Friday, 12 December 2014

Is Ron Dennis set to leave McLaren?


It is being reported that McLaren Group Chairman Ron Dennis is set to leave the company. The news comes just a day after the team announced the return of Fernando Alonso who drove for the team in 2007. The Spaniard joins Jenson Button as the Woking outfit prepare to embark on a new chapter with Honda.

Speculation is rife that despite appearances on the outside, internally all is not well at board level at McLaren.

Ron Dennis had until mid-January 2015 to come up with the necessary funds to regain control of the team but has failed in his attempt to gain full control of the team. A number of the photographs taken at the announcement of the driver pairing looked extremely tense and staged.

Honda were also looking for a big name driver and Alonso confirmed on Thursday that initial talks began 18 months ago, with then McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh who has since left the company and was replaced by Eric Boullier.

What is not clear is who would replace Dennis as Chairman. However, one potential candidate could be former team owner and technical director Ross Brawn.

Brawn has a long history in Formula One and has previously worked with Honda and indeed lead BRAWN GP when Jenson Button won the championship in 2009. More recently, Brawn was team principal of the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team.

The Englishman left the Brackley based outfit in November last year after Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda joined the team along with Paddy Lowe. As a result Brawn became frustrated as he no longer had a 'defined role' with the Mercedes set up.

Brawn could make a return to Formula One as he has previously worked with Jenson Button and has a good working relationship with Honda, having joined them when  they were a works Formula One team in 2007.

It is going to be extremely interesting to see what happens over the coming weeks at the Woking based outfit.

© Ben Johnston 2014

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