Ron Dennis Ends 37-year Relationship With McLaren

McLaren Ron Dennis 1990 Phoenix Grand Prix

British automotive magnate and principal of McLaren’s Formula One team for all the years that really matter, Ron Dennis, has cut his remaining ties with the company he is so synonymous with.

Having helped lead the F1 team to victory since the 1980s with legendary drivers like Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Mika Häkkinen, and Lewis Hamilton — while also serving as CEO, chairman, and founder of McLaren Technology Group — it was almost unfathomable to see him removed from his position as head of the company last year. However, we assumed he’d be sticking around on the board for a while.

That hasn’t turned out to be the case. Dennis is selling his remaining stock to Mumtalakat, the Bahrain sovereign investment group, and the French-Saudi entrepreneur Mansour Ojjeh for an estimated £275 million ($362 million). 

Ojjeh and Dennis’ relationship has frequently been cited as the primary reason for his ousting as CEO. While the extent of their distaste for one another is unknown, Dennis was effectively forced out in late 2016 after having failed to build up a majority shareholding to regain control of the company he founded. Dennis was also faulted with having brokered the deal for the lackluster Honda engines found in the F1 cars.

McLaren is seeking a way out the Honda deal for the next season, hoping to get back into bed with Mercedes-Benz.

While Dennis is infamous for allegations that the McLaren Formula One team passed confidential technical information from the Ferrari team and notorious for his generally bullish behavior, it’s tragic to see a motorsport icon leave the industry. Dennis says he’ll be pursuing other interests. He remains the official British business ambassador for the United Kingdom and an advisor to the Ministry of Defense.

[Source: BBC News] [Image: Stuart Seeger/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)]