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Posted on February 5, 2013
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McLaren boss Ron Dennis has spoken out about the importance of loyalty in the wake of the departure of Lewis Hamilton to Mercedes and the ongoing discussions with technical director Paddy Lowe over his mooted move the same way.

Speaking to the Financial Times’ Roger Blitz, Dennis said that loyalty has always been a first order priority in his organisation,

“You cut yourself, you bleed McLaren,” he said. “We’re about winning, we care about how we win . . . We want to win with the right principles, the right values. If people don’t want to be part of that and want to go and do different things, then fine.”

Lowe had been in discussions with Toto Wolff about a move to Williams, until the Austrian accepted a role as Director of Mercedes motorsport last month. Lowe has discussed a move to Mercedes with the key players there, as confirmed by Ross Brawn recently.

Speaking at the launch of the new McLaren F1 car last week, Martin Whitmarsh said, “One certainty is that Paddy will be part of the team for another year. It’s less certain beyond that. That is something that we will have some certainty on in the near future.”

Lowe’s contract is believed to run to the end of 2013. If he is to leave, he will not be part of McLaren’s 2014 planning and will probably be forced to go on gardening leave well ahead of 2014; this will hurt his knowledge of the 2014 technologies.

But Dennis added a reference to this in his FT interview about employees thinking that the “grass is greener” at another team,

“If they get the hosepipe and the lawnmower out, they can easily contribute to making the grass greener their side of the fence,” he said.

Dennis added that he has “moved on” from Formula 1, having handed the team management to Whitmarsh in 2009 and dedicated himself to the automotive group.

The FT reports that the McLaren Group made pre-tax profits of £19.7m in 2011, up from £12.1m the previous year.

Turnover for the whole group increased from £201.7m to £239.1m.

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Dennis demands loyalty from his staff – “You cut yourself, you bleed McLaren”
206 Responses

  1.   1. Posted By: alastair emmerson
        Date: February 5th, 2013 @ 4:07 pm 

    He is still p**ed off hammy left, wake up Ron, McLaren aren’t the only top team out there. You may win but since handing to martin you haven’t won what’s important, the WDC and WCC.

    [Reply]

    Michael Reply:

    They’re about winning. They haven’t won a constructors title in over a decade and haven’t won a WDC since 2008. But, still they’re about winning. Yeah, keep up the good work, Ron. lol

    [Reply]

    F1 Bobby Reply:

    +1

    Meaningless words from Ron Dennis. Senna left, Prost left, Hamilton left. Formula One is a brutal business.

    On the one hand we have Sam Michael saying McLaren won’t dwell on Hamilton’s departure and on the other we have Ron boo-hooing about Hamilton’s loyalty.

    Just a shame this year’s Mercedes will be a dog.

    [Reply]

    JamesR Reply:

    If there’s any regrets they’re in choosing LH over FA in 2007 and by definition beyond, 6 Wasted years at Woking.

    [Reply]

    Kimi4WDC Reply:

    Same applies to Ferrari for cashing in on Alonso :)

    [Reply]

    Elie Reply:

    And their last world champion was ….

    [Reply]

    Erik Reply:

    +1

    [Reply]

    Curro Reply:

    The naked truth

    [Reply]

    Carl Craven Reply:

    Lewis didn’t move to a top team. Currently they are ranked at about 5th out of 10+ teams

    [Reply]

    Scuderia McLaren Reply:

    He seems more upset that Hamilton left than when he split the sheets with his ex-wife.

    Strange father – son relationship he has with his drivers over the years. Oddly, Hamilton would not want two fathers. He can barely stand the one he has now let alone fostering Ron.

    [Reply]

    Mr. Whoopsie Reply:

    LOL!!! :D

    [Reply]


  2.   2. Posted By: Anne
        Date: February 5th, 2013 @ 4:15 pm 

    I think Ron Dennis should demand a fuel pump that works.

    [Reply]

    Elaine Reply:

    Too late for that now

    [Reply]

    Dave C Reply:

    Yes he did demand it and he got it, and it showed the car to be super fast straight out of the box, good job Mclaren I’d say, maybe they’ll have a even faster car than last year, the signs are ominous, Button looks like he’s been unleashed and theres a hint of 2009 for him.

    [Reply]

    Cliff Reply:

    You might want to read the last item of the day!

    [Reply]

    W Johnson Reply:

    Ron is a one off. His legendary attention to detail and management style is why he has been so successful in F1 where so many others have failed.

    Not aware that Ron has “throwing a television set” in his management repertoire unlike the alleged incident by a senior figure within another team at Interlagos on discovering they did not win the 2008 WDC.

    [Reply]

    Wade Parmino Reply:

    Ron Denni$ would be too concerned with how much that TV would cost him to replace.

    [Reply]


  3.   3. Posted By: Spyros
        Date: February 5th, 2013 @ 4:15 pm 

    Oh come on…

    How long must one spend in a team before he/she is allowed some human curiosity?

    People don’t have to take an oath of allegiance when they join the team(s), do they?

    [Reply]

    Neil Barr Reply:

    That very much depends on the team. Blood tests apparently are more revealing than oaths.

    [Reply]

    Stephen Taylor Reply:

    You can now why both Kimi and Lewis both left now.

    [Reply]

    W Johnson Reply:

    And Kimi was forced out at Ferrari. I doubt he would have been too pleased by the way they did that in order to create a seat for Alonso!

    [Reply]

    Stephen Taylor Reply:

    Who said my comment referred to Kimi leaving Ferrari? I was infact referring to part of reason for kimi Leaving Mclaren and joining the Scuderia back 2007. Kimi and management were sick of combination of on track failures and dufficult relationship, which was not helped by Dennis being dictatorial. Now the same has happened with Hamilton albeit the on track failures only occurred mostly in Hamilton’s last few Mclaren seasons. However with Kimi car problems (mostly enginem ones)happened during all of his 5 seasons at Woking.

    W Johnson Reply:

    I was referring to Ferrari because Kimi was arguably more badly treated by Ferrari than McLaren, despite the pay off he received from Ferrari to keep him sweet about kicking him aside. So despite how badly you try to malign McLaren there are other teams that are no better and arguably worse. Rubens also didn’t fair too well at Ferrari.


  4.   4. Posted By: Sebee
        Date: February 5th, 2013 @ 4:17 pm 

    And more, much more than this, I did it my way!

    I have over the years looked at McLaren as the challanger, not the team I root for. But as I grow older and hopefully wiser, I realize that this man and his team is one of principles and vision. Sure, there are always challanges, mistakes, things that the team doesn’t deliver on. But this one Mr. Dennis wants to win a certain way, has a clear vision of what he wants his team’s values to be and that is that. Perhaps inflexible, but we could drink many pints and not come to a conclusion that it is in any way wrong. It’s simply different.

    Personally, I only need to look at Massa or any #2 treatment and think to myself – if I was a Team Principal would I be satisfied with what I have done in my last days on this earth? Would my success bring me satisfaction, or would the way I have achieved it bring me burden? I think Mr. Dennis has answered that with his actions of fair treatment, and you can’t help but admire and respect that in the very least.

    We probably forget the huge act of going to his enemy Max, and admiting the events of 2007 that happened in his team. Take it any way you want – has anyone ever done such an act at such a great cost? McLaren are not perfect, but many of the things they have done through direction from man at the top have been incredible moves. For you Lewis fans, sure they didn’t manage to keep him, but they did bring you Lewis, didn’t they?

    [Reply]

    Sebee Reply:

    Before you bring up Coulthard, let’s look at the record since. It was probably at that point that he probably concluded “We’re never doing that again.”

    [Reply]

    hero_was_senna Reply:

    Yes lets.
    2007, lost arguably the best driver of his generation because the Mclaren family worked with a rookie and against a 2 times WDC.
    2008, Kovalainen was quite obviously no 2, remeber the German GP that year? 2 years prior to Ferrari telling Massa that his team-mate was faster, they told Heikki, “Lewis is faster than you” Not a whisper from the media or fans..

    But what about looking at the team pre DC?
    When Senna ruled the team, he was such a force of nature that Berger, and Andretti were number 2′s.
    As to Mika and Senna, he outqualified him once and was destroyed in the races in 1993.

    What about Prost vs Rosberg or Johansson?

    [Reply]

    Sebee Reply:

    hero,

    I don’t bleed McLaren, so don’t expect me to defend the team or the brand. But I am fond of the fair treatment policy. I can understand it when there is no more mathematical chance either through performance or circumstance. But I can’t understand walking all over the #2 from race one, as I have said a number of times. But to address your points.

    2007 – they treated them fairly. Lewis was not obliged on track to let Alonso pass, as long as he was not blocking. Where as what Alonso did in the pit was not right by any measure. I know it was inter-team, but it was what it was. Also, I think in all the Spygate mess De La Roso and Alonso are implicated, I don’t see Lewis contacting Ferrari guys for info, that’s got to get worth something.

