F1 Winter Break
Ron Dennis breaks his silence: “We will win races this year”
McLaren Honda
Posted By: James Allen  |  06 Mar 2014   |  12:31 pm GMT  |  280 comments

“We have to get back to competitiveness as soon as possible and we will get there much faster than people imagine, ” declared McLaren boss Ron Dennis this morning, breaking his silence for the first time since seizing back control of the company from Martin Whitmarsh.

“I believe we will win races this year, how many I don’t know and when I don’t know. The company was unfit and I said to them that if they match my commitment we will win. If they don’t match it they won’t be with the company.”

Dennis was on feisty form at a press gathering at the McLaren Technical Centre in Woking, England, laying out his vision for the company and for the F1 team’s return to competitiveness after its worst season since 1980.

“People were distracted, they had lost focus,” he said of the team as run by Whitmarsh last year. “[From now on] The F1 people in the company will only do F1, no distractions,” he added.

He declined to speak about Whitmarsh’s future, describing him as a friend and insisting that what is going on at the moment is “between us”. However, sources suggest that Whitmarsh is currently on holiday in Asia and will be organising his severance package when he returns later this month.

Dennis also spelled out the role he will – and more importantly won’t – undertake at races. “I have no intention of running the GP team. I guide them, advise them and will use my executive power to make changes if needed,” he said. “I’m fully involved at moment. I won’t be active at the circuit. I’m there to observe. We are in the restructuring phase at the moment and I want to be involved.”

Speaking about new recruit Eric Boullier, who has been hired as Racing Director, Dennis said: “Eric will carry the responsibility of those assigned in the regulations of a team principal.” However, Dennis, like Mercedes, believes that the job of running a team is nowadays too big today for one individual, especially when that person is out of the factory on the road at races for almost four months a year. The CEO role is  key to Dennis’ vision, factory-based and focused on developing the team and making the car faster. The new appointment to that role would leave Boullier free to run the race team. Jonathan Neale is filling the role currently and will be the benchmark against whom all other candidates will be measured.

“The factory is where the power has to be. What makes the car faster happens here,” Dennis insisted.

The McLaren boss confirmed that the team will have no title sponsor at the first race of the season, but added, “one will feature in a few races after that. We are negotiating with several companies at the moment and I’m optimistic that it will happen sooner than later.” He also said that the team had turned away several companies offering a stop-gap solution, preferring to pursue a long-term partner to replace Vodafone.

Of the team’s 2014 driver line-up he said that hiring Kevin Magnussen was his decision, based on information from engineers. As for Jenson Button, he described him as an “incredibly good human being, principled and [he] has values. The way he conducts his life and his relationship with the team is right up there with the best drivers we have had here. He’s incredibly fit and intelligent, which will be important this year. He’s also quick and capable of winning races and championships. His age (34) will have nothing but a positive impact.”

In a sign that Dennis’ presence in the F1 paddock may influence the direction the sport takes on several topics, he indicated both that he was not a fan of budget caps and also that he has “done his bit” for the collective good in the past and from now on will be focused on what is best for McLaren, rather than the F1 teams as a whole.

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Fistey words indeed, hope he does bring McLaren back to winning ways this year.

Funny his comments about Jenson, doesn't read like Dennis thinks much of him as a racer! Should never have lost Hamilton, can't get Alonso back, No chance of Vettel, Kimi back eating Itallian icecream, who could they get.....

I still think Hulkenberg is the best driver that could be accessible to McLaren


Its great to see Jenson back in competitive car.

A good seanson in 2014 could extend his career by another 5 years.


On the contrary, Ron rates Jenson very highly. This is what he said: "In many ways there are similarities between Ayrton and Jenson," the 66-year-old group chief executive told reporters at a pre-season briefing at the McLaren factory in southern England.

"He is an incredibly good human being. He has principles and values. And the way that he conducts his life and his relationship with this team is right up there with some of the other great drivers who have been with us."


Another problem for Mclaren is that guys like SV, Alonso, LH are not just the best drivers, they are probably some of the best of all time. I mean how often you have 3 or 4 guys on the grid who can win multiple world championships. Jenson is one of those guys who can win one. The rest of the guys are like Nikki Laudas. Even if they produce a great car, they are still in trouble if they can't get one of them.


News flash son, Hamilton only has one championship to his name, just like Button.

