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McLaren’s Dennis says he’s “Moved on” from F1 as he launches supercar
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McLaren’s Dennis says he’s “Moved on” from F1 as he launches supercar
Posted By: James Allen  |  19 Mar 2010   |  12:28 am GMT  |  128 comments

Ron Dennis launched the new McLaren roadcar the MP4/12 today and said that he had “moved on from F1″.


Dennis’s career in F1 was full of success punctuated by some short bouts of uncompetitiveness, like the 1994-1997 period. But there is no doubt that he is one of the great team owners of the sport’s history.

Now 62, he stood down from involvement in the F1 team this time last year after the scandal in Melbourne where Lewis Hamilton and McLaren sporting director Dave Ryan were found to have lied to the race stewards. Following on from the spy scandal of 2007, it was considered in the best interests of the team for Dennis to stand down.

“I was full of expectation in Australia last year that I would go and get some sort of withdrawal,” he said today. “But I don’t have to watch every minute of a grand prix even when I’m not there. It’s part of my life and it’s not gone but I’ve moved on to bigger challenges.”

He plans to leverage McLaren’s position within F1 to sell road going sports cars in the £150,000 bracket. It is a highly competitive sector with Ferrari well established and Mercedes pushing into the sector with the SLS, as promoted by Michael Schumacher.

Dennis was in Bahrain last weekend and has been speaking to potential Middle Eastern investors in the McLaren company. He is planning to sell around 4,000 cars a year, around two thirds of Ferrari’s current production. Although sales of these cars dropped off in the recession, McLaren believes that demand will grow strongly and said today they will not be taking market share away from Ferrari.

The car was unveiled today by Hamilton and Jenson Button.

The MP4/12 car was also partially responsible for the collapse of the relationship between McLaren and Mercedes, as the objectives of the two companies were “not aligned” according to Mercedes.

It is powered by a engine built for McLaren by Ricardo.

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128 Comments
  1. Martin P says:

    I’ll jump in with the obvious F1 question….

    Given the Mercedes take-over of Brawn and the McLaren buy-back of shares, do you think we’ll have McLaren on the grid with their own engines in 5 years or is that just another grassy knoll theory?

    1. SeanG says:

      I believe they will do their own engine. Unless they could convince a rather pedestrian automaker to get involved. The only one left is Ford. (Toyota just left. Nissan is Renault. Honda left. Chrysler and Fiat. GM = incompetence. Peugeot = 90s grenade. VW = Audi=Porsche = Bugatti = Bentley.)

      1. rpaco says:

        Ford already had their go with Jaguar/Jackie Stewart (back when Ford owned Jag) and failed.
        But they just dont have the money to go into the bottomless pit of F1. Admittedly the pit may now be slightly shallower, but does anyone know how much the Cossie engine development cost?? and that was not starting from scratch. However Daihatsu had a nice 3 cylinder engine. :-)

    2. Gabriel says:

      Well, Mercedes are not going to keep giving them engines, so soon enough they’ll have to find one from somewhere. Making their own is a risk, but may be cost-effective in the long-run, and if they win with it, it’ll do a lot for their marketing of these sports cars.

      1. Richard Mee says:

        Agreed – but the cost will be prohibitive and I don’t know how they can sell enough road cars to cover it.

        This is the first of 3 Macca’s planned for the road – there will definitely be a Hypercar halo-model to follow – along the lines of the Ferrari Enzo; a full on, no holds barred half-million pound monster. Plus I’ve heard rumours of a junior model to slot in beneath this one – priced around £100k to compete with 911 turbos, Gallardo’s level. When all this is up and running they may have their 4000 units. Maybe more?

        BUT, back to the current model, these cars are made so well, with so few compromises that MacLaren can’t be making big margins even at £175k. I’m confused as to where the funding is coming from even at the moment – nevermind trying to fully fund a GP engine program ready to compete with Merc’s Ilmor set-up as well as comply with the 2013 regs.

        Beginning to wonder if MacLaren have got a £50 note printing machine secreted away in the basement at Woking?

      2. John F says:

        >Beginning to wonder if MacLaren have got a £50 >note printing machine secreted away in the >basement at Woking?

        They don’t need to. They got a good copy shop in town … ;-)
        (sorry, couldn’t resist)

    3. Adam Taylor says:

      I believe they are being supplied by Mercedes till 2012-ish, they has been talk of McLaren buying BMWs engine dept, but why would they when they currently have the best engine on the grid.