    Heikki…well, he was #2 in ability perhaps, or perhaps in quiet designation. I’m not saying McLaren history is perfect. But for 2008 they were beat down, and it could be argued that attempt at fair treatment of drivers in 2007 caused the whole mess to be revealed. Perhaps if Alonso didn’t put Ron Dennis against the wall, that whole thing would have played out differently as well.

    There will be exceptions I’m sure, where a call must be made. But I think overall, McLaren treat their drivers most fairly. Where as when I say Ferrari to you, you instantly know what’s the pecking order. Right?

    Elie Reply:

    “I’d like to weigh in on this ” mr hero- as our friend Kuthrapoly from Big Bang Theory would say!

    1. Very arguably !!!- because he was beat by a Rookie in That Very Year- Snap out of it for goodness sake

    2. Yes Heikki was a no2. When the driver is absolutely no chance – any team would do it. It’s not the same as saying to a driver your no2 before the ink has dried

    3.as for Senna , Prost- see 2. No one says people don’t play the rule . But with certain teams its a given – and that is totally and completely not racing! This is also why we have this stupid “Arguably” business with Alonso- he is on cloud nine even before the first wheel is turned. Let them race for Goodness sake and put someone in like Vettel or Hamilton or Raikkonen then we will see “arguably”- oh but sorry I did happen in 2007 didn’t it- refer 1 above.
    4. Yes Fernando had a hand in Mclarens spygate- a very big one- & f/off to Ferrari as soon as he could.
    I’ve always admired the technical brilliance of Mclaren and even their work ethos It is second to none. But the managerial decision making & operational errors has been piss poor for the last 5 years
    And not at the level a top team should be- this is why I tend to look elsewhere now.

    Erik Reply:

    Sebee, I agree with most of you points but if I could make one correction. In 07 for whatever reason the car who had that last flying lap in qualifying usually got pole. Where it was Alonsos turn in Hungary to get the final lap Hamilton jumped him and arranged it so that he got it after all. So in my view Alonso did what he did to address that situation, in anger, yes. It’s also why Dennis was so upset with Hamilton and asked him to move over. Saw it as an unequal playing field. [mod]

    Sebee Reply:

    Erik,

    Indeed, I’m learning through your notes and that of others that it was Lewis who took things into his own hands and Alonso tried to take it back.

    The event is far behind us, but I find it funny that Lewis got the upper hand. He bent the rules the right way, Alonso bent the rules the wrong way. I think it would have been better if Alonso settled it on track instead of in the pits. It would have probably been epic if those two after those Saturday events were P1 and P2 and fought it out at that track on Sunday.

    I guess I shouldn’t be so harsh on Alonso, but he should have played the long game and saved his retaliation for Sunday. Also, it perhaps would have avoided the whole Spygate thing if he did.

    It’s easy for me to do a play by play after it happens, isn’t it? It’s much different for Alonso when the rush of blood to the head was happening.

    Mingojo Reply:

    PR is a powerful tool. It can make you believe things like ‘we give both drivers equal treatment’ etc…

    [Reply]

    hero_was_senna Reply:

    I don’t know your age or when you became an F1 fan, but I have been following the sport since the 70′s and read countless books and magazines about different teams, team owners and drivers through the years.

    It does frustrate me sometimes when people have opinions about something they haven’t any knowledge of.
    That’s not directed at you, in particular a woman on another site claimed Vettel better than Senna and there could be no argument.
    A few comments later she stated she had never seen Senna race as she only became interested in 2001. At that point, I gave up trying to reason.
    Likewise with Ferrari. Their founders history dates back to the 1920′s, an era of unbelievable danger and deaths were common.
    He raced, then became the team manager of Alfa Romeo.
    By 1947, he had started his own company and ran it till 1988 when he died.
    In all that time, whether in F1 or sports cars, his only concern was the cars. By all accounts, he wasn’t a very nice man, and his philosophy was that the cars won races, the drivers lost them.
    A recent documentary on Stirling Moss had him seated at Maranello with Patrick Stewart talking about driving for Ferrari.
    He’d been messed around by Ferrari previously and would now only drive one if entered by Rob Walker, but his reasoning was that Ferrari had never lost a driver due to a car failure. He crashed at Goodwood before he could drive for the Cavallino.

    Ferrari has never run a 1-2 driver policy until 1996. Look back at Villeneuve/ Scheckter or Villeneuve/Pironi. Whoever was in front when they assumed position 1 and 2 stayed there. Only a championship decider would change that tactic.

    Todt in 1993 had a monumental task to turn Ferrari around.
    Schumacher being signed was instrumental in that and he obviously wanted undisputed number 1 status.
    But look at Ferrari since he retired. Kimi came on board and won, but the following 2 seasons, Massa raised his game and performed better. Who did Ferrari back?
    People will say that Kimi proved after Massa’s accident that they should have followed his lead because he out-scored everyone in a car that wasnt being developed, but maybe the truth is Massa just integrated himself better with the engineers.

    Regards Ferrari’s pecking order now
    Australia 2010, Alonso screaming at team to have Massa let him past, because he can win the race. It was ignored.
    Malaysia 2010, Alonso with faulty gearbox still quicker than Massa
    China 2010, he overtook Massa into the pit lane

    By the time we get to Germany, it was a no brainer to tell him to move over.

    As to last year, when everyone is bleating about Massa having to give up grid slots etc. Where exactly was he during the first half of the campaign?

    Personally, I don’t believe Mclaren do treat their drivers fairly. I think too many people get caught up with the fact that they provide equal equipment to their drivers, but history shows a very different truth when you mention drivers. As I have already mentioned, as you chose to ignore by mentioning DC and I’d add a further name, Montoya.

    [Reply]

    JD Reply:

    Spot on!

    Sebee Reply:

    hero,

    I’m not as long a fan as you are, but I am no Jr. fan. That said, my memory may not be as detailed historically. For example, I don’t remember who’s turn it was to have the better strategy in Hungary until it was noted here by someone.

    However, the truth is that no team has nailed their policy in stone and never moved from it. It is a fluid thing and subject to change as needed or wished by principal figures. You can see same in FIA – team orders OK, then not OK, now OK again.

    I get caught up in history as well, and one will try to find patterns in discussion. However, there are always exceptions and every team has had them. Backmarkers included. And so what is one to do as a fan? You try to look at recent patterns becuse they are most relevant to present.

    McLaren do treat their drivers fairly. They did in 07, they do now. In 2008 they were in a state of shock with Heikki. They also like you rightly said, give their drivers equal equipment, which is extremely important.

    The whole thing about Massa and Ferrari – well has been discussed repeatedly. Let’s just say that I strongly feel that desperation and reality of 3 years of championship free Alonso years has made them show their true colors end of last season. We saw that Massa is every bit capable of taking it to Alonso and beating him. Cars win races. Drivers lose them. And they certainly lose in cars not capable of winning. Massa is not given the car, obviously.

    My point is hero, you can’t sit there at your keyboard and tell me that McLaren has not just put together the longest period of fair driver treatment of any team on the grid right now. With 2 WDC drivers to boot.

    Case closed.

    hero_was_senna Reply:

    In answer to your question about fair treatment, I have one name that stands above Mclaren regarding fair treatment if their drivers. That’s Williams.
    They have lost championships because they never enforced team orders.
    1981, 1986, arguably 1995, 2003?
    Williams to me is uncompromisingly fair. Funnily enough, he runs the team much as Ferrari did, cars win races, drivers lose them..

    [Reply]

    Random 79 Reply:

    Williams might be fair on the track, but I’m not sure Bruno would agree that they are fair with their free practice driver allocations.

    Not looking for an argument, just a mention.

    Sebee Reply:

    I knew you would bring up Williams hero. My answer to that is, not sure they are in the same tier as McLaren, Ferrari, etc. and therefore, not sure I care that much. It’s much easier to be fair when P8 is your goal then when P1 is. Williams successes are so far back I’m starting to forget it. Also, fairness or not, I have a feeling that a large cash injection made only one of their cars faster last season. Fair? Perhaps. Perhaps not.

    Bayan Reply:

    I’m pretty sure Ross Brawn or Jean Todt feel pretty good about what they achieved with Schumi. As a matter of fact, I think it helped elevate their status to what it is now (not to mention make them millions in the process). On the other hand, it’s a matter of “could have should have” for Ron Dennis, all those potential championships wasted because he didn’t want to back one driver. Mind you, he still became filthy rick but we are talking championships right!

    [Reply]

    Sebee Reply:

    Wait a minute Bayan,

    Wasn’t that team built around Schumacher? As in we hire Schumacher and give him all he needs and wants? So that was Schumi’s team.