And if a guy who hasn't finished any higher than 4th for the last 5 years in a row makes it onto your list of best drivers of all time, it must be a sad list!


The last thing a driver wants to described as is a nice guy. It's like the girl you want to date saying "your like a brother" jenson should be making plans now and keep his well deserved credibility like webber


Yes, saying he's incredibly intelligent, quick, a world champion and incredibly fit do sound rather like Ron is belittling Jenson Button!


This is what he said:

“There are similarities to Ayrton [Senna] in many ways. He is an incredibly good human being. He has principles and values, and the way he conducts his life and his relationship with his team is right up there with other great drivers.

“He is dedicated and I don’t think anybody has a better physical condition. He is intelligent, which has become an absolute prerequisite now… and he’s quick. He’s capable of winning races and world championships. He’s also an incredible mentor to Kevin.”


Ron's no fool, he'll keep or let Button go according to how he judges his worth. Remember Ron hired and kept drivers like Watson, Rosberg, Johannson, Berger, Brundle, Blundell, Coulthard and Kovalainen because they fitted the picture at the time. I'd suggest Button's future is less dependent on his own form (which as he's a professional and highly capable driver, ought be good) and more on Magnussen's. If Magnussen begins to look like a genuine potential Championship contender in the future, then Button has the ability and personality to compliment that - why rock the boat? If, on the other hand, Magnussen does OK but not outstandingly, then McLaren may take the view of giving him a second bite in 2015 while bringing in someone like Grosjean or Hulkenberg.

Anyway, its terrific that Ron is back in the sport - he is a legend, and for my money the most significant team boss since Enzo Ferrari.


Rock the boat because Jenson would be too expensive for that role


He expects Magnussen to "keep Jenson honest" this year with his speed


I rather suspect he will do more than keep Jenson honest. He seems an out and out racer that is likely to cause some embarrassment in the Button camp!


Is there something in between your lines about Jenson?


Ron's mention of Buttons age can only mean one thing. Lets get used to a long farewell this year.

Ron obviously see's the future in Magnussen and is going to build McLaren around him.

Magnussen is another Hamilton. Lets go there!


Totally! It took 'til the 4th sentence for him to say he's quick and capable of race wins.

Backhanded compliment extraordinaire!


If Button is for the chop next year, they'd have to look at Vandoorne if he performs well this year.


Jenson is not slow, he may not be the fastest over a single lap but it is being the fastest finisher that counts. Jenson Button has these qualities and has shown unshakable loyalty and commitment to Mclaren. Ron Dennis is a very intelligent man and buttons ability to get to the of races at or near the front won't be lost on him. I don't believe his words inferred that Jenson is out after this year, more likely that as long as he delivers he's ok, if not I'm pretty sure both parties will review their respective positions


I agree, this new formula will likely play directly in to Jensons hands with fuel economy etc..I believe Ron has targeted a similar approach / pairing as Senna/Prost.

One really fast up and coming and one seasoned, smart "professor" type driver.

For this reason I believe Mclaren are in VERY good shape this year.

If they can get the engineering right and with Ron already saying focus or lose your job you would have to think the factory will be on to it sooner rather than later....


+1 - Thank you for a balanced view.

While we all have our passions for individual drivers and teams, and certainly hope for the best for our favorites (with or without ear rings), the decisions will be made by those responsible and production (points and speed) will play a significant role. So will personalities, abilities behind the scenes and sponsorships. The car's gotta work, too.

Dimitar Kadrinski

I though the same think as well, Denis talking about Button not as a racer, but hope he will be proven wrong.

You are also probably right about Hulkenberg (given the right guidance and support ... maybe), but I do not underestimate McLaren's (Ron's mainly) capability of selecting the right drivers given the situation. Perhaps Magnussen really IS a better choice than any of the available drivers in the paddock... why would they hire him otherwise, now that Ron is involved as well? 🙂


wouldn't it be odd if perez outperforms both mclaren drivers this season?


delicious, along with Massa outperforming Alonso and Chilton outperforming Vettel!

Jose Sanchez kowalsky

He pushed to get magnussen, to be the next hamilton. For all the reasons you just mentoned.


He chose magnussen over Hulk, could that have been an emotional decision to send a message to Lewis.

Kind of like a girl on a rebound.

Jose Sanchez kowalsky

No. Like he said. They have the best pilots available. He knows they are not the best, but the way to get the best ones, is to build the best car. And this what he is trying to achieve. Magnussen was a better choice than Perez, cheaper and a product of McLaren. Better in all respects.


