‘We’ll win again, we’ll dominate again…with Fernando’

You know me…I like a good Ron Dennis story more than most people so imagine my delight to find a full-throttle . DRS button-pressing interview over at F1.com.

Ron is never short of words and I like to think that’s part of his charm. I will admit that one thing I never really hear Ron speak of is the one thing I wish he were verbose as hell at, his history in F1 and the stories he could tell.

However, I take Ron when I can get him because that’s the kind of patient, understanding and collegial fan of his I am. Ron speaks when Ron speaks and as usual, my ears are always waiting.

Today we have a few choice nuggets from the man who has a language named after him called RonSpeak. It’s like English words that have been sluiced with a solution made of two parts vagary, one part truth and three parts avoidance. That’s not denigration on my part, that’s pure respect because designing that language is right up there with Tolkien’s Elvish language creation and the best part about RonSpeak is that it doesn’t come in song or have pointy ears.

Ron wasn’t given a host of softballs in this interview and he rebutted with much aplomb. When asked about the recent spate of Fernando Alonso rumors regarding a move to Mercedes, the Spaniards displeasure with McLaren’s current performance and the testing incident, Ron laid the law down:

[pull_quote_center]“He has a straight three-year contract with us, with no options. It’s as simple as that. That’s what we wanted to offer him, and that’s what he wanted to sign. I can’t make it plainer than that, can I?”[/pull_quote_center]

So Alonso isn’t going anywhere as far as Ron is concerned. That seems legit except that Alonso found a way out of Ferrari two years early too and I’m sure I can recall Ferrari saying much the same back then.

So how does Ron feel about the team’s current performance plight?

[pull_quote_center]“As I’ve said, in Australia we were well off the pace, but since then we’ve made steady and significant progress with every Grand Prix. In Bahrain, which was the last Grand Prix, Jenson wasn’t able to put in a qualifying lap, owing to unreliability, and nor was he able to start the race, for the same reason. But Fernando qualified 14th – ahead of not only both Marussias but also a Toro Rosso, a Lotus and a Red Bull – and only very narrowly failed to score a world championship point.[/pull_quote_center]”

The fact is, I have been on a rant lately about McLaren fans treating their team worse than we Ferrari fans and that’s not good. It’s a sad day when I have more hope and love for McLaren than Macca fans isn’t it? I sense a return for the folks in Woking because they are genius and they do have Honda. Ron feels the same:

[pull_quote_center]“McLaren-Honda will see the fruits of all that effort. Mark my words! We’ll win together and, when we do so we’ll do so dominantly. I don’t want to put a timeframe on that prediction, because that would be foolhardy. But whenever I walk around the McLaren Technology Centre, speaking as I do to our people at the sharp end what I encounter is fierce determination, burning ambition, unshakable confidence and unbreakable esprit.”[/pull_quote_center]

Now, I can’t leave a Ron Dennis story without some epic RonSpeak and you’d be mighty miffed if I did so let this line of perfectly awesome verbal parry and lunge sink in:

[quote_box_center]“Honda designs and manufactures more engines than any other company in the world. Honda makes two-cylinder, three-cylinder, four-cylinder, five-cylinder, six-cylinder and eight-cylinder engines for cars; it makes one-cylinder, two-cylinder, four-cylinder and six-cylinder engines for motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles and maritime craft; it makes a huge range of engines for power equipment; it even makes engines for aircraft. Some of those are petrol engines, others run on diesel; some are water-cooled, others are air-cooled; some displace just 25cc, others are big V8s of upwards of 4.0-litres. I could go on, I assure you. Why am I telling you all this? I’m telling you all this because, when it comes to power unit design and manufacture, Honda leads the way – globally.”[/quote_box_center]

He just sold Honda better than I have ever heard a Honda employee sell any of their products or brands to me—including the awesome lawnmower I have.

Hat Tip: F1.com

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Mr. Obvious

RonSpeak,”…like English words that have been sluiced with a solution made of two parts vagary, one part truth and three parts avoidance.” Damn, that’s hysterical! Well played, sir!

Negative Camber

Thank you. :)


Wow, with a spiel like that, I’m off to buy me a few Hondas.


If Alonso jumps ship I can only hope McLaren achieve their goals the year after he goes. Just like Ferrari seem to be doing.
I like Alonso, but he hasn’t had much luck in being in the right place at the right time. Is that his fault? Time will tell.

Paul KieferJr

I do agree with Dennis in the fact that Alonso can pull off some pretty impressive performances. However, what McLaren needs is a miracle, and Alonso’s just an ordinary man who can only do so much. God’s not on speed-dial.


From the Wikipedia article on Ron Dennis: However while acknowledging that the term has been used to criticise Dennis, the former editor-in-chief of F1 Racing, Matt Bishop, who now works for McLaren as Group Head of Communications and Public Relations, argues that “Ronspeak” is not a vice; rather, it is informative and accurate.[18] Dennis, in describing Fernando Alonso’s contribution to the McLaren team’s development, said his experience and ability “[prevented] an F1 team from going down [time wasting] technical cul-de-sacs – and as a result, car-developmental progress becomes more linear.” Bishop described this as a prime example of Ronspeak, hailing… Read more »


When Honda focuses on performance and gets it right, it can be outstanding, but I think the fly in the ointment is the hybrid drivetrain. Even McLaren themselves know how to make a good one in a roadcar (ala P1). This is really Honda’s first attempt at a hybrid drivetrain in race trim….Toyota (LeMans), VW (Porsche, Audi), Mercedes, Ferrari, etc. have had years of experience doing them in race trim. Can Honda catch them in one season? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.


Its good to hear a team principal stand by his power unit supplier, some of them just throw them under the bus ;-)