    Ferrari now is not Alonso’s team. Everything was there pretty much before he arrived. To give him same leverage as Schumi…well, I’m not so sure it is the same thing.

    As for becoming rich, I think everyone, both drivers included have done well at both Ferrari and McLaren.

    [Reply]

    clyde Reply:

    He surely didnt treat Alonso fairly in 2007

    [Reply]

    Mark S. Reply:

    Do you have an example? Was this before or after Alonso’s blackmail attempt?

    [Reply]

    hero_was_senna Reply:

    As early as the 3rd GP, Dennis was having to pacify Alonso because of what was perceived as inter team favoritism.
    Bear in mind, that when Montoya found out that Hamilton was signed as Alonso’s team-mate, he said he knew instantly how it would play out. Lewis after all was Ron’s protege.
    In Monaco that year, Alonso qualified on pole and pulled out a lead over Hamilton. He stopped for fuel and Hamilton came in a lap later because the team were worried about safety cars.
    Confusion between Alonso, Hamilton and Dennis after the race suggesting that LH had been deliberately slowed with the fuel stop, and that the race had been gifted to Alonso, angered him.
    I loved that Hamilton challenged Alonso in 2007, much as Senna did to Prost in 1988, but there were elements of an unfair playing field too.

    W Johnson Reply:

    One suspects that Alonso was upset because he expected favourable treatment at McLaren as an incumbent world champion but did not get it with Lewis matching his performance.

    Sebee Reply:

    hero,

    I really feel like it was Alonso demanding #1 status and Lewis demanding fair status in 2007. It was Alonso who needed to be pacified at all instances. Again, I am not pleased about my urge to defend tbe guy, but Lewis never demanded #1. He demanded fair. Alonso demanded #1 and pressed his point with Ron – pressed hard. Squeeky wheel gets the oil theory. I don’t remember who’s turn it was to have a better strategy in Hungary for example. It is an important point. If it was Alonso who had 1 more lap of fuel and wanted to jump Lewis for strategy, then he was the one rocking the boat and Lewis was just protecting his strategy. I don’t remember. Time to break out that 2007 DVD!

    clyde Reply:

    Mark Do you have proof of the alleged blackmail as Alonso has denied it and mantained a studied silence on the topic

    THESE ARE THE FACTS
    The problems at mclaren started in Hungary McLaren’s complicated approach to guaranteeing each driver received equal treatment involved giving one driver the advantage of an extra lap’s worth of fuel during qualifying at certain circuits where it was deemed possible. The Hungaroring was one of them, and Alonso was due the priority at a venue where overtaking is notoriously difficult and pole position is especially prized.

    So when Hamilton refused to let Alonso lead the way at the start of qualifying as had been arranged, the Spanish driver fumed. Exactly what McLaren might have done to redress the discrepancy isn’t clear, for Alonso chose to ensure his team mate’s disadvantage by blocking him in the pits. This led to a five place grid penalty for him and lost him the race.lewis escaped scot free evev though he had a big role to play in the events.
    At Shanghai qualifying Alonso was fourth, two-thirds of a second slower, and when he returned to the pits he threw his helmet across the room, and insinuated that the team had fiddled with his tyre pressures. After the race Following hamiltons blunder Dennis made the following remark

    The problem was rain and [Hamilton's] tyres were in the worst condition. But we weren’t at all fazed about Kimi. We weren’t racing Kimi, we were basically racing Fernando.

    In fact the Fia had to keep observers in the Mclaren garage to see that Alonso got equal treatment in the last race in Brazil.

    NUFF SAID :-)

    Mark S. Reply:

    @hero, I’m puzzled. You give examples of Ron Dennis coddling Alonso, which is what the latter wanted.

    KRB Reply:

    Sebee has it right. An absence of preferential treatment was regarded as preference for Hamilton by zero-sum Alonso. But it’s understandable, as that’s what Alonso knew with Renault.

    Sebee Reply:

    If you wish to discuss if he should have treated a two time champion and a rookie fairly and evenly – we can discuss.

    Did he put himself in a potentially explosive and conflicted position for 2007? Yes.

    However, if you wish to discuss if he treated both fairly, I say absolutely. As fairly as he could have. No one would have done better under those circumstances. Don’t fool yourself into thinking anyone could have done better controlling the egos in that garage.

    I say again, Lewis was not obligated to let Alonso pass on track. Where as what Alonso did in the pit lane was pure road-rage reaction. I think I’m committed now to side with Lewis on that whole Hungary 2007 quali mess from now on with these remarks!

    [Reply]

    hero_was_senna Reply:

    You may well remember the reasons, but maybe others are new to this so I’ll explain the circumstances.
    In 2007, cars qualified with the race fuel in their tanks. They would burn off as much as possible, pit for new tyres and qualify. The FIA would then allow those laps to be replaced.
    In Hungary 2007, Lewis and Fernando were running different fuel levels, and Lewis was told by the team to let Alonso through because he wanted to burn more fuel.
    Lewis knew tat he was running less fuel, thereby giving the advantage to Alonso if he passed. Hence why he blocked him.
    When they pitted right at the end, Alonso stayed in the pits long enough that Hamilton wouldn’t get a run for qualifying.

    clyde Reply:

    It wasnt road rage as you so quaintly put it

    THESE ARE THE FACTS
    The problems at mclaren started in Hungary McLaren’s complicated approach to guaranteeing each driver received equal treatment involved giving one driver the advantage of an extra lap’s worth of fuel during qualifying at certain circuits where it was deemed possible. The Hungaroring was one of them, and Alonso was due the priority at a venue where overtaking is notoriously difficult and pole position is especially prized.

    So when Hamilton refused to let Alonso lead the way at the start of qualifying as had been arranged, the Spanish driver fumed. Exactly what McLaren might have done to redress the discrepancy isn’t clear, for Alonso chose to ensure his team mate’s disadvantage by blocking him in the pits. This led to a five place grid penalty for him and lost him the race.lewis escaped scot free evev though he had a big role to play in the events.
    At Shanghai qualifying Alonso was fourth, two-thirds of a second slower, and when he returned to the pits he threw his helmet across the room, and insinuated that the team had fiddled with his tyre pressures. After the race Following hamiltons blunder Dennis made the following remark

    The problem was rain and [Hamilton's] tyres were in the worst condition. But we weren’t at all fazed about Kimi. We weren’t racing Kimi, we were basically racing Fernando.

    In fact the Fia had to keep observers in the Mclaren garage to see that Alonso got equal treatment in the last race in Brazil.

    Doobs Reply:

    “We (Ron and Lewis) were racing Alonso”, not Kimi.

    Sebee Reply:

    By the way, just thought about Monaco 2006 and Hungary 2007 quali sessions.

    Those young kids can’t seems to think up anything on their own. Always learning their tricks from the older masters. :-)

    [Reply]

    J Reply:

    You might want to look into getting your own blog.

    Rick Reply:

    Sebee, clearly the facts get in your way of forming a logical conclusion, if you are even capable of forming one is doubtful.
    I think perhaps you are blinded by your idol worshipping of your deity Lewis Hamilton.
    Hamilton blocked Alonso in Hungary, so Alonso simply returned the favor

    Sebee Reply:

    J

    I am just having a discussion about my post with those who replied.

    Rick,

    I don’t worship Lewis. Far from it. But if it was Alonso’s turn at strategy, then Lewis outfoxed Alonso and did what he wanted to do better and smarter. Panalty for Alonso would confirm that. But Lewis certainly started to rock the boat.

    As for that We’re racing Alonso remark…when did it happen again? Was it after Alonso confronted Ron about the Spygate and after Ron put his team at mercy of FIA, and after Ron decided that Alonso would not be there is 2008 – and didn’t want to send Alonso off with the #1 to another team? Seems reasonable to me.

    Sebee Reply:

    clyde,

    Here is an old article I keep recommending, reads well and has all the facts. Call it what you want, a confrontation took place, subject of which was revealing the details to the FIA unless “Dennis made things right”.

    http://www.wired.com/cars/coolwheels/magazine/16-06/ff_formulaone?currentPage=all

    Put on the slippers, grab a cup of earl gray and give it a read before bed time. You’ll have most wonderful F1 spy dreams that night! :-)

    [Reply]

    Mark S. Reply:

    Thanks for posting that link, Sebee, my similar response to clyde didn’t see light of day.

    Facts can be inconvenient sometimes!

    Sri Reply:

    How about his comment: “We are not racing Kimi” in 2007? He fueled the intra-team rivalry very well.

    [Reply]

    Sebee Reply:

    McLaren speak.

    I would have read that as – hey boys – you’re 1 and 2 in the standings. Man up and bring it home. Don’t act like children out there.