Certainly strange, to address aspects of Button other than racing.


But if you read again you will see that the article has been expanded. It now includes RD saying that Jenson is quick and can win races and championships. Seems James unintentionally set a booby trap with the origin abridged version!


I've always thought the truth in F1 is not what they say but what they don't say...


agree re. Jenson, all that opening positive line, just PR bulls...

and then this sentence,

"He’s incredibly fit and intelligent, which will be important this year"

one could read that Jenson is expected to stay only this year.


You could read it that way, or you could read it as "in this year where there are a lot of changes the qualities that Jenson has will be especially important". If you were objective.

Honda come next year. JB, with his Japanese fiancée and popularity in Japan would still be an asset to McLaren.


So presumably that would mean that after this year one could be fat, thick and still drive a Mclaren, perhaps they are going to have cars that drive themselves so that they retain their relevance to road cars!


Completely agree.

"incredibly fit" is not a real praise for an F1 driver as they are all extremely fit.

"intelligent" is not good enough if you are not fast enough. Other drivers are also intelligent (e.g. Alonso, Vettel, Raikkonen).

"this year" means this year ONLY, because next, you are out. Thank you very much. He could have saved "in this new V6 era", but no, he preferred to say "this year".


Does this mean no more sponsor chasing? Lewis always complained about the sponsor demands which appeared mighty on Mclaren drivers than in any other team. (slightly off topic but i always considered unfair the charge of "not consistent" which i felt igonored 2007&2012 but mostly ignored the distracting demands Mclaren made on their drivers - not to say some like Button possibly enjoyed schmoozing with co-operates - may be he did may be he didn't)

I am happy to see that they have at least learned lessons from the breakup of the Lewis relationship - 1. less driver sponsor distractions and then 2. comments that came out earlier that they would "protect KMag" from the media..

Still a lot of pressure on KMag...i love how RD does not shy away from sharing his high expectations in advance but do hope they are ensuring he can cope with it.

Twice as much pressure on Button (emotional goes without saying ) but, adding this to the SkySports article, job wise he will need to be up for it this year...


Although I am a Lewis fan, he was always whining about the sponsor work that came with the job, yet Jenson just gets on with it because he knows "which side his bread is buttered". None of the drivers, no matter how good would would have the fame and wealth that they do without the sponsorship money (plus a good future after F1).

Jenson clearly appreciates how fortunate he is whereas Lewis (presumably) maybe thinks he deserves it because he is fast (ok he does up to a point but the money has to come from somewhere eh?)


why do you have to say you're lewis' fan? to convince us or yourself? people might just work out whether you're a fan or not by what you write about him.


JB isn't a racer in the way that LH was, and the latter was very much Ron's protégé. I think Ron's preference is more for that kind of charger behind the wheel of one of his cars, but that's not JB's style.

You have to remember, though, that it's not enough for a driver to be a charger; you need the intelligence to manage the car and the race, and those are area's Jenson is more gifted in.

In that context, I'm not overly surprised at the way he expressed his opinion.


Jenson is overrated!

There are plenty of drivers who can manage a race intelligently and make tyre last longer.

Drivers like Grosjean, Raikkonen, Vettel, Alonso, DiResta can all manage tyres and clocking fast laps.

Button always have problems handling Pirelli tyres despite media claiming he has a 'smooth' driving style.


JB, You may not have noticed but in the majority of races (though not all) Button did indeed manage his tyres way better than Perez. Perez often had to do a 3 stops to Button's two and in the later part of the year when Button had a few very crap quali sessions, Button may have ended up behind Perez on occassion, but always drove the faster race. Think about it for a second, that can happen.

It's already been said, but Button is about to start his 15th year in the same job. Not many people can say that about regular jobs these days. Button is in an elite sport known for its ruthless dismissal of under performers, especially when there is no sponsorship involved. But 15 years later he's not only still there making up the numbers but has a title to go with it.

I think most people should just acknowledge that their dislike of Button cannot be based on his abilities or supposed lack of, but simply because they don't like him. And as Ron stated described him as an . . . . "incredibly good human being, principled and [he] has values."

How many people can you say that about. There is no reason for such negative opinion. Button works very hard for his team, for himself and unselfishly for many other people in his charity work while most other drivers are complaining about their pay, smoking outside hotels and getting mugged or getting a new tattoo.