      1. Martin P says:

        Continuity….. you’ve got to have one eye on today and the other on tomorrow and forget about yesterday.

        Williams used to be in the position McLaren are now. All it takes is one season without the best engine (because they don’t sell it to you) and then another…. then another…. downward spiral. Maybe they have to build their own to make sure they stay as one of the top 3 (I’m not being rude to Red Bull there, but Ferrari & Mercedes are constructors AND engine suppliers. I can conceive McLaren joining that club but not Red Bull).

    4. george cowley ci5 says:

      what are the odds,that if you peel away the body work,your see a carbon copy of the latest ferrari,

      1. Gabriel says:

        Very long odds, given that despite having a superior engine, the Mclarens were significantly slower than the Ferraris in Bahrain.

      2. Jon says:

        Good try. But the body has been peeled away and the unique carbon tub underpinning has been shown. So I suppose it’s Ferrari’s move to pull that body off the F458 and prove you right.

        But I wouldn’t count on it if I were you.

      3. Matthew H says:

        hugely cynical comment there. There’s nothing not custom designed for McLaren. It’s completely designed from the ground up. Remember they’ve been building cars before, but for Mercedes. Now they’re building them for themselves. Check the website. They’ve taken years over the design and build of this particular car. It’s unique.

    5. CHIUNDA says:

      McLaren are looking to re-invent the Ferrari model and i think they will nail it. They have two good drivers to reel in the constructors title and lift their profile, now all they need is buy a good engine outfit – toyota and bmw departments are on offer, why not buy one of them? As for funding – well,everybody with connections is looking to the middle east and McLaren were among the first to do so; look out for them leveraging that history.

  2. Pat says:

    I prefer it in Black

    1. Henry says:

      When in black is it raw carbon fibre or is it painted? If it is raw it would look amazing! Either way its a spectacular car, and relatively good value compared to its competitors. I want one!

      1. CHIUNDA says:

        ditto henry ditto

      2. Matthew H says:

        I want one! The rear end harks back to some 70′s muscle cars… I love it.

  3. Zami from Melbourne, Australia says:

    Wow, that is a mendicant car without a doubt. It looks very similar to Ferrari’s 458 Italia. Price wise MP4/12 is outstanding compare to the Ferrari or the Merc. Still most of us still can’t afford it. But definitely this is a great a start to McLaren’s road car project. The best thing is about MP4/12 is that it’s doesn’t look as squishy as the others. I’ve never been a McLaren or Ron Dennis fan. However, without any doubt he is one of greats in F1 & I wish him best of luck on this new project. I still believe it will be a serious competition between McLaren, Mercedes & Ferrari even in this area. And the survival of this project will definitely rely on unit sales. Not sure it’s going to put any scratch on Ferrari’s market though. I’ve driven 599 GTB Fiorano a few times luckily & that is an outstanding car. The best thing about that car is not just the looks, the handling of that car as well as the configuration is just so easy & incredible, and no clue what the Merc is like though. I believe the easier it is to drive and maintain is better. Wow, this is turning out to be another interesting area to keep eye on.

    One of the reports said that McLaren has bought most of its shares from Mercedes already. The exact figure left to be purchased is only 11%. It also said that Dennis still owns 15% of the F1 team! I didn’t know that. If he still owns 15% of the F1 team how come we don’t hear much about Dennis’ involvement in F1 at all? Any comment James?

  4. arvi says:

    Extremely well built sports car!!!

    all the best to Mclaren Group and Ron Dennis…

    but his statement of “will not be taking market share away from Ferrari” is not true…

  5. bones says:

    I do not believe he is over F1.
    ps:nice car

    1. B D Maines says:

      In the 25 years that I have been following F1, one certainty I have learned is never to believe a word of what Ronald says.

  6. Ajay says:

    Is it just me, or does the front end look uncomfortably similar to the F430?

    It’s a fast-looking, yet sober design. Something both Ferrari and Mercedes have cocked up with their latest releases in that segment of the supercar market. I mean, peeled-back headlamps like on the Suzuki Swift? What were you thinking, Mercedes-Benz?

    And the spec sheet looks very good too. Dennis & co should be able to push 4000 cars quite easily.

    1. Henry says:

      Aside from the lights, (which although I agree with you about their source I kind of like, they look good!) there is a problem with supercars these days looking all fairly similar; essentially I believe they are gettin to the stage where designs are all kind of merging as the designers move closer to the most streamlined, fastest design which fits within the safety regulations…low front high rear end vents in similar places…shame but its the way they are going.