    In the end it didn’t work out. To be honest, with the fact that they got so hurt in the public opinion, I think it would have not been best for F1 if they did win it in 2007. It was perhaps set up or perhaps Karma, but McLaren not winning anything in 2007 was the just result.

    [Reply]

    Sebee Reply:

    I’m back to correct myself here on this point.

    Wasn’t the whole thing blown up by time he said this? Wasn’t Alonso leaving McLaren? Or at least Dennis knew he was?

    Would you as a team principal want to send Alsonso off a WDC with #1 to another team after being given an ultimatum of “make it right” or I will take this spy info to the FIA?

    [Reply]

    Mark S. Reply:

    It was in the context of locking up a championship for the team that weekend. LH coming 2nd ahead of FA would have achieved that.

    [Reply]


  5.   5. Posted By: Quade
        Date: February 5th, 2013 @ 4:28 pm 

    McLaren has to do more not to come across as cold and uncaring to its staff. If you win, it has to be with people, not despite them.
    Quite clearly, of all the teams, McLaren has the very best engineers; that is beyond doubt. What is lacking is the human element to forge a functioning, human team that can drive wins year on year.
    I wish Ron would stop making these “if they want to leave, fine” statements and playing robocop. I can begin to see the distractions of last season playing out again (only it much earlier this time), it could be not just Paddy Lowe, but possibly lots of McLaren engineering staff leaking out to Merc to join Lewis.

    Paddy Lowe is technical director with 20 years experience at McLaren for goodness sakes! Please Ron, treat him better. All I can see is a beautiful engineering legacy swallowing itself up in an avoidable clash between cold steel and humanity.

    [Reply]

    Jason Farmer Reply:

    Its curious to think that the fans see McLaren as cold and uncaring because that’s not how they came across when I worked for the group… I was as surprised as anyone to discover that there was passion and drive and fun… I guess its a by product of the way they are organised and focused.

    [Reply]

    Random 79 Reply:

    It always seemed to me like they warmed up a bit when Whitmarsh took over.

    I’m curious to know when you worked for them, and to get your thoughts about how they might or might not have changed when Dennis took a step back.

    [Reply]

    Jason Farmer Reply:

    Its been 9 years since I worked at McLaren (it was McLaren automotive, not International) I never met anyone in person, but went to company meetings where Ron was speaking to the whole group & Ron has a passion that doesn’t come through on the TV.

    I haven’t been there since well before Martin Whitmarsh took over, it seems to me that a little of the final attention to detail has slipped. That attention to detail made sure that with a quick car they won. I can’t help feeling that last seasons silly mistakes wouldn’t have happened had Ron been in charge.

    Just my thoughts and not much inside insight really!

    Quade Reply:

    @Jason Farmer
    Even Perez said the same thing about the team being percieved as cold in the paddock. So, that perception is not just with the fans; if the drivers and other F1 staff from other F1 teams feel arctic winds from McLaren, then there must be fire to the smoke.

    [Reply]

    W Johnson Reply:

    Perhaps some like to go around peddling lazy perceptions!

    If there are employees like Paddy Lowe who have been with McLaren for more than 10 years, they must be doing something right…..employees don’t stay with one company all their life.

    TheBestPoint? Reply:

    the thing is though -with all the comments he is making (and granted some of them may be ‘media’ induced) – he does actually meddle!!!

    he is perfectly within his rights to do so, it being his ‘sweat and blood’ but the problem may well be that he doesn’t recognise the degree to which he does!

    i don’t actually rate Whitmarsh that high but he is probably the only personality that could put up with the “back seat driving” that obviously takes place.

    (and before anyone argues otherwise his comments alone re: Hamilton, at the time, and now Lowe were/are certainly NOT HELPFUL and could be avoided if he chose by simply dictating the terms of any media interviews – a simple “i will speak on condition that the subject is ??? ALONE & nothing to do with F1″)

    [Reply]

    hero_was_senna Reply:

    Depends if they want to join the Lewis circus ride, or if Lauda starts to implode the team.

    Don’t forget, there are many other race winning teams out there other than Mclaren.

    Some ex Mclaren staff have already left and joined a former colleague of theirs at Ferrari.

    [Reply]


  6.   6. Posted By: Rob
        Date: February 5th, 2013 @ 4:31 pm 

    Whitmarsh has been a disaster for McLaren – he acts as if Button won a WDC and not the double diffuser.

    The staff are no fools and don’t see much hope with Whitmarsh’s shortcomings.

    Half the fun this season will be to watch the exposure of Button and Whitmarsh, as they have no Hamilton to hide behind.

    [Reply]

    Robert Reply:

    I assume you think that Vettel didn’t win three world championships, Adrian Newey did.

    Button is subjectively the best of the rest after the top three drivers; and they tried and failed to keep Hamilton, and have no hope of Alonso or Vettel any time soon, so on that score Whitmarsh is doing a solid job.

    [Reply]

    Lance Manion Reply:

    In all honesty, 2012 may have proven that you have your Big 3 drivers wrong. I think Vettel, Alonso and Raikkonen are the best. Hamilton and Button are the next closest to them. Kimi was out of F1 for 2 years and he comes back and wins at Lotus. He also beats Hamilton & Button in the WDC in a far slower car. Kimi was the perfect McLaren driver. Non emotional, no drama, shows up to work and gets the job done. The Iceman. His personality wasn’t quite what Ferrari wanted, they wanted more passion and technical input. Kimi was well suited to McLaren. Whitmarsh will regret not trying to get Kimi long term after his impressive comeback season at Lotus.

    [Reply]

    Steve Reply:

    Raikkonen won because the McLaren died. He had no chance otherwise. Lotus didn’t ‘win’ the race, McLaren lost it.

    Jimbob Reply:

    Rob, this is so far wide of so many marks..

    Seriously, how do you know what the staff think of Whitmarsh?

    Button ain’t that slow… He still mullered Barrichello – When Button had some Quali wobbles mid season Rubens outqualified him but Button still beat him in nearly every race..

    Oh, and Button is not THAT far off Hamilton – I think you’ll have a shock this year if the McLaren is decent.

    Sure, Brawn did well to develop the DD but every dominant car has a trick the others don’t have or haven’t developed as well… That’s F1, get used to it, get over it and please people stop with all this Lewis love\Whitmarsh hate stuff!

    In case you haven’t forgotten, McLaren also failed for plenty of years with big Ron in charge… With Newey designed cars as well for a decent stint.

    [Reply]

    Andrew Carter Reply:

    I look forward to you eating those words.

    [Reply]

    Rob Reply:

    What will you eat when you find my words are nothing but pure wisdom or as some call it, common sense?

    [Reply]

    DonSimon Reply:

    Agree largely with that. Button cannot carry that team. Perez coming out strong is a much more likely bet I would say.

    [Reply]

    T Nelan Esq Reply:

    Totally agree, 100%

    [Reply]

    Andrew Cumbria Reply:

    I love your sarcastic approach, fantastic.

    Oh, you really think that, honestly ? Wow.

    Typical Hamilton fan, take a cold hard look at the facts and you will find come the end of the race that there is little to choose between them, Your man has jumped ship for the cash, lets just hope that he doesnt come out looking as foolish as his comments at Monaco 2 years ago.

    [Reply]

    Rob Reply:

    Button’s only hope, as always, is to drive like a slug and pray that others take themselves out of the equation…

    That old pony trick can only work once in a blue moon…

    It will be most amusiing to watch Whitmarsh attempt to create a blue moon, and fail.

    [Reply]

    marc barker Reply:

    I did’nt know double diffusers could drive… Is that why they were banned? The Humans drivers were all sat around drinking pop while the diffusers did it all?

    [Reply]

    Doobs Reply:

    They were eating ice cream in the Ferrari garage.

    [Reply]

    Gul Reply:

    100% agreed!
    absolute power corrupts absolutely….RD should be motivating his staff instead of giving them ultimatums!

    [Reply]

    Joel Reply:

    Very premature, but looks like they have a solid car this year to hide behind :)

    [Reply]

    Rob Reply:

    Counting chickens already? Very premature…

    [Reply]

    KB Reply:

    LMAO. Clearly in 2009 the Brawn was being driven by by its own double diffuser and JB played no part in it at all. I think 2013 could prove completely the opposite, it could well be McLaren’s year!!

    [Reply]

    Quade Reply:

    Lets just be honest. JB is not that good or how do you explain his having to use his 2012 team mates telemetry, setup and engineers to get over a slide down the “no grip” rabbits hole? Or that Ross Brawn was happy to let him go, even as WDC, yet the same Ross Brawn engaged McLaren in a bidding war for his team mate, Lewis?
    JB is a decent driver, but thats it. He certainly is as far as you can get from the class of the top three, Lewis, Kimi and Alonso.

