Ron is gone; the king without a sword, the land without a king!

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Ron Dennis is gone. He will no longer be in charge of the Formula 1 team as McLaren CEO. What a strange turn of events. AS I have said in previous posts about this situation, I am sure Ron is no easy person to work with but since 1981, he’s been the titular head of the company and it is an odd thing to know he won’t be in charge.

I have no insight to the boardroom battle between Mansour Ojjeh, Mumtalakat and Dennis but clearly they’ve conspired to oust the man who has been at the helm all these years and will comprise a committee to run the group until they can find a replacement.

The name Zak Brown has been tossed around as well as Ross sBrawn and others and it will be interesting to see if Jost Capito hangs around given Ron brought him on board. Here is a statement from the other owners of McLaren:

“As of this afternoon Ron Dennis no longer holds the position of chief executive officer of McLaren Technology Group (or its subsidiaries),” the statement read.

“However, he remains a shareholder and a director of the McLaren Technology Group.

“Over the past 35 years Ron’s contribution to the success of McLaren has been colossal.

“During his tenure the team won 17 world championships and 158 grands prix, making him the most successful leader in Formula 1 history.

“Like the company’s founder, Bruce McLaren, Ron is, and always will be, one of the true greats of the sport.”

“McLaren Technology Group is now in the process of seeking a new chief executive officer,” the statement added.

“Until such an appointment has been made the company will be run on an interim basis by an executive committee comprising the group’s majority shareholders.”

What do you make of all of this? All you McLaren fans out there, are you concerned? I know the team hasn’t been great the last two seasons with Honda but keep in mind neither was Mercedes when they bought Brawn GP or Red Bull when the acquired Jaguar F1. It takes time and I think Ron was/is heading int eh right direction. 

IT will be interesting to see who they tap for the role of CEO. 


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the Late Idi Armin

You could actually see mclaren pulling plug on F1 and becoming some type high end aerospace/sports/race car engineering consultancy.


Nah, they can and do both.


Ross Brawn? I don’t know how I would feel about that.

jiji the cat



It is interesting that they are looking for a CEO rather than team principal. I suppose it reflects the direction that F1 has been going for several years. Very few teams are owned and run by an individual.

Tom Firth

The CEO of Mclaren Racing is Jost Capito. I don’t think that will change. What they are looking for here is a CEO of the larger Mclaren Technology Group which is Mclaren Applied Technologies, Mclaren Racing and a majority stake in Absolute Taste.

I’d be honestly surprised if the replacement CEO for Ron Dennis when it all finishes falling out, is anyone other than the current COO and previously acting CEO Jonathan Neale.

Tom Firth

Ok so it appears highly likely it will be Zak Brown, who may by the end of the year have all of the top jobs in F1 ;-)

Seriously, its a good choice for a replacement, if ever was one. He will be able to probably bring more sponsors to McLaren with his expertise in that area.

charlie white

From what I read on Joe Saward’s blog, Ron still has a board seat at the McLaren companies.

Tom Firth

Board seat, yes and director of the company. Remaining the designated chairman.. perhaps not.

James Hayden

Disgusting and down right evil move by share holders I was a mclarean fan but will no longer support it due to this reason it will now be a sinking ship with out it s captain at the helm best wishes Ron


McLaren were moving in the right direction…. Honda are getting up to speed now, next season’s new regs should help too, Capito in place, Alonso still one of the fastest drivers out there, Ron with a burning desire + will to win…… this is a tragedy that Ron has been kicked out at exactly the wrong time… with Ron, McLaren would have been fighting it out with Mercedes + Red Bull over the next few seasons…. Ojjeh + Mumtalakat are just investors, not true, hands-on supporters or fans of F1… they will need to bring in the right team for… Read more »


I’ve been McLaren fan for more than three decades and having Ron ousted this way it simply won’t be the same team to me anymore. McLaren always had some of the best drivers on the grid, but Ron Dennis was the one who had really stood behind McLaren’s greatest successes. This is huge disappointment to me and I’m sure for the most of true Mclaren’s fans.