Andrew J.

2011 Pirellis is the most conservative tyre made to date. The true litmus test was 2012 and 2013 where many drivers simply confused with the tyres.

Canadian GP was great showcase of an experience driver winning a race. Unfortunately, he is not able to do that every GP.

There are plenty of drivers of similar caliber to Jenson Button. For example, Mark Webber and Adrian Sutil.

I feel he is overrated because commentators always says he has a smooth gentle driving style which preserves tyres. That is just not true! He is just driving slower than others, of course he is gonna be nicer to the tyres.

Perez has been able to be faster and save more tyres than Button.


No-one is saying that there aren't plenty of other drivers who can drive a race intelligently and manage their tyres; of course there are.

I don't get this JB is overrated schtick. It seems to be a view held by some F1 fans, but you don't get a long career in F1 if you're overrated. Jenson is about to start his 15th season. Clearly the folk in F1 who have a far better understanding of the sport than we ever will seem to think him good enough to have kept him there that long.

As for Pirelli tyres, he seemed to manage fine in 2011. Second in the WDC and that epic race in Canada...


Jenson just has the experience that comes with age. All chargers age and gain experience - just look at Alonso and Kimi.

Jenson has nothing special to offer McLaren.


Hey, Ron liked Alain Prost in the team, he brought points and Championships with his measured, if less than spectacular, driving. If Magnusson is a "charger" then perhaps having a more "cerebral" team mate is the perfect combination. Don't underestimate Jensons ability to get the most out of the myriad unknowns all the teams face this year. And if he does a good job is Ron really going to drop a "Mclaren man"? I think we must wait and see.


Button is not good enough to carry The Proffesors jock, don't even compare the 2!




Prost drove for Mclaren 6 season.

Won 3 World Championships, and finished 2nd in another 2.

And won 28 GP.

Ron Dennis, or any other team owner, would have loved him regardless of his driving style.


Anybody considered the possibility that Magnusson might turn out to be utter poop? Wouldn't be the first time a great new hope failed to live up to the hype.


His performances in testing last year and this suggest he has what it takes

Now it's a head game, coping with pressure


I think Ron Dennis is saying some good bits about Button because he has no other option for this year, but given the choice, he'd rather take the fast driver over the intelligent one. Just remember, he preferred to keep Senna over Prost, and Hamilton over Alonso. Even in the intelligent and mature drivers, I am sure he rates Alonso and Raikkonen far more than Button.

If Dennis is serious about McLaren becoming competitive again, then he needs to replace Button with someone better in 2015.


What you say about 'given the choice' is my point of view exactly. That's Ron's preference, but if you look at the article you'll see it's been expanded. Ron goes on to say that JB is quick, and capable of winning races and championships. That seems a reasonable endorsement to me.

Anyhow, it's a bit premature to speculate on who will be driving where next year. Suffice to say that if either McLaren driver wins the WDC this year, I doubt Ron will give them the boot for 2015.


Ronspeak may rate Kimi and Fernando more than Jenson - privately anyway! - but that doesn't mean he is right. Remember, Fernando was taken to the cleaners by Lewis in his debut year! As for Kimi, he was humiliated by Felipe in 2008/2009 (before Hungary 2009) - hardly brilliant pedigree - both of the 2014 drivers are great, but flawed - Fernando throws a hissy fit if things don't go his way, while Kimi can sulk and be disinterested. If you read Autocourse 2008 it says this on Fernando: "Alonso is a great driver, but if he handled his relationship with McLaren better, he may now [at the end of 2008] be celebrating four world titles."

I guess you don't rate Jenson, which is fair enough, it's your opinion, but I would say this: the Vroom from Frome has the correct temperament and mental capacity against his competitors: and in this fuel restricted new formula that may just well play into Jenson's hands.




Couldn't agree more. They better hope KM is a winner because there'll not be a list of top drivers knocking his door anytime soon


Well Ron Dennis was always a man that did not mince his words, and he means to re-vitalise the McLaren F1 team. As to losing Hamilton, I think that has been part of the decline of McLaren with Hamilton seeing his opportunities with the team sliding away. Personally I think he made the right decision to join Mercedes just at the right time. That of course will not worry McLaren too much because they have got another fast driver in Magnussen


Didn't mince his words?! No, just flayed and tortured them into an order now ken'd as 'ronspeak'


Well if one is going to be successful then one has to be single minded. - There's no other way! There are perhaps different approaches, but the end result is the same. - To succeed everyone has to give 100%.