    [Reply]

    KB Reply:

    Agreed that JB is not in the Raikkonen, Hamilton, Alonso league on an average day, but on a good day he is capable of making them look very ordinary, and that in itself is quite something. And lets just be honest, the best driver doesn’t always win the WDC. Often its a case of being good enough to make the most of a good opportunity if one comes your way. He did that in 2009 and he could do it again in 2013 if the McLaren is as good as I think it might be :-)

    Rob Reply:

    Clearly the double diffuser was the dominate force… I did not see Button creating extreme downforce, that enabled the car to lap 1 second faster then the other cars?

    Button sucks, but the double diffuser sucks even more…

    [Reply]

    marc barker Reply:

    To be fair to button, i’ve not seen many drivers ‘creating extreme downforce’, not unless its through the cleaver use of a straw and some paper plates… tell me, are you a journalist Rob?

    shankar Reply:

    yes i am looking forward to this too. personally i don’t buy the conspiracy theories. i think this is the year they might authoritatively prove their mettle. lets see!!!

    [Reply]

    Neil Barr Reply:

    Too right. Although I will take no delight in seeing Whitmarsh and Button waste McLaren’s design and development excellence again they will surely reveal their unsuitability to their positions this year.

    [Reply]

    Dave C Reply:

    Yes Button did win a world title, not a double diffuser. Shame Hamilton’s hollow victory courtesy of Glock deserve more praise than Jenson’s title, but the car’s looking good bet Hamilton’s kicking himself.

    [Reply]

    W Johnson Reply:

    “Hamilton’s hollow victory courtesy of Glock.”

    That is an absurd accusation.

    I recall a huge downpour and rivers flowing across the Interlagos circuit and Hamilton wisely chose to select full wets and so lost places while in the pits whereas Glock and others gambled on intermediates.

    [Reply]

    hero_was_senna Reply:

    Im pretty sure that Glock was on slicks as it had started raining in the last few laps and it was getting worse. Maybe my memory has faded.

    W Johnson Reply:

    To Hero – You are probably right. I recall that several drivers were clearly on the wrong choice of tyre in dreadful weather conditions…taking the gamble that they could complete the race on slick tyres.

    Dan Reply:

    Absolutely spot on.

    [Reply]

    Mike Reply:

    I am no Button fan at all. But it does not matter how you win a WDC. If it is done legal they count. Button deserved that WDC that year and we should respect that. I personally think Button is overrated so you can imagine how it hurts for me to write this down but fair is fair.

    [Reply]

    Mike from Colombia Reply:

    He may not have been the best driver on the grid, but Button won under the rules and you cannot take the WDC away from him.

    If it was all about only the best drivers deserving the WDC then Piquet, Rosberg, Hill, Villeneuve and maybe Vettel should all have had their names deleted from the trophy.

    [Reply]

    Osito Reply:

    Thought I was on Planet F1 by mistake for a moment ;-)

    [Reply]

    Basil Reply:

    lol!

    [Reply]

    TP Reply:

    Or to defend Hamilton over on track incidents or childish twitterings… Yeah I’m sure they’ll miss him.

    The difference between the Dennis era and Whitmarsh era of team principalship is the management structure adopted since Ron took a step back – Whitmarsh is more a lieutenant than a principal in the old school form.

    Regardless of this corporate structure, they are still one of the most consistently successful teams and one of the favourites this year. That includes Button by the way.

    [Reply]

    SpencerB Reply:

    Don’t you think the leadership of Ferrari has changed “for sure” some what since the Jean Todd – Ross Brawn days too.

    [Reply]

    TP Reply:

    Yeah, both now have less dictatorial leaders.

    There wasn’t a Red Bull designed by Adrian Newey in the Todt/Brawn era though…

    Rick Reply:

    But was a mclaren designed by Newey! Does that not count?

    Dan Reply:

    Not a Button fan then eh? Funny how people forget who finished 2nd in 2011 and outperformed his teammate Hamilton most of that season too…just saying.

    [Reply]

    Rob Reply:

    There are far more statistics that demonstrate Button was struggling severely against Hamilton.

    This is the beauty of 2013… Button will give us a master class on how to detune a racing car, and dismantle a racing company…

    McLaren are ripe for cherry picking…

    [Reply]

    marc barker Reply:

    Go on then Rob, give us the severely struggling statistics. I’d be very interested in reading them and where you got these ‘stats’ from..

    Dan Reply:

    Interesting theory for 2013…but without a crystal ball completely unfounded. I’d go back and check your statistics for 2011 as I recall that wasn’t a great season for Hamilton.
    While your at it could you please give me next Saturdays Lottery numbers…

    Random 79 Reply:

    Some good responses here.

    Guess you’ll be ignoring the day one of testing results then eh Rob?

    Was that almost one second clear? No…really?

    [Reply]

    hero_was_senna Reply:

    Unlike you 79.
    Do you know what the fuel loads were of all the cars, what tyres they were using etc.
    It’s only the first day of winter testing.

    I well remember Ron Dennis mocking Ferrari after they had set record laps during winter testing. To paraphrase, they win the winter championship, we win the summer one.

    I’m more interested to see what package they all run in Barcelona before I make any comment on testing pace.

    [Reply]

    Random 79 Reply:

    Of course test time are meaningless, even more so on the first day, but I still thought that it was good that Button came out on top after all the bagging he’s been copping recently for not being Hamilton.

    In the end we’ll see in Australia who has the pace and who doesn’t. Bring on March!

    Doobs Reply:

    Seriously thinking they’ll keep that advantage by lunchtime tomorrow, let alone all season?

    [Reply]

    Rob Reply:

    This is classic Whitmarsh leadership…

    Forget the real testing.

    Instead, give Button an extra light car, to build up a false sense of security…

    Ooh, 2013 is going to be vintage year for F1 comedy.

    [Reply]

    Dan Reply:

    Wow! The mind of a technical director now Rob.
    That would be a master stroke of psychological genius, I wonder why all the team chiefs aren’t applying this approach to their drivers, maybe Lewis’ll believe he didn’t crash if they tell him…that’ll give him a false sense of security.

    W Johnson Reply:

    McLaren IS Ron Dennis so he is perfectly entitled to take some issues personally. I would be more surprised if he did not!

    [Reply]

    Serrated_Edge Reply:

    Rob, your disrespect towards JB is a disgrace, 15 wins in F1 and 1 WDC is no fluke.

    [Reply]


  7.   7. Posted By: Javier Marcelo
        Date: February 5th, 2013 @ 4:43 pm 

    McLaren had a dream team in january 07 and now they are living a drama at the team, but i ave not seen any self critics coming from Dennis or any other. Sooner or later they Will have to…

    [Reply]


  8.   8. Posted By: Kbdavies
        Date: February 5th, 2013 @ 4:56 pm 

    Ron is simply unable to get it. Can’t he see that this attitide is what is draining the life and soul out of the organisation?
    Yes they are extremly organisesd, yes they are uber efficient, but after that, what else? This attitude results in missing the big picture. The staff make the company, not vice-versa. I’m really tired of this McLaren’s mantra of “no one is bigger than the company”.
    Ron does not want staff’s loyalty….he wants their life…their blood!
    Lewis spent 5yrs at McLaren in F1. He as been with the team in some form since age 11. What more does Ron want?? When would have been a good time to leave? The answer is obviously NEVER. Loyalty for Ron means never leaving. If you do, you are simply a traitor. What nonsense!!

    [Reply]

    Doobs Reply:

    Bet he’d sack you quick enough if he thought you were no good…

    [Reply]


  9.   9. Posted By: Elaine
        Date: February 5th, 2013 @ 4:59 pm 

    Maybe Ron should be told the basics No drivers no racing, he should never have let his best driver he’s had for years go to another team.

    [Reply]


  10.   10. Posted By: goferet
        Date: February 5th, 2013 @ 5:08 pm 

    From Ron Dennis’ words concerning loyalty, it appears he expects his employees to be loyal to the team for their entire careers.

    This way of thinking is pretty unrealistic for you can’t expect employees especially ambitious drivers (like Senna and Lewis) to stick around with a team that isn’t winning the big trophies besides, the only people that can display this kind of militant loyalty are the shareholders >>> eh, such as Ron Dennis himself >>> because money is at stake.

    However I can understand, Ron Dennis disappointment when Lewis decided to leave seeing as he funded the majority of his junior career so he expected a no retreat, no surrender kind of loyalty from him (or at least till they achieved lots of success).

    Overall, whenever people are happy with their working conditions (e.g. good pay, drivers can keep the trophies and not too may sponsorship events) then you will tend to have the most loyal workers, no questions asked.

    P.s.

    Despite the rhetoric, one thing is for sure now, Paddy Lowe is soon to become an ex-Mclaren employee and the doors to Woking are closed to Lewis for good.

