According to Autosport website there is something cooking at McLaren, with the suggestion that former team principal Ron Dennis is to make some kind of an announcement about his future plans today (Thursday).
There are suggestions he could step back completely from his involvement with the Formula 1 team. He already relinquished the team principal role to Martin Whitmarsh on March 1st, but has stayed involved with at least a finger or two on the tiller and was present at the Australian Grand Prix, where the team was found to have ‘deliberately misled’ the stewards after the race.
If it is the case that Dennis is removing himself from the racing team altogether, it is likely to be connected in some way with McLaren’s strategy for the April 29th FIA world council hearing at which the team is set to face charges of “ fraudulent conduct or any act prejudicial to the interests of any competition or to the interests of motorsport generally.”
It is often said that all political careers ultimately end in disappointment and the same is often true of other competitive animals, like sports figures and particularly racers. Dennis has had a stunningly successful career thanks to his relentless attention to detail and determination, but in the last few years he has repeatedly left himself and his organisation exposed, as they are now over the lying scandal in Melbourne. Partnerships like those with Mercedes and key sponsors are at stake.
A career like Dennis’ should have ended with a final world championship followed by a knighthood, but the spy scandal of 2007 can’t have helped that cause and any association with what went on in Melbourne would add to the damage. To quit now appears to be a sign that this mighty career is ending in disappointment.
The facts concerning what went on in Melbourne and Dennis’ part in it will be established on 29th April, but if Dennis is walking away it is either because he has been pushed or because he is taking control of the situation and positioning himself for what is to come, thereby protecting the team and its future.