You sound like Merc have already won 2014, 2015 and 2016...It is only 2014 yet, with only pre-season testing behind us, and you are already doing what you claim the "not so smart reporters did back then" - speculating. No outsider knows yet what the pecking order will be in AUS, let alone more crucially mid-season.


I think you slotted your response in the wrong place as I made not mention of reporters or Mercedes chances this year, just I think Hamilton made the right move at the right time to re-iterate.


now we see more evidence of how intelligent hamilton is. he was able to sense the rot in mclaren and realised the potential in mercedes at a time most reporters weren't smart enough to realise what he was on about. he kept repeating the fact that he was targeting 2014 and they seemed not to hear him but prophecised their wishes which never bore fruits.


Yes I certainly hope it proves a good year for Lewis. It seems this car is more to his liking than last year, and according to Gary Anderson who was watching Hamilton drive was impressed with the way he controlled the torque/ wheelspin on corner exit.


You have made some really good points.

I am sure Ron Dennis prefers a "bad boy" racer driving fast, than a "good human" being slow. So his praise for Button means that Button will get dropped next year. It's a kind of "thank you very much Jense, but we won't be needing your services beyond this year".

Hulkenberg is a good option, but I am not sure the Hulk would risk coming with an unproven Honda next year if as is expected the Mercedes-powered teams dominate this year.

I think Grosjean is probably their best option for next year because of Boullier being there.


Ron has and always will prefer to create champions rather than hire them.


I don't remember Senna, Prost, Lauda, Alonso, Raikkonen, Button being "created" or discovered by Ron Dennis.

As James pointed out, Ron Dennis would hire anyone he would rate as a top driver.

As we know, there were also talks in 1998 to hire Michael Schumacher. McLaren were also interested in retaining the services of Raikkonen for 2007, and it's only when he decided to leave for Ferrari that he chose to replace him with Hamilton. Hamilton was not his first choice, the older Raikkonen was.

Even Whitmarsh tried first to place Magnussen at another team, and then decided to replace Perez because he had been unconvincing.



Not to worry ! Next McLaren driver will be Maldonado...just think of this: McLaren does not have a sponsor yet....Lotus is in very bad shape so.....PDVSA will move to McLaren pretty soon with his promising protege.....

You will see!


With all the crap going on in Venezuela right now, I can imagine teams running away from Maldonado and his PDVSA money, if there IS any money..


You're dreaming. Nice try, though. lol


Correct me if I'm wrong, but haven't McLaren got a long history of employing one very experienced driver and a young gun? Thinking of young Alain Prost and Lauda to pinch the experienced John Watson the younger Prost to stir up veteran Lauda, young Senna to pressure Prost, Berger and Häkkinen to push Senna, Coulthard to give Häkkinnen a kick, Kimi Räikkönen to get Coulthard going, Button to match young Hamilton and later Perez and Magnussen to pressure Button. Hülkenberg vs. Magnussen seems to be a little close for McLaren terms.


Berger and Senna were about the same age and level of experience, same for Lauda and Watson, same for Coulthard and Hakkinen...


That's a pretty good read in between the lines Ahmad. Ron obviously wants to re-energize the team, but he's also saying that they will use Jenson's attributes for all they are worth this year. If I'm not mistaken, Jenson is out of contract at the end of the year.


Hulkenberg would jump at the chance to join a top team like McLaren, assuming he didn't have better offers elsewhere.


+1, I think you may end being right about Grosjean replacing Button.


Something I have seen?

Just Grosjean's driving, especially his massive improvement in 2013 from his sketchy 2012.

As JK pointed out he has a little way to go, but there's nothing wrong with his speed so if he continues to mature and improve this year I can definitely see him being picked up by a team like McLaren at some point - maybe next year, maybe not, we'll see 🙂


random, you must've drawn your opinion from something you have seen. am keen to find out what that is.


@JK, there's still room for improvement, but if I was in his (or Vettel's) position I'd probably feel like chucking a tantrum too.

@aveli, no concrete evidence, it's just what I think might happen - I could very well be wrong 🙂


where is the evidence that grosjean will drive the car faster than button?


That tantrum in the pits during testing by Grosjean summed up his maturity and intelligence... shouting and yelling will not make the car faster, more importantly it will not make friends..