      1. rpaco says:

        Quite agree! They all look like TVR’s now.

  7. BiggusJimmus says:

    Well done. It’s a cracker, I reckon. Can’t wait to hear from Jeremy Clarkson about how it drives.

  8. Xeven says:

    I really love that car and cant wait to see it on track in GT trim.
    Good for Dennis I wish him all the success as he is a very determined and smart man. I liked the message he sent Ferrari also about going where they go to race with them. No doubt Ferrari vs Mclaren will go down in the books as one of the greatest rivalries in sporting history.

  9. Henk Ensing says:

    It’s gorgeous!

  10. Hendo says:

    Hope I’m not too far off topic, but it does relate to McLaren … aerodynamics has been a hot topic [500+ comments, is that a new record for one article?] Does the trick air-bypass on the Macs mean less ‘dirty air’ and so make it easier for following cars to get close enough for overtaking?

  11. Red5 says:

    Jenson sold his Bugati Veyron some time ago so he will be looking around for a weekend runabout. Racing fans may get confused by the name which was used for Mika + David’s 1997 race car and retired from 14 races that season.

    I saw that Ferrari 599 has now adported KERs technology. Although it is not the first performance hybrid it is certainly instantly recognisable as a Ferrari. Problem with the McLaren, regardless how well it drives, it looks familiar, too much like a lot of other cars.

    The McLaren F1 was a significant step forward when released in 1992. I think many people were hoping the MP4/12 would be another big step forward.

    Just for info, I thought the V8 engine M838T was McLaren’s own. You state it is manufactured by Ricardo.

    1. CHIUNDA says:

      yeah, the pr was all about how every piece and bolt was all 100% McLaren

      1. Ross Dixon says:

        The PR states it has no shared parts. Ricardo have obviously built the engine for Mclaren and only Mclaren.
        Similar to the way Nike get a factory in china to make their golf clubs for them. They are Nike clubs but just built by other people.

  12. James H. says:

    Ron Dennis should have some good stories! Senna/Prost/Montoya/Raikkonen. What were they like in the motor home/track/showers? Who would Ron choose for the quickest lap? Drinking buddy? Championship? Humanitarian? How can the present cars and formula produce some genuine racing?

    1. Freespeech says:

      I think Ron Dennis sees Lewis almost like a son and with Ayrton he’s on record as saying he loved him in a non sexual manly way and with Mika he developed a very special bond after his hear fatal F1 crash.
      The 3 above are the ones he had far more than a Boss driver respect relationship with.
      Anyone who follows McLaren who watched the launching of the MP4 12C would have noticed how at ease Lewis seemed when putting him on the spot and the very keen eyes with have noticed how Ron Denis went to great lengths to not give any extra outward sign how he feels about Lewis (obviously for Jenson’s benefit).
      The truth is humans form special relationships with some people and not others and the 3 drivers I mention above were and are very special to Ron Dennis.

      1. k miles says:

        Yeh, sad see ron dennis go, he’s been involved with some drivers in his time.

      2. James H. says:

        Insightful observations that far exceeded my dumb post. Ron Dennis, for reasons I don’t understand, seems to no longer be welcome in the F1 elite. Whatever one may think of him, he deserves better.

      3. kowalski says:

        he made some enemies during those years of take no prisoners. Now there is not much he can do in f1.
        But racing those mclaren mp4/12c can be very fulfilling for a racer like him, even if not as much as racing the f1.

      4. Cliff says:

        I agree with you James,

        Can’t quite forgive the events of the last few years. If nothing else F1 should show Ron Dennis some respect! Many people take the high ground when talking about Ron Dennis, very few of those same people can say that they have achieved as much in their lives, even fewer can say that they are honest 100% of the time. So I say “Good Luck to Ron Dennis”

      5. B D Maines says:

        It was interesting to see how many members of the British media came out of the closet once they knew Ronald was on the way out and stated the truth about him, rather than the McNobleman schlock that they had been peddling for over 20 years.

        Don’t get me wrong, Ronald’s achievements were phenomenal – but then so were his hypocrisy, self-righteousness, arrogance, etc.

        It is interesting to note that Frank Williams never receives the sort of criticism that is directed at Ronald.

      6. Phil C says:

        Especially for a man who started out as a mechanic in the pitlane, and rose to own McLaren and restore them to winning ways.

      7. CHIUNDA says:

        and they are the three drivers that have delivered big time for McLaren – hope Lewis can deliver him a second title this season; if McLaren’s 2009 season recovery is anything to go by, he will.

    2. tEQUILLA sLAMMER says:

      showers???!!! and I want the non-gay explanation!! #:)

  13. David Jerromes says:

    Looks like a mix of F430 front and Lotus Elise side/rear to me; no bad thing as both are great looking cars!!

    I can see this as a car many Ferrari owners would consider buying in addition to their Lambo’s etc, especially where I live in Dubai.

    Wish Ron Dennis and McLaren the very best of luck.
    Can’t see 4000 sales being too difficult, presumably a fair number will be given as promotion as well; Lewis, Jenson etc….

    1. machista says:

      hummm not sure I agree with this statement

      “I can see this as a car many Ferrari owners would consider buying in addition to their Lambo’s etc, especially where I live in Dubai”
      McLaren road cars don’t have the tradition or the luxury brand attached to them. If I had the money I’d go for a Ferrari.

      I have been trashed on B roads by a souped-up Ford Focus RS, and I drive a porsche. Did I care? no cos @ the end of the day I drive a porsche and the yob was driving a Ford.

      The new Mclaren is cool and fast but they need time to beat Ferrari’s image as a brand, not just asking can we please race you?

      1. Zobra Wambleska says:

        Well, I guess it all depends on why you buy a car. I’ve owned two Porches (’58 365 Cabrio, ’69 911s) BMWs, Corvette and others. I bought all of them for what they brought in performance not social status.

      2. CHIUNDA says:

        i would argue that McLaren are now officially the only name that can be ranked right there next to Ferrari. Because of the mass production tag, Mercedes actually don’t really get to that stratosphere – they sort of fall to the next level of the VWs with the luxury lines throwing huge amounts of money to compete with the specialised Ferrari and McLaren outfits with one off extremely expensive super or hyper cars. Image wise, McLaren have all the i’s dotted and all the t’s crossed.

      3. B D Maines says:

        Huh?

        Your knowledge of road cars seems to be as limited as your McLaren-/Hamilton-centric knowledge of F1.

      4. CHIUNDA says:

        @ maines – well within my rights unfortunately. i have my preferences, no apologies.

  14. Dale says:

    I want one, who knows I may even buy one :)

    I think Ron Dennis is a top bloke and the way the nasty vindictive former FIA President treated him was a disgrace and I thank heaven he’s gone.

    Had F1 been an honest and fair sport McLaren would have won even races and championships as well as Senna being a 4 x world champion and not a 3 x champion.

    Let’s not forget that the modern day Ferrari really got underway after they won their 1st constructors title for many a year and they only won that championship because their car was not found to be illegal even though the FIA had decided it was illegal (only in Mosley and Ecclstone’s F1).

    Good luck to Ron and long may we see McLaren prosper and remember folks McLaren are now a fully privateer team and I hope we see them with their own engine in the near future although I could see the likes of BMW, VW (can they afford not too now Mercedes have their own team?) and maybe even Honda wanting to supply them with engines when the new engine formula is announced, either way I think there’s a lot more to come from McLaren and Ron Dennis.

    1. Red5 says:

      Do you think Ron drives this to work every day?

      And does he ever get above 5th gear?

      1. kowalski says:

        i bet he has a choffer. It seems to me that kind of person.

    2. B D Maines says:

      “…only won that championship because their car was not found to be illegal even though the FIA had decided it was illegal”

      Absolute garbage! I presume that you are referring to the Ferrari throttle management system, which was NOT a traction control system in the accepted sense of the word as it did alter power to the wheels according to wheelspin measurements. And do you have any evidence which suggests that this system was what made the difference in 2000?

      The Ferrari system was as legal as the double diffuser that enable Jenson Button to win the championship last year. Do you believe that Brawn’s success last year was a result of cheating?

      1. CHIUNDA says:

        well, was the DD really legal? debatable really considering FIAs then habit of making lots of political rulings.

      2. B D Maines says:

        Well, as it survived an FIA appeal it must be assumed that it was/is.

        Had Brawn come up with such a concept when at Ferrari then I have no doubt that there are many in the British media and British fans who would have accused Ferrari of cheating.

      3. Freespeech says:

        Reading this post I think he’s referring to the ‘Barge boards’ which were illegal!