    [Reply]

    TheBestPoint? Reply:

    3 strikes & u ain’t never coming back. The Tattoo, facial hair & priv. Jet r wot don it 4 him ;-) .

    Problem is, RD is not moving on! Perhaps one of his drivers winning WDC this year will be closure for him.

    Speaking of drivers Button is going to be under so much pressure this year (carry the team/qualify in top4/beat team mate/chase WDC/do all that while smiling). He was coming out with some “not very supportive” comments end of last year. These appear to have stopped. Wonder if someone ;-) had a quiet ‘cut …bleed… Mclaren.’ Word & if so what colour his nightmares are.

    [Reply]


  11.   11. Posted By: Luca
        Date: February 5th, 2013 @ 5:09 pm 

    Even the most motivated employee, I wager, would hope his boss might offer his unconditional support on seeing them bleeding — before checking the “brand of blood”, that is.

    I am pretty sure Dennis did not mean it to sound as if he would be quite “that” single-minded. Yet, for all that he has achieved, Dennis sill seems to communicate with the kind of awkward intensity of a Hitler YouTube parody in pre-production. Perhaps one of his tech wizards could cook him up a bot-to-human translator app.

    [Reply]


  12.   12. Posted By: SJM
        Date: February 5th, 2013 @ 5:10 pm 

    Ron, c’mon……let it go!! Lewis is gone mate!

    [Reply]


  13.   13. Posted By: Harvey
        Date: February 5th, 2013 @ 5:13 pm 

    Ron Dennis: “We want to win with the right principles, the right values.” That must be why Ron [mod] from Ferrari and paid a record fine. No wonder Newey left, then Alonso, now Lewis, soon Paddy Lowe. Who’s next, Ron?

    [Reply]

    hero_was_senna Reply:

    Right principles? Right values?
    Forget spy gate, they only copied the bosses form.
    Tag used to sponsor Williams before Mclaren poached them.
    Honda was an engine supplier to Williams before Mclaren poached them.
    Theres been other incidents where because they are all piranha’s it’s acceptable. But even Frank got fed up in the end.

    [Reply]

    Doobs Reply:

    Senna, Kimi…

    He seems to be a slow learner.

    [Reply]


  14.   14. Posted By: Val from montreal
        Date: February 5th, 2013 @ 5:21 pm 

    Some folks really must have started watching F1 in 2007 ! As if the world turns around Hamilton … Newsflash: If it was’nt for McLaren where in the world would Hamilton be right now ?? I dont want to get political but Hamilton’s blackness is a MARKETING dream … If he was white he’d be just another driver called Hamilton …

    [Reply]

    hero_was_senna Reply:

    Val, I need to ask you a massive favour.
    Please stop, that’s twice in 2 weeks I agree with you, and my medication needs changing!!

    [Reply]

    Jake Reply:

    “Where would Hamilton be” Who knows, could be sitting in a Red Bull with three WDC instead of one or with any other team. Point is he would be racing. The talent Hamilton has would have been noticed by other driver development teams I’m sure.
    Just because McLaren spotted his potential first does not mean they own him.
    His “blackness” has nothing to do with his driving and I would expect just as many negatives as positives in the marketing world based on his ethnicity. His marketability is due to Hamilton the successful racing driver not Hamilton the black man.

    [Reply]


  15.   15. Posted By: Mitchel
        Date: February 5th, 2013 @ 5:25 pm 

    What’s happened to Ron?

    He wasn’t ever this bitter! He suffered spygate with far more grace…

    [Reply]

    Random 79 Reply:

    Spygate was just espionage, if you like that term.

    I get the feeling that this is more personal.

    [Reply]


  16.   16. Posted By: Mike from Colombia
        Date: February 5th, 2013 @ 5:26 pm 

    After hitting 60, Ron Dennis has increasingly come across as a petty and bitter character.

    His record in man management is disastrous.

    Adrian Newey – greener grass
    Fernando Alonso – greener grass
    Lewis Hamilton – moved to ramped up Mercedes works team

    Ronspeak is not technical stilted waffle as it was before. It is the whining of a bitter man than feels helpless than he can no longer demand the respect that he once had.

    [Reply]

    W Johnson Reply:

    Ron’s record speaks for itself as the MD of one of the most exciting and successful F1 racing teams. Sure, a few key personnel have left as one would expect with any organisation. Your examples don’t offer any insights.

    [Reply]

    hero_was_senna Reply:

    I’m going to say, in the last 20 years, 1993 to 2012, a certain Mr Horner has over seen 6 World Championship wins.
    In that same period, a certain Frank Williams has taken 7 World championships. Briatore was the leader for 7 also, Brawn had 2 under his team and Montezemolo 14.
    Ron managed 4 in 20 years.

    [Reply]

    Steve Reply:

    So you pick the time period just after total dominance. He’s overseen a racing team that has one 1/4 of all races entered.

    Doobs Reply:

    They adequately convey the one-way street that is Ron’s definition of “loyalty”

    [Reply]

    W Johnson Reply:

    It’s bizarre how Marko is quoted as making quite antagonistic comments favouring Vettel within the Redbull team but does not attract nearly as much comments as Ron Dennis making more general common place motivational comments that most CEO’s would be expected say about their own organisation.


  17.   17. Posted By: iClive
        Date: February 5th, 2013 @ 5:33 pm 

    Ron is no team builder.

    He negotiates reduced wages for drivers on TV, loses key staff who go on, like Newey and Alonso, to be invaluable to other teams, refuses to believe drivers leave of their own free will and instead declares that they had no choice – if this is not a magnified media impression, then he has a problem with his ego and his team will always be the “nearly-did-it” team shedding virtuosos along the way.

    [Reply]

    david nelson Reply:

    JB started on supposedly £4.5 million in 2010. His new contract, negotiated in Sept/Oct 2011 gave him an approx 40% pay rise to £6.5 million. LH had been paid £9.5 million since 2008. They offered him, supposedly, an approx 30% pay cut. This, if accepted, would have brought him down to £6.5 million. JB gets a hearty pat on the back. LH gets a “take this if you want to stay”. I think the idea that McLaren let LH slip thru their fingers and it has been some terrible mistake is total tosh. They let him go. Unless the W04 is a head-spinning leap foward from W03 (highly unlikely), LH is in for his toughest year yet in F1. Who knows what this might do to his already fragile state of mind.

    [Reply]

    W Johnson Reply:

    “Ron is no team builder”.

    Well he must have done something right to have built one of the most exciting and successful teams in F1 history. If that is not enough for you, Ron Dennis has been the driving force behind a very successful technology business to leverage their F1 knowledge and of course they now also have their iconic McLaren branded sport cars…all thanks to Ron Dennis.

    [Reply]

    Doobs Reply:

    Perhaps he’s outstayed his welcome and it’s time to move on.

    [Reply]

    W Johnson Reply:

    I don’t think so!

    Doobs Reply:

    He’s past it.


  18.   18. Posted By: F1 for life
        Date: February 5th, 2013 @ 5:39 pm 

    The legacy does repeat itself. Look at their best designer Adrian Newey who left, as he was not happy with Mclaren structure. Now look at Redbull, following Adrian Newey’s request in terms technical set-up the team is dominating. Lewis said he is happy, Alonso says he’s happy to leave Mclaren etc. Damon Hill did mention that the team do wrap people in cotton wool.

    [Reply]

    F1 for life Reply:

    I am a Mclaren Fan and want our team to succeed and be as dominant as before. This team structure needs to be re-worked. I wonder how Mclaren could get Adrian Newey back??

    [Reply]

    Random 79 Reply:

    Lots and lots of $$$ and a smile…maybe.

    [Reply]

    Chris Reply:

    Not convinced by that. Besides, Red Bull give Newey what ever he wants, and Ferrari would to. It’s interesting to note, apart from the early success’s, Newey wasn’t that affective at Mclaren in the end, suggesting he was unhappy!

    Kay Reply:

    When you already have lots of $, more $ don’t make any differences. A smiles? Well, Newey would probably also smile back but with a “haha no thanks!”

    Newey likes the family and atmosphere of RBR. Otherwise he would’ve joined Ferrari when LdM made the offer last year (or even before that).

    Random 79 Reply:

    Totally agree with both of you. I highly doubt Newey would ever go back to McLaren, that’s why I added the ‘maybe’.

    If anything I think that if he was going to leave RBR for another team it would be one of the lower echelon teams where he would have the opportunity to basically repeat what he has achieved at Red Bull…but I doubt if that will happen either.

    I think both of you have it right; Newey is happy at Red Bull and probably feels that has nothing more to prove.

    hero_was_senna Reply:

    Why? Whatever caused him to not win anything between 2000 and 2010, something in the Mclaren set up doesn’t allow freedom of thought.

