waters of the espionage row that engulfed the sport for much of the season. Despite clearly being affected by what was going on around him, however, Dennis stood firm and returned to lead his team into battle - and title contention - again in 2008.

With Hamilton finally coming good at Interlagos, it was again rumoured that Dennis may decide to step down from the helm, having seen his protégé rise from karting novice to F1 world champion while under his patronage. But, appearing on BBC radio's Chris Evans Show in the wake of Sunday's title triumph, the 61-year old confirmed that he could not see himself turning his back on grand prix racing - something that he also told the media in Sao Paolo - although his role within the McLaren Group may alter in the coming months.

"Nothing that will unfold over the next few months will be as a result of [Sunday]," Dennis said, "You are most definitely going to see me at grands prix, you will see me on the pit-wall - it is something I like too much to take it out of my life. But I think, over the next few months, I will make it abundantly clear what I am doing and why I'm doing it."

Without making any definitive statement on his future, Dennis suggested that he may be willing to relinquish the reins of the F1 operation - which would most likely be handed to CEO Martin Whitmarsh, who has long been singled out at his replacement - to take greater interest in other areas of the wider McLaren company.

The Woking concern has been developing another road-going sportscar project to follow on from the spectacular F1 and Mercedes-Benz SLR models it was involved in, and Dennis admits that he is keen to ensure that the non-racing areas of the company flourish.

*My role will broaden in some aspects and reduce in others," he continued, "I have believed passionately in the need for a grand prix team to diversify and it is not by accident that McLaren is a group of companies. We want as broad a possible a base for the company, not just the racing but also making sportscars. We want to be bigger and better than just a grand prix team - it's critical to survival. If you go back in history, you can see clear examples of teams who have stayed unique to F1 who have just failed.

"You cannot sustain an F1 team indefinitely, you need to diversify. We intend to match the success of Ferrari but, to achieve that, we cannot just be a grand prix team. But [my future roles] would have taken place no matter what. Don't read too much into it."


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Ron Dennis (GBR) McLaren Team Principal, French F1 Grand Prix, Magny Cours, France, 20th-22nd, June, 2008
French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard
Lando Norris, McLaren Autosport BRDC Awards [Credit: Martyn Pass PR]
Lewis Hamilton tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
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Cliff jones - Unregistered

November 05, 2008 10:43 AM

DON''T GO RON.........NO G.P. WOULD BE COMPLETE WITHOUT SEEING YOU AT THE HELM ON THE PIT WALL (sorry Martin) (take a break, if you went, you would miss the buzz too much, and Martin wouldn''t give you your job back) !!! Congratulations to all the team, LEWIS IS KING and Number 1

SpongoF1 - Unregistered

November 05, 2008 1:16 PM

Fully agree - he has probably the most integrity of all those on the Pitlane - and before the hordes start squawking about last year, remember WHO it was who took the evidence to the FIA. He may be a bit "PC" for some, but he's real RACER through and through - F1 needs him, and his like.



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