Formula 1 News

Dennis back at McLaren, pledges winning return

The team from Woking wants to come back to the top.
Thursday, January 16, 2014

PARIS, Jan 16, 2014 (AFP) - Former team principal Ron Dennis was on Thursday named as McLaren's chief executive charged with resurrecting the
fortunes of the ailing Formula One giants.

Dennis, 66, who is already the chairman of the McLaren Group, was in charge of the team from 1982 until 2009, helping to mastermind 10 world drivers
titles and seven constructors crowns from the pit-wall.

But last year, under new principal Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren endured their worst season for three decades, failing to score a podium finish for the first
time since 1980.

Whitmarsh had also held the position of chief executive.

"My fellow shareholders have mandated me to write an exciting new chapter in the story of McLaren, beginning by improving our on-track and off-track
performance," said Dennis.

"Over the coming weeks I intend to undertake a thorough and objective review of each of our businesses with the intention of optimising every aspect
of our existing operations, whilst identifying new areas of growth that capitalise on our technologies, and where appropriate further investing in them."

McLaren did not comment on the future of Whitmarsh, but Dennis insisted his job was to get the team winning again.

"During February, I will articulate a new Group strategy and implement the organisational structure best suited to achieving it," he added.

"I am excited by the prospect of returning to the role of Group Chief Executive Officer and working with my many colleagues and fellow shareholders
to fulfil our objective -- which is to win at whatever we do."

McLaren will have former world champion Jenson Button and Danish rookie Kevin Magnussen behind the wheel in the 2014 season which gets underway at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 16.

Before that, the team, will launch its car -- the MP4-29 -- for the new campaign on January 24.

The Daily Mail reported on Thursday that Whitmarsh's position as team principal was in danger as a result of what the newspaper described as a "coup
d'etat" at the team.

Dennis addressed the McLaren workforce for 20 minutes on Thursday at the team's headquarters in Woking, south of London, where his rousing speech was met with applause.

Sources said that Whitmarsh was not in attendance.

Dennis is not expected to return to the pit-wall as team principal with many in the sport already linking former Ferrari technical mastermind Ross
Brawn, who left Mercedes at the end of last season, with the job.

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