Zachary Noepe

Don’t really understand the surprise and disappointment from other commenters. Very successful guy at one time, hasn’t been one for a long time. I think David Hobbs was a good driver at one time but I’m not bent out of shape no team has him on the grid in 2016. McLaren is flirting with irrelevance largely because this old man has got the last couple years so badly wrong, just seeing his pictures in a black suit like a funeral director – anachronism. Quarter past time to thank him and move on. He never should have come back.

Richard Piers

Whole collection of really stupid comments ! Maybe he could have stuck with Mercedes for one more season but at what financial cost ? Honda may have hugely underestimated the requirement of the latest generation of power units but few would have predicted the extent of the shortfall. Mercedes did precisely the same when they bought out Ross Brawn and shoestringed an already too lean operation. To their credit they listened to RB with the results we now see. I have no doubt that Honda will be right there quite soon, whether McLaren now will is quite another question. I… Read more »

Zachary Noepe

Hey sorry, but if it really was so few who could see it I guess I’m pretty special because I’ve been calling this for three years. It’s just not right to say ‘you know, development is tough’. McLaren the last couple years isn’t a story of doing a hard job well it’s a story of screwing up a hard job terribly badly. The screwups are epic and go way deeper than no power. How can I be so sure? Because McLaren’s last year with the Merc motor was a Keystone Kops routine of embarassing cock-ups. He’s the boss, the product… Read more »

Negative Camber

To be honest, I thin Honda and McLaren are moving in the right direction. I think Honda are trying some unique approaches to the ICE and hybrid and they are having niggles and issues they are sorting out. Out of all the engines at a GP live, McLaren’s sound the best to me and quite different to all the others (which sound similar). IT takes time and it took Mercedes several years as well as red Bull to start winning races. I think McLaren will get there and I think Ron was instrumental in making the Honda connection happen.

Zachary Noepe

Respect your opinion as more informed than mine so I wont disagree-but maybe thats the point. We both think Ron was instrumental in making the Honda connection happen ;(

Negative Camber

Well, I am completely willing to admit I could be wrong here, I just feel like it’s heading in the right direction when you look at the 5-7 year curve teams experience prior to getting to the top. Keep in mind, Toyota and BMW completely ruin my theory though so I could be very wrong. I hope not.


Hi Zachery, I think we’ve been over this ground before. A bit of research would show you that the Mclaren Group, under Ron D’s leadership has been extremely successful, consistently and growing rapidly in a number of areas recently – check out the road car & GT racing sucess. The F1 arm has had 1 poor season and three bad ones in the past 4. I’m with NC in thinking that the McLaren Honda project is moving in the right direction, and frankly think having the courage and ability to recruit Honda back into F1 is the only way McLaren… Read more »

charlie white

I hate to use an American football story here but I must: when Jerry Jones bought the Dallas Cowboys in 1987, he proceeded to clean house and make changes. I had no problem that longtime head coach Tom Landry had to go but it was the method on how it was done by Jerry Jones. It was pretty crappy and since that day, I was no longer a Dallas Cowboys fan. And I feel the same way here about Ron’s exit here. I hate to see Ron go this way. Team McLaren may flounder and suffer for some time but,… Read more »

Tom Firth

Not saying we should be happy about the way this has happened, but it isn’t as if Teddy Mayer had that much choice but to merge with Dennis’s Project Four back in the early 1980’s at the behest of Marlboro. Yes Teddy stayed as joint director of the company for a couple of years, but Ron made it his own.

It’s a bit different but McLaren seems to have a history of engineering its future through backroom deals, and outside influences.

Tom Firth

Overall I’m sad that Ron’s time in F1 has come to an end this way, but I think what is most important now is that his legacy is remembered as the head of a race team that has grown into a multi-million pound company under his leadership, and has achieved substantial success.. and not that the legacy in the future is that despite all the success, the one thing that stands out is Spygate. As for Mclaren. It will grow and adapt, It will take time but it changed from Bruce Mclaren’s McLaren to Teddy Mayer/Tyler Alexander’s, Ron Dennis and… Read more »

Max Johnson

Well, now Haas is now my new fav team to support. Although he has criticisms and there were already lots of changes, especially with Bahrain’s involvements, still Ron is McLaren, without him to me it’s no longer the same team as when Ayrton, Prost, Mika and Lewis drove for them.

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