      4. Robert Higginbotham says:

        The bargeboards were decreed by the event stewards at Sepang in 1999 to be outside of the regulations, however Ferrari appealed the decision claiming that a tolerance permissible in the regulations applied to the bargeboards. Additionally, Ferrari demonstrated that the stewards had not correctly measured the dimensions of the bargeboard. The whole situation was rather bizarre, as I can remember Ross Brawn initially acknowledging that the bargeboards did not conform to the regulations. Most of the British media scoffed at the FIA decision that Ferrari’s bargeboards were within the regulations, but i remember reading a defence of the decision by Peter Wright in Racecar Engineering which nobody refuted.

  15. John F says:

    The car may look nice, but without a decent engine it isn’t going anywhere.

    McLaren will have a tough time to rival Ferrari in the engine department. I think it will also hurt their F1 ambition when they move away from the Mercedes engine.

    1. Henry says:

      No they wont have a touch time rivaling the Ferrari engine, if you look up the specs it has a higher power and better power/weight ratio than the Italia, which it is essentially competing against. The engine in that is very very good, you can be assured they wont enter into the market with a half baked idea, they’ve been over 10 years in the making this car!

      1. tEQUILLA sLAMMER says:

        Ferrari are testing their new 612 now….V12 with 533 bhp and 434lbs ft…..sub 4 secs to 60 and top speed over 200!! Styled like the 599 #:)

  16. chris says:

    Very sophisticated bit of kit but it is no match for the gorgeous 458 italia. That car makes me feel all jingly inside.

  17. P Byrne says:

    It’s not as good-looking as the 458 Italia and what’s with the name – ‘MP4/12′ – so typically corporate and anal. I’m sure it’ll give the Ferrari a run for it’s money dynamically though. I think the race team is becoming a bit more ‘human’ under Whitmarsh, it’s easy to see Dennis is in charge of the road-car project!

    1. kowalski says:

      correct. The name ayrton would have been much more correct for the first one. Then something like silverstone, monza, etc

      1. Peter King says:

        Agree 100%. McLaren aryton, Monza, Monaco sounds more like it.

      2. CHIUNDA says:

        If the fans make enough noise, you might actually get a McLaren Aryton for its next iteration of the hyper car

      3. Phil C says:

        I think Mclaren have too much respect for the man to name a car after him. Many would see it as more a marketing ploy. It just feels wrong, and I’m glad they’re not.

        Anyway, with the MP4 designation it can link into the F1 team

  18. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

    James, how much of McLaren does Martin Whitmarsh own?

    1. James Allen says:

      As far as I know he does not have an equity stake

  19. Michael C says:

    it looks absolutely beautiful – but strangely a bit old fashioned (80′s) – it looks like a reworked Mclaren – doubtless what they intended?

  20. Tarcisio says:

    About the dull races

    what do you think about having the grid inversed for the start of the race?

    even if they find a way to manage tyre compounds to last less or last more, or if they go for 2 tyre stops for everybody, the faster cars will always be up front. So, some changes still may not be a guarantee of overtakings or even good fights.

    this is insane, maybe, but I can’t see a faster solution to avoid dull races.

    I’m glad the qualifying is doing great with Q1, Q2 and Q3 parts. The only matter now (after the fuel rule from past years) is the rule that makes the driver starts the race with the tyre he did the fastest lap.

    1. machista says:

      Yeah sure, graet idea I can see Hamilton and Alonso signing for HTR next year!

    2. Peter King says:

      if you have reversed grid, thefaster cars just need to drive slowly during qualifying and they’d be at the front @ the start

      1. Tarcisio says:

        well, fine haha. But there would be some rules to avoid that.

        and also (maybe) giving some extra points for the top qualifiers. they could create rules to maintain the saturday qualifying worthy.

        I said maybe this is insane, I know :)

      2. Peter King says:

        I’m glad you realised just how insame the proposition is. the FIA cant be trusted to make a simple formula worth watching. you cant expect them to reel off a new host of changes.that could spell the death knell for F1.

      3. Phil C says:

        I never thought I’d hear myself say this…

        Bring back single lap qualifying!

  21. Bill Day says:

    Something I keep wondering about McLaren and the Stepneygate scandal. The fine was $100 million — reduced by half due to McLaren’s lost TV income. Still, no company keeps that kind of cash laying around in a drawer “just in case” (we get convicted of cheating, fairly or not). Yet McLaren’s operations continued unaffected — no layoffs, no cutting back on the road car project, and no accountability at the highest levels (i.e. no big heads rolling). Just this spring they put out another chunk of cash to buy out Mercedes’ interest. Where does all the money come from?

    1. HowardHughes says:

      Very good question. I’ve often wondered the same…

    2. alexandruh says:

      i think that Denis had more shares a few years ago and he definately sold some of them. It used to be more than 15%, it was at least 25%.

      im also sure that they didnt pay the whole 50 million at once…

      at that time Mercedes was full on the major stake holder and surely contributed to the bill

      im sure FIA wont make McLarens operations shut down just because they need the 50 millions right away…

      i also hint that they somehow made it in a way that behind the courtains they probably have/had to pay less than 50 million

  22. Freespeech says:

    What a cracking car. Watched the launch live, what a company McLaren are, now if only I could win the lottery ;)

  23. HowardHughes says:

    Big fan of Ron Dennis, and I love watching his transition from team boss to industrialist. Very inspiring.

    I think that in some ways McLaren is the optimum supercar brand. Ferrari is of course up there, but when you consider how many foreign students are milling about Piccadilly Circus every day with Ferrari rucksacks and t-shirts, and when you can look on Ebay and find an ’82 Mondial or ’78 400i for 7 or 8 grand, you realise that there has been a devaluation of their brand. Equally Mercedes, whilst associated with very premium supercars, also make white vans and crappy runabouts.

    McLaren suffers no such diminution. If you overhear someone mention that his McLaren is parked outside you know he is a PLAYER! And that pure breed of class will, I think appeal to sufficient numbers of discerning buyers to make this a success. I just hope they don’t become the motor of choice for HipHop ‘artists’ or Premiere League footballers the way the Bentley Continental did…

    1. Jonathan says:

      “I just hope they don’t become the motor of choice for HipHop ‘artists’ or Premiere League footballers the way the Bentley Continental did…”

      Who do you think will buy them?! this is the very driver they are aimed at.

      Sadly the vast majority of supercar drivers are undeserving and paid for by bankers bonuses, footballers or “entertainers” obscene pay packets and lottery wins.

      1. HowardHughes says:

        Disagree. There are many, many more discerning wealthy individuals on Earth than the inhabitants of planets Football & HipHop. Apart from one or two celebrities (Simon Cowell springs to mind) the various Veyrons produced are owned by wealthy businessmen. As are all but a few of the Enzos. As are all but a few of the McLaren F1s…

  24. Stephen Pattenden says:

    James,

    Still got issues with your website. It seems as though it fail for a few hours before an update becomes available.

    Loving your work though.

    Steve

  25. Vic says:

    I can see how people are saying it looks similar to the F430 and 458, but too be honest my first impression was that it looked like an evolution of the McLaren F1 road car, which makes sense considering its the same company making it.

    Vic

    1. kowalski says:

      agree. It looks like a mild version of the f1. just have to give them time.

      1. alexandruh says:

        its very interestint that everyone says that it looks like a ferrari at least the front

        i was dissapointed to see how much the latest ferrari looks like the much successful lambo gallardo. not only the front lights but the whole structure of the car

        the ferrari looks much more to the lambo than the mclaren looks like a ferrari

        i think mclaren couldve done a better job on the design side really…

        the wheels are old styled – lets hope it drives better than it looks

        ps: im a big mclaren fan

  26. Thalasa says:

    My other car is a Ferrari.

  27. smellyden says:

    So Ron is finally getting his wish of a british Ferrari. The car looks good I hope it works out for him as it would be good for the UK!

    1. B D Maines says:

      How many of these people who talk of a
      British Ferrari have heard of a company called Lotus?

      1. smellyden says:

        But they are Malaysian now!

      2. B D Maines says:

        Almost three decades after Chapman’s death and Lotus is still making great sports cars in the UK.

  28. Vic says:

    Hi James

    I wanted to ask you a question, but can’t seem to find a “contact” section of your website or a contact email address. I would very much appreciate a few min of your time.

    Vic

  29. Jodum5 says:

    When I first saw the car I was unimpressed but it has grown on me immensley. I wish McLaren success with it. Now to find a suitable sportscar racing programme for it…

  30. guy says:

    Have you driven on yet?

  31. Bill Nuttall says:

    Disgraceful that Ron Dennis – and Ross Brawn – haven’t been given knighthoods yet. If they aren’t both role-models for a younger generation, then who is?

    1. kowalski says:

      i don’t think they give knighthoods to cheaters, not matter how much they have achieved. Brown, we’ll see.

      1. Ross Dixon says:

        Clearly a comment from the ill informed. Your opinion on Ron Dennis made even less important by your lack of F1 knowledge. That would be Ross Brawn!!!

      2. kowalski says:

        remember dennis was covicted for cheating by the fia. Paid a fine of 100 million dollars. I imagine you have that info. And he didn’t learn the lesson, because at australia last year, encouraged hamilton to lie, to get the third place.
        Brown is more clean, but that doesn’t mean he is the type to receive a knigthood.
        Even though if it was for you, half the grid, would get it i assume.

      3. Ross Dixon says:

        Im sorry but you’ve done it again. ITS ROSS BRAWN!!! Not Brown. Ross Brawn was the man behind Ferraris dominance in the late 90′s early 00′s. He saved hundereds of people’s jobs at honda then went on to win the world championship. Clean has nothing to do about it.

        Dennis was not convicted of cheating. Mclaren were. I do understand that the man in charge is responsible for it but given that it was Ron who went back to the Fia with new evidence that convicted his own team shows that this man is true racer. Put that along with the fact he is one very successful business man and I think he deserves it more than many who have been by now.

        If you want to talk about cheating we could talk about several crashes involving a certain Mr Schumacher and then one where he didnt even crash (Monaco). Or what about Senna crashing into Prost and vice versa. How about Renault?

      4. kowalski says:

        who cares how it’s written, brawn, whathever.
        Can you believe dennis didn’t know, in a small company like mclaren, being the good businessman that you say he is? He is the old school, win at any cost.
        Senna, schumacher and prost didn’t deserve it either.
        People like stewart or moss. They do.
        And yes my english it’s not perfect, but i am sure it’s better than your spanish.

      5. rpaco says:

        Really? I suggest you look at some of the Knights in parliament.

        And frankly no one believes that Ron knew about the Ferrari data before Alonso tried to blackmail him with it, Ron called his bluff immediately took it to the FIA. The team was convicted not Ron.
        And Ross’s name is Brawn please do not confuse the F1 strategy genius with that discredited has-been supposedly running the country, there I would agree that he should never be made a knight.

      6. B D Maines says:

        Excuse me, Ross Dixon and rpaco but Ron [mod] was aware that Stepney and Coughlan were in contact with one another. McLaren actually made use of information that Stepney supplied about the Ferrari floorboard. When this became public knowledge, Ronald described himself as a whistle blower and accused Ferrari of cheating at the 2007 Australian GP. Of course, McLaren also had to modify its floorboard design after that race as its car had followed a similar design philosophy to Ferrari.

        So if Ferrari cheated, so did McLaren. That makes him Ronald McHypocrite as well!

        And remember, McLaren initially denied any knowledge of communication between Stepney and Coughlan, and then made confessions in dribs and drabs only after it became untenable for them to do otherwise.

        As for Ronald going to the FIA with new evidence, can you please indicate what this new evidence was? He rang up Mosley and said that Alonso may contact the FIA and make some allegations that were untrue. Informed followers of F1 are of the view that Alonso went to Bernie Ecclestone with the emails between himself and de la Rosa via Flavio.

      7. James Allen says:

        That isn’t what happened in Australia

      8. CHIUNDA says:

        what surprises me is how there is quite a large contigent that call Ron who approached the FIA voluntarily a cheat but dont call Alonso/PDLR who used the information clandestinely cheats? i guess its a question of whose fans make the most noise

  32. Alexander says:

    BMW?

  33. Mark Crooks says:

    At first glance I thought it was a Tesla!

    1. kowalski says:

      yea, they look alike.

  34. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

    I’m interested to know how McLaren will be servicing these cars. Anyone with any info on this?

    Back in the day, a service on a McLaren F1 in the mid-1990s was charged at 25,000 GBP!! Ferrari offer 2-year warranties and have hundreds of approved workshops. 4,000 cars per year would require quite a hefty support network.

    1. rpaco says:

      Interesting point, I suppose it will be a bit like buying a De Tomaso or a Bristol or a Koinings……..g or even a Maybach, where you ring and they send or fly an engineer out with a replacement while they fix it or cart it away in bits.
      Anyone got a brochure?

  35. rpaco says:

    One of the greats who is missed by some and less so by others. Martin is a calmer leader, but Ron will always be McLaren (not Bruce obviously)

    Ron is a Legendary figure in the sport.

    Anyone missing Flav? No, nor me!

    1. kowalski says:

      i don’t even miss dennis. But i miss montoya. the drivers are the one’s we have to take care of. Come back kimi, rally driving it’s tough business.

  36. Jason C says:

    I think the F1 team will have a McLaren badged engine soon, to complete the ‘British Ferrari’ thing.

    There must be a few operations out there capable of gearing themselves up to F1 standards. McLaren will buy one of them. Or they could even buy Cosworth. They could finance the lot off the back of road car sales.

    1. B D Maines says:

      I would presume that McLaren has a get out clause in its contract with M-B.

  37. Mr J says:

    Ron Dennis, one of the few men in F1 I respect. Just for that reason I would by this car, if I could afford it. The car it self looks the most beautiful I have ever seen. James tell that to Ron if you get the opportunity.

    1. kowalski says:

      i don’t think dennis is the type that speaks to everyone. Too full of himself, looks to me.

  38. Rishi says:

    Its a trivial point and one people have tended to blur quite a bit since but I think Ron had already stepped down from involvement before Australia. He announced at the team’s 2009 launch that he was to step aside as F1 team principal to Martin Whitmarsh, and that took effect on March 1st (4 weeks before the season started). What happened was he added that he still loved F1 and would continue to attend races with McLaren as a fan. It was this peripheral role (these appearances) that he decided/McLaren asked him to stop doing after Australia and the lie-gate scandal.

    1. B D Maines says:

      It actually goes a bit further than that – he was ousted from the board of McLaren. Whether or not he had a role in the McLies scandal is something that has been debated. Remember, after McLaren’s non-punishment for its, and Hamilton’s, disgraceful behaviour Mosley said that the people responsible for the action were no longer involved with the F1 team. The people who had, for one reason or another, parted ways were Messrs Dennis and Ryan.

  39. Lionel says:

    Talking of PROHIBITIVE COSTS, if Redbull are going to be in this for the Long run, Why do they not get together (Redbull and McLaren) and build a joint Engine? I am sure Adrian Newey will have a few ideas about what an F1 engine should look like and what it should be able to do….(I can see ferrari already protesting about any such join venture as “Being against the spirit of F1 and the rules”)

  40. teamworkf1 says:

    The good thing is that Ron is waaaaaaaay ahead of all of us!!! He is already in 2020!!!! what we see now, was all a plan since the middle ’90s!!! Long live the King!!! thank you Ron!!

  41. rpaco says:

    I don’t think we will see Kimi again.
    Any circuit racing allows speed only by learning the circuit, where the limit is all round the track, the more you know the faster you go, but it’s still the same circuit.
    The adrenalin in rally is so much greater, I think he was bored in F1. He needed the thrill of driving into the almost unknown. (Well until 3 seconds before, with his navigator shouting the instruction after next in his ear)

  42. Carl says:

    Why does everyone talk about McLaren as being new in the sports car market?

    Over course they made the F1 in 1992 so they have has a sports car for over a decade.

    1. Phil C says:

      True, but that was a colaboration with BMW, and the SLR was a Mercedes.

      Mclaren are new in the sports car market with their own car built by them exclusively.

  43. Nik James says:

    I’m sure his Spanish is good enough to get someone’s name right. Brawn, it isn’t difficult it’s only 5 letters and it was all over the cars last year that won both championships. Show some respect, I am sure you would get all uppity if some kept spelling Alonso as Teflon.

    1. B D Maines says:

      Just as fans of McLaren get upset when open-minded, honest, integrity-filled fans of F1 refer to their beloved team as McCheats, McHypocrites, McLiars, etc.

  44. Nik James says:

    That’s your right of free speach Maines, but as this site is and always has been one of informed commentary where people respect each others views then that type of name calling sticks out like a sore thumb. I am a Williams fan by the way if you would like to diminish yourself with names at me. This article is about appreciating the huge efforts Rob Dennis has made into the supercar Market. I for one think the McLaren company are really going places.

    1. James Allen says:

      He’s right – let’s keep the debate about the issues, not personal slights

  45. F1ART says:

    Dennis was not convinced by Red Bull pace. “The lap times dropped so rapidly that one can imagine the electronic control unit (ECU) switching to a conservative programme to save fuel,” he said.

    “The problem with the Red Bull could be design. It could be the fuel tank is too small, or the fuel consumption is higher than they expected.”

  46. John Glynn says:

    Just a note – typo in the last line: should be “an engine”.

  47. Spyros says:

    Sorry but this car looks like a cross between a Ferrari 360 and the Ascari supercar from a few years ago…

    I ‘m sure it will fare better than that one, though, if Ron’s numbers are right!

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