Exactly what I was trying to say about Grosjean going there now with Eric running the show.

Young boy Magnussen is there to say. So Jenson's days are numbered.

But Romain has to impress this year, then only Eric can persuade Ron to hire him. Lets see how it goes.

And yes, is Bottas on a long term contract with Williams? Bottas is another candidate that can fit well into Ron's McLaren team. He is a Finn afterall 😉 Especially since the Williams car is quick, Bottas will have a good chance to outshine Grosjean and will be looking to do that for sure.


they have two great drivers.


Really? Where? Whitmarsh was the only thing standing between Button and the door. If he doesn't show something this year he's history.


After Button's 3 years against Hamilton how exactly did you come to that conclusion???

Honestly, Button could have beaten Hamilton every single year they were team mates and [mod] like you would still say he's no good and Hamilton is the best.



button is a champion and magnussen looks like he can drive that car as fast as button if not faster. you will this evidence when the season starts next weekend.


McLaren will never win until they admit Button is a bottom of the barrel driver...

It saddens me that Ron has not flat out admitted this - this is the first important step to recovery...

Maybe Ron has already scrapped this year, and is focusing on 2015, with a real driver.



First thing that makes this glaringly obvious is having Hamilton in tier 1. The guy has not finished any higher than 4th in the championship for the last 5 years - and he's a tier 1 driver?

You then have Button in tier 2 - the same guy who pretty much pegged Hamilton in 2 of their 3 years together and then finished 2nd in the WDC in the year he became the only driver to beat Hamilton. Not to mention the fact that in the end he brought in more points for McLaren than Hamilton did.

Anyone else see the problem with that???

Oh, but that's right, I forgot - every time Hamilton doesn't do well it's because it's the fault of his team, his team mate, the team principal favouring the other driver, other 'freaking ridiculous' drivers, the stewards being racist etc. etc. etc.

Whenever he does well, it's because he's the best driver ever.

However, whenever Button does well it's because he's 'lucky' and whenever he doesn't do well it's simply because he's a tier 2 driver.

My God!

So tell me, how many more years does Hamilton have to finish 4th or lower in the WDC before you and all the rest of his fans actually realise he's not that good??


Please don't attack other posters. THat is against the rules here


The "TIER" systems made the commentors in this part the thread seem to have neglected the fact that Button was pretty much on par with Lewis much of the time. Not better for sure, but he held his own. More than most can say and comes out as the ONLY driver EVER to have beaten Lewis over a season, so it really belittles your "TIER" system. EVEN Alonso didn't beat Hamilton in their time together.

As for what Ron says about Button. We all no Ron doesn't beat about the bush, if he didn't want to say anything good about Button he would have said NOTHING, but he didn't. He wrote Button's CV.

The problem is, people just want to twist anything they can anyway they can to suit their own agenda and that is just delusional.


I think you need to give Jenson a bit more respect, as your comments do not tally with his results.



I agree with most of your ratings, including Button. But McLaren lack a title sponsor, and they wouldn't meet Hamilton's financial terms either. The Big 3 have more money, and have locked up the top 4 drivers. So they have the probably 5th best. That isn't a bad thing given the financial disparities between the works teams and the privateers...


Interesting post, one which will get a lot of angry responses from the Brit pack fans I suspect. Personally, I don't believe Button is the kind of top class number 1 driver that McLaren need at the moment. But neither is he bottom of the barrel. I see him as a top tier 2 performer. B+. The problem is, when you are a team of the might of McLaren, a B+ driver as your number 1 is simply not enough. I thought McLaren had a brilliant line up with Hamilton and Button as then Button was an experienced number 2. But right now, Magnussen, for all his natural talent and raw pace, is not going to bring in the kind of points that Hamilton would have a few years back.

To make McLaren's driver line up fantastic for 2014, they either needed a tier 1 driver to go with the rookie Magnussen or a another tier 2 to go with Button. Right now they have a tier 2 and a rookie. Even if the McLaren car was on a par with the Mercedes car in terms of performance, all things being equal, the Mercedes drivers are a stronger pair and would bring home the championship in my opinion. It's a harsh reality but one that McLaren are clearly well aware of themselves considering their efforts to snatch Alonso away from Ferrari last year.

For my money;

Tier 1 - Alonso, Vettel, Hamilton, Raikkonen

Tier 2 - Button, