August 28th, 2014 (F1Plus / Rosie Baillie) - Ron Dennis says it will take McLaren some time to start winning again.
McLaren’s CEO and group chairman told the Official Formula 1 website that it will take a while for the team to begin winning again and knew the 2014 season would be difficult when he saw data during the winter break.
Jenson Button took the last win for the team at the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix.
“realistically, improving Formula One teams’ competitiveness relative to their rivals has always taken time, and I expected the process we’re currently engaged in to take time too,” Dennis said.
“You only have to look at recent historical statistics. Red Bull has enjoyed several years of success recently, but it took them five years to win their first world championship.
“During that period Adrian (Newey) joined the team - in 2006 - and it was still three years after that before they won a Grand Prix.”
“In fact, over the winter of 2013-14, as I was looking at the aero data I was being shown by McLaren’s designers and engineers, I already knew that 2014 was going to be another challenging season.”
Dennis says there are some key issues that need addressing and added that he wants to hire some more talented team members.
“But you have to think through changes meticulously before you make them. There are a few more core issues that I still want to address, and there are a few more talented individuals whom I still want to attract,” he said.
“That process usually carries with it the necessity to deal with notice periods, which normally manifest themselves in gardening leave, but, as you gradually assemble your team, what you’re doing is carefully putting together a complex jigsaw puzzle.
“As and when the final piece of that jigsaw puzzle is put in place, you begin to edge into a state of competitiveness and ultimately into a state of success. I’ve done it before. I know how it works.”
After a tough season which so far has only yielded 105 points for the Woking based team, Dennis stressed that while he is happy with their current lineup McLaren will always aim to hire the best drivers.
“we’ll always look to employ the best drivers available - but they have to be available, don’t they?”
“Having said that, for the avoidance of doubt, Jenson [Button] and Kevin [Magnussen] represent an excellent blend of capable experience and youthful promise, and we’re very happy with both of them.
“The fact that we’re keeping an eye on what a few other drivers are up to in no way contradicts that, because, as I say, if opportunities arise, we’ll appraise them - we always have and we always will.”
McLaren are currently fifth in the drivers’ title, 45 points behind Williams who are in fourth place.