McLaren team boss Ron Dennis may not have enjoyed 2007 all that much, but received a welcome boost after Sunday's disappointing Canadian Grand Prix when he was awarded the prestigious Prince Philip Medal by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.

The presentation came at a ceremony hosted by The Royal Academy of Engineering designed to celebrate innovation and excellence in engineering, with Dennis - who came under fire amid rumours that McLaren had 'cheated' by using data from F1 rival Ferrari during the 2007 campaign and also had to deal with the fall-out of relations with world champion driver Fernando Alonso - rewarded for the entrepreneurial skills that helped position the McLaren Group at the forefront of the engineering industry.

Dennis took over the reins of the McLaren F1 team just 16 years after entering the sport as a teenager, and has since led the team to nine world championships with such evocative names as Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost.. His entrepreneurial abilities have seen him capitalise on the 'cutting edge' technology required to compete in Formula One to create McLaren Automotive and McLaren Electronic Systems, amongst others.

"Ron Dennis has founded and led a world-leading engineering enterprise that is probably the most visible and compelling example of high performance engineering available," professor Keith Glover commented, "His exceptional contribution to engineering is not only seen in the motorsports domain, but is also evident in the public perception of engineering."

The Prince Philip Medal was inaugurated in 1989, when HRH The Duke of Edinburgh - a senior fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering - commissioned an award to be 'awarded periodically to an engineer of any nationality who has made an exceptional contribution to engineering as a whole through practice, management or education'.

"When you look at the list of past winners, I feel flattered and honoured to have been selected for this award," Dennis admitted, "In truth, though, it's an award for all who work at McLaren, not just for me."