    [Reply]

    Elie Reply:

    Wow another thing I totally agree with you on Hero. This is exactly why Mclaren have Lost the very best drivers consistently!

    Neil Barr Reply:

    Having enjoyed and very successfully utilized freedom in his current role Adrian Newey will forthwith find McLaren’s modus operandi anathema. So wonder no more. That simply won’t happen.

    [Reply]

    Doobs Reply:

    Newey isn’t the holy grail, and I doubt he’d go back to Maccas while Ron is still there.

    Macca team will come good but it will be as a re-built caring-sharing “modern” team, not the old-skool dictatorships of which Ron is probably the last of the breed.

    [Reply]

    Steve Reply:

    Red Bull ‘dominated’ only one season, 2011.

    [Reply]

    F1 for life Reply:

    What we mean by domination is yes 2011 they walked the park. 2010 Was lucky but won their 1st championship, 2011 they won their 2nd championship due to the blown exhaust diffuser was so advanced and 2012 dominated the final phases of the season with 4 GPs on the trot all due to Adrian having the right atmosphere to perform under intense pressure.

    [Reply]


  19.   19. Posted By: Merlinghnd
        Date: February 5th, 2013 @ 5:59 pm 

    Loyalty is a two way thing and not a one way street.

    Maybe Paddy Lowe feels undervalued or unappreciated, who knows.

    I think Rons world might push people to show him what they can do outside the family.

    [Reply]


  20.   20. Posted By: TheBestPoint?
        Date: February 5th, 2013 @ 6:03 pm 

    By the way James – why u no show PL with RD ;-) ?

    [Reply]


  21.   21. Posted By: F12012
        Date: February 5th, 2013 @ 6:14 pm 

    Mclaren may be a very good team, but by the sounds of it they arn’t much fun to work for.

    Watching Lewis yesterday, he does seem to be alot happier

    [Reply]

    david nelson Reply:

    He hasn’t driven the car yet!

    [Reply]

    Basil Reply:

    Made me laugh!

    [Reply]

    Doobs Reply:

    Whetehr the car is good or not, Lewis needs this for his self development I think. Same as Vettel, his success is too closely linked to having a winning car/team. A spell in the pack – hopefully for him not too far back -will grow his stature.

    [Reply]

    Kay Reply:

    I’ve always felt McLaren is like the racing world of Apple Inc.

    People love them, people wanna buy their products (MP4-12C, McLaren F1), but those who work inside… not so good. A very demanding atmosphere.

    [Reply]


  22.   22. Posted By: forzaminardi
        Date: February 5th, 2013 @ 6:15 pm 

    Ron Dennis may be an eccentric (or a downright nutter to some) but he is a visionary, and a man of principle. To my mind he, as much as Bernie, is responsible for our impression of what F1 is nowadays (which I admit is not necessarily all good!). He’s a ‘team boss’ who in my opinion ranks alongside only Enzo Ferrari in terms of his effect on F1 and the way his personality and values were and are reflected in the organisation he heads. It’s easy to underestimate what he brought to McLaren and in turn to F1 in the early 80s, it’s easy to dismiss it as ‘Ronspeak’ and marketing and management strategy; as if these things aren’t important to F1, or as if they aren’t inherent to F1′s engineering and racing. It’s easy to condemn Ron and McLaren as cold and clinical, as if a man who has achieved all he has, has dedicated his life to racing cars isn’t deeply passionate about what he does. It’s easy to dismiss McLaren as ‘just a F1 team’, too, which is what people fail to understand when they say “oh Vodafone are going to withdraw”.

    Here’s a bloke whose smallest achievement is the sporting glory and fame he’s brought to Great Britain. Here’s a bloke who has created a huge, succesful engineering and knowledge business not from scratch, but in a stepwise, logical and sustainable way, employing hundreds of people and providing an inspirational example to people in all realms of endeavour. Quite frankly, a knighthood isn’t enough.

    [Reply]

    Quade Reply:

    I heartily support Ron Dennis for a knighthood, but that doesn’t excuse McLarens apparent lack of humanity. By the way, I’ve always been a McLaren fan who has always seen their coldness as a massive problem; I guess for some of us, their engineering prowess is a stronger draw.

    To win, you need a well oiled team. To lead a wel oiled team, you must have human qualities. Engineering excelence cannot replace human leadership.

    [Reply]


  23.   23. Posted By: Gord
        Date: February 5th, 2013 @ 6:30 pm 

    I used to think “why did Hamilton leave McLaren ?” Now I think, “how could Hamilton bare staying at McLaren for so long ?!”

    [Reply]


  24.   24. Posted By: DMyers
        Date: February 5th, 2013 @ 6:30 pm 

    “We want to win with the right principles, the right values. ” As a casual observer, it tended to involve winning (and losing) without much grace or dignity when he was running the ship. Whitmarsh seems a much more conciliatory figure.

    [Reply]

    Doobs Reply:

    You can’t fault Ron’s obvious love and passion for “his” team. But in this day and age, his style is perhaps a little too much.

    [Reply]


  25.   25. Posted By: Chris
        Date: February 5th, 2013 @ 6:30 pm 

    Ron’s obviously still bitter about Hamilton’s departure from the team. Maybe he should’ve been more involved in the contract negotiations, instead of leaving the job to an incompetent Whitmarsh. This whole Hamilton to Mercedes situation is obviously a much bigger deal to Dennis than he’s led on in the press.

    McLaren aren’t going to get anywhere this season if they live in the past. He’s gone, it’s time to move on.

    [Reply]


  26.   26. Posted By: franed
        Date: February 5th, 2013 @ 6:48 pm 

    Loyalty has always been a one way thing. Employers demand it solidly of their staff, but when it is time for the company to show support for individual members it becomes insubstantial, an ideal, an aspiration which in better times etc……

    Paddy has been effectively shafted by Ross, whether he goes to Merc or not next year, Ross has effectively neutralised Paddy as far as the 2014 McLaren goes. It is a quite brilliant tactic on Ross’s part. Now if someone can say that Mr Newey will be joining them for 2014, we can see Red Bull stuffed too! :-)

    [Reply]


  27.   27. Posted By: Michael Powell
        Date: February 5th, 2013 @ 6:58 pm 

    As Frank Williams once said, F1 teams are just small engineering outfits, nothing to get excited about.

    An annual 20m annual profit is piffling, Lewis’s new jet cost more than that.

    [Reply]

    Quade Reply:

    The “small engineering outfit” bought him the jet. No?

    [Reply]

    Michael Powell Reply:

    No! He got it since leaving McLaren. Took delivery 19th January 2013.

    [Reply]

    david nelson Reply:

    Maybe he has purchased a jet but most personal jets are leased. It’s far more practical in terms of maintenance & administration etc etc. Maybe he leased one from TAG. That’s one of their core businesses. That would be a nice little bit of irony. Of course, it scores highly in the bling rating scale thingy.

    [Reply]

    david nelson Reply:

    What gives with the time??? It says 12:13pm for the above post, yet it’s only 11:34am now! Are you on CET???


  28.   28. Posted By: ArJay
        Date: February 5th, 2013 @ 7:00 pm 

    Perfectly reasonable – you can only build an effective team on loyalty

    [Reply]

    Random 79 Reply:

    Have to disagree.

    Loyalty comes from being in a good and successful working environment, not the other way around.

    [Reply]

    Michael Powell Reply:

    Exactly, you have to like being there, and that especially means liking the people in charge and their methods. You can tolerate a particular type, and Ron is certainly one of those, as long as the success is coming and job satisfaction is high.

    But when the mad-max methods are clearly not working, it’s difficult to stomach. Unless improvements come, expect a rush for the door. Perez first.

    [Reply]

    Random 79 Reply:

    And who says Perez won’t win a race this year? ;)

    Michael Powell Reply:

    I hope Perez does win a few races, he seems to be capable, is positive, and the car should be quick.

    My question is whether Sgt Major Ron yelling at him to tuck in his shirt and polish his boots will alienate his Latin temperament the way that Fernando was alienated.

    After all, there appears to be a place opening up at Ferrari next season where Perez is the ideal candidate. Indeed, probably the only one now that Hamilton, Vettel, Button, AussiGrit, Raikonnen are all out of the frame.

    Don’t bother looking anywhere further down the field for a candidate, it doesn’t work like that, Ferrari expect to picks from the best, not take a risk with underdeveloped staff.

    Random 79 Reply:

    @ Michael: Good points. Love the Aussigrit nickname, suits Mark to a T.

    @ Anyone: In case it wasn’t clear, I was referring to Perez winning the race to the door, but I do hope that he wins one or two real races this year, if only to mix up the usual suspects a bit.

    ArJay Reply:

    The driver is part of the “good and successful working environment” build process.

    [Reply]

    Random 79 Reply:

    Yep, and through that the process the driver and team build their loyalty to each either…at least in an ideal world.


  29.   29. Posted By: F1racer
        Date: February 5th, 2013 @ 7:08 pm 

    Well, when Ferrari’s schumi and Mclaren’s Mika were battling it out, i was rooting for Ferrari. I stayed loyal to Ferrari even when kimi was driving for them.

    Then alonso came to Ferrari, which made me to despise the team and i was rooting for Silver Mercedes with Schumi back at helm.

    Now that the old man has left F1, I find myself for the first time rooting for Mclaren – Go Button, Perez!!!

    [Reply]


  30.   30. Posted By: Victor
        Date: February 5th, 2013 @ 7:33 pm 

    If they want to win, bring back the finn. Bring back Raikkonen!

    [Reply]


  31.   31. Posted By: Random 79
        Date: February 5th, 2013 @ 8:35 pm 

    Perhaps if less employees were cutting themselves they might stay longer.

    [Reply]

    Sean Reply:

    Wickedly clever.

    [Reply]


  32.   32. Posted By: Steve Rogers
        Date: February 5th, 2013 @ 9:41 pm 

    If Ron has moved on, he shouldn’t be commenting. Furthermore, if he’s moved on, he probably doesn’t know the details – and shouldn’t be commenting. I do hope he doesn’t become the “all mouth and no trousers” of McLaren, another flipping “advisory role” like Lauda is not a nice prospect. Martin Whitmarsh, as usual, speaks with a straight tongue.

    [Reply]

    Kay Reply:

    Not supporting Ron’s words or his actions lately, but he DOES own the company, so why shouldn’t he comment on things that goes on in his company? He’s the head of the whole Mclaren Group so he does know what goes on, especially with 20+ years of experience in running an F1 team.

    Lauda is different, he just got landed into Merc GP and has nothing to do with Mercedes other than has a non-exec role in it.

    [Reply]


  33.   33. Posted By: Nathhulal
        Date: February 5th, 2013 @ 9:45 pm 

    This comes from a man who signed Fernando Alonso at the 2005 Brazilian GP Podium, while his two drivers suffered repeatedly that year due to unreliable car (designed by Adrian Newey, and powered by Mercedes).

    A loyal team boss would have regrouped his forces and given his drivers better car next year to revenge 2005 loss.

    Mr Dennis, Loyalty is not a one way street.

    McLaren’s ex-team manager Jo Ramírez’s autobiography shows Loyalty is not really a virtue associated with Ron Dennis.

    [Reply]


  34.   34. Posted By: Gul
        Date: February 5th, 2013 @ 10:03 pm 

    Loyalty to the job! Not to the employer! Its how I work ;)

    [Reply]


  35.   35. Posted By: McLFan4Ever
        Date: February 5th, 2013 @ 10:03 pm 

    I hated Ron for sooo many years for letting Senna leave. And still rooted for McLaren and Senna in 1994. I’d never buy a Ford or Peugeot.

    And even though I don’t believe he’s actually bitter he has every right to be. I think that just shows he hasn’t lost his passion for winning. His kind of passion reminds me of my dad who once said “Even if the prize is bag of dog turd I wanna win it”!!

    Now, I’m not a mind reader, but I think of his words as his way of motivating and mobilizing the team that’s surely impacted by Lewis leave and Paddy’s negotiations: “OK, so Lewis left, Paddy is about to, but let’s all put our heads together and give a 110% and win this bloody championship for all of us and fans”!!

    C’MON McLAREN!!

    [Reply]


  36.   36. Posted By: Clear View
        Date: February 5th, 2013 @ 10:34 pm 

    Of they tuned over 230million, then 150 of that went on the F1 team, that don’t leave that much considering they supply ECU units to several racing series’ and have that MP4-12C thing going on too. That doesn’t sound right to me not for turn over?

    [Reply]


  37.   37. Posted By: aveli
        Date: February 5th, 2013 @ 11:09 pm 

    I remember Witmarsh said he asked Hamilton if there was anything Mclaren could’ve done to stop him from signing with Mercedes. A couple of weeks ago I heard Dennis saying Mclaren could’ve stopped Hamilton but they chose not to. Now Ron says loyalty is his game.
    Ron has achieved a lot more than all the top F1 guys if you consider his fantastic technology centre and his development of fantastic cars to a fantastic high volume production facility. But I think he could further increase his profile by not making such comments and staying out of the business altogether. Just find the best people to do the best job for him. He can still attend races but stay away from microphones….after all his comments simply belittle him.

    [Reply]

    Kay Reply:

    Well said.

    If I’m doing a good job with my work, I’d expect my employer to reward me as well, rather than downsize my pay check and ask for loyalty. Totally absurd!

    [Reply]

    aveli Reply:

    absolutely, i think most rewards in f1 are performance related anyway. i think the problem at mclaren is the balance between dictatorship and democracy. the owners should let the employees know what they should do and what the limits of their creativity are.

    [Reply]


  38.   38. Posted By: Chris
        Date: February 6th, 2013 @ 1:20 am 

    Not knowing much about Paddy Lowe, how significant a move is it?

    [Reply]

    Quade Reply:

    Paddy Lowe is McLarens technical director. Thats how important it is.
    It has the potential to wreck their in-season and 2014 development, while leaking every last one of McLarens technioal tricks to Merc.

    [Reply]

    W Johnson Reply:

    Yes – Almost legalised “syping” to coin a much exaggerated phrase in F1 when you can acquire knowledge from another team by poaching their home grown talent.

    I guess Max Moseley would not see a problem with this unless of course it was McLaren!!

    [Reply]


  39.   39. Posted By: clyde
        Date: February 6th, 2013 @ 6:17 am 

    I wonder how Ron denis despite his trumpeting about equal treatment etc keeps losing drivers of the calibre of Montoya,Kimi,Alonso and now his little boy Lewis ?

    [Reply]


  40.   40. Posted By: Smellyden
        Date: February 6th, 2013 @ 10:56 am 

    James,

    On a side note, how much pressure do you think Nico Rosberg, he has never had someone to really compare against in his F1 career, and now he has a acid test?

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    Yes, pressure to deliver, but at same time, the pressure would be greater if he had an inferior team mate and it was down to him to get the results.

    [Reply]

    Random 79 Reply:

    Rosberg must have had massive pressure when he was first partnered with Schumacher, but he handled that fine and he got the results for the team.

    He knows Lewis, they’ve been team mates before (albeit years ago), so at the very least he’s a known quantity.

    I’ll think he’ll do fine, but if worst comes to worst he’ll always be the guy who got them their first win as Mercedes.

    [Reply]


  41.   41. Posted By: Michael Powell
        Date: February 7th, 2013 @ 9:34 am 

    Look, any small company needs a strong leader, and Ron is good at that, and will feel personally about the place. But employees are fools if they think the same way.

    It’s all too common for the boss to retire and sell the company to some distant conglomerate who don’t have the vision to succeed. Ask Lotus, and TVR staff how their long term loyalty has been rewarded.

    McLaren profits have been reported as £20m on a turnover of £240m. That being so, they couldn’t afford to pay Lewis Hamilton his market value. Simple enough.

    But there are other employers out there who could. Red Bull, FIAT/Ferrari and Mercedes are all mass marketeers and make pots of money, so all are easily able to pay top rates if it suits them.

    And for one company, Mercedes, the imperative was there. McLaren couldn’t compete with their finances knowing that they will have to start paying for engines from 2014.

    Don’t cry for Ron, he has now got a driver in Perez who is well within budget, so can get back to building his road cars.

    [Reply]


  42.   42. Posted By: John Gibson
        Date: February 8th, 2013 @ 11:57 pm 

    I have a lot of respect for the way in which Ron Dennis turned what was basically a failing team that was on its way out of F1 into a powerhouse in the 1980s.

    Unfortunately, I think he completely lost the plot around the time that Paragon was planned. For someone who wants to be a control freak it is incredible that he then managed to preside over a situation in which all of his chief engineers (all of them, not just Coughlan) had access to Ferrari’s 2007 car under his own nose and then tried to “contain” it with a cack handed effort to pull the wool over the FIA’s eyes.

    If I recall correctly, Mosley stated that although it happened to be the Alonso/de la Rosa emails that were used to convict the team, they could have used all manner of other emails and texts that they had also uncovered between the senior technical staff throughout McLaren, including Ron Dennis himself. Afterward, the team basically engaged in a mobbing action against Alonso that was clearly sanctioned from the highest level. I’ve never had much respect for Ron Dennis ever since, quite frankly. And in losing Alonso they lost their best chance to sustain themselves as a top team over the subsequent period. What have they got now? With the best will in the world, Button is not on the Alonso or Hamilton level. And signing Perez when they could have had Hulkenburg is just stupid.

    [Reply]

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