Formula 1 McLaren

Big Ron back on deck at McLaren

Ron Dennis

There’s been big changes at McLaren with expectations the bloodletting has only just begun. First, Ron Dennis returns to the role of McLaren Group CEO, a position he left in 2012. In doing so he has displaced Martin Whitmarsh, the man who replaced him.

Dennis comes with a promise to “undertake a thorough and objective review” and to “implement the organisational structure” required to achieve his new world order.

For now Whitmarsh keeps his role as McLaren’s Team Principal but you don’t have to look too hard to find plenty of speculation that Whitmarsh will soon be freed from the tight constraints of Woking.

While we’re riding a few bandwagons let’s get on board the wagon carrying Ross Brawn, right into Whitmarsh’s Team Principal role. At lest that’s the opinion now being shared by The Telegraph.

So what’s driving these changes? The relentless and ruthless chase for success. McLaren, one of the most successful F1 teams of all time, did not score a single podium in 2013. Worse, it hasn’t won a constructor’s championship for almost 15 years. And it’s now five years since Lews Hamilton won the driver’s crown.

There hasn’t appeared to be a groundswell of disharmony coming from Woking, but with their tightly controlled ship who really knows. Certainly the return of Dennis, announced with a stirring speech from 66-year-old, seems to have captured the staff’s imagination.

“So inspired by Ron speech yesterday! Let’s start exciting new chapter in McLaren again! #BelieveInRon,” tweeted design engineer Giovanni Banzola.

While Clare Martin, head race and test coordinator, added: “Think it’s safe to say today’s news was received well! #BelieveInRon”.

How serious are the claims of Brawn’s return to Formula 1, just a few weeks after departing Mercedes? Well, he probably didn’t expect the possibility of an opportunity opening up with McLaren. Is Brawn’s relationship with Honda, who will power McLaren’s cars again in 2015, such that it could be contributing factor in joining McLaren. Or will a mutual respect and a recent conversation with Dennis be enough for that?

We should have answers to all of these questions, and perhaps even more, before the Australian Grand Prix in mid-March.

Honda McLaren

McLaren-Honda deal could extend to road cars

McLaren P1 prototype

The recently announced McLaren-Honda Formula 1 partnership could extend to road cars Martin Whitmarsh says.

“It’s a pure Formula 1 contract, but we’ve already been looking at automotive technology and we’re sharing that very openly,” said McLaren’s Team Principal at the Hungarian Grand Prix. “Our road car strategy at the moment has no other automotive partner and 
Honda would be a good place 
to collaborate.”

If any such deal was to transpire the shared benefits between the two car companies would not be seen for some time. “If you look at our product range, 12C is running and will run for a few more years,” added Whitmarsh. “P1 has just been launched and P13, which is the follow-up car, is relatively developed, so actually it is something that you would see in quite a few years to come.”

[Source: Autocar]

Formula 1 Mercedes-Benz News

Ron Dennis to step down as McLaren team principal

McLaren's Ron Dennis hands over to Martin Whitmarsh

Yesterday, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes launched their new car for the 2009 F1 season, but perhaps the biggest news from this event was nothing to do with the cars at all. Ron Dennis announced that he would be stepping down as Team Principal, effective from 1 March. The position will be filled by Martin Whitmarsh, currently McLaren’s Chief Operating Officer.

Ron Dennis: “Let me make one thing clear: this is very definitely not retirement. In fact, I intend to work even harder from now on. And it’s because I intend to work even harder … that I’ve decided to pass the role of Team Principal of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes to Martin.”

Martin Whitmarsh: “Ron and I have had many discussions about this over the past few weeks and months, but eventually it became clear that Ron’s decision was final. Everyone knows what an incredible career Ron has had to date; his legacy is huge. As such, I remain hugely mindful of the responsibilities I assume as team principal – it’s a daunting yet exciting prospect.”

Full release below.

Source: (Thanks to Dylan for the tip.)

Formula 1 Mercedes-Benz

McLaren to light up Singapore Grand Prix

In the lead up to the first ever Formula 1 night race, the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team have been busy preparing their car for the difficulties the Singapore Grand Prix will hold. They’ve released a teaser video so you can see how they’re getting on. Make sure you tune in to your favourite broadcaster next Sunday, 28 September, to see how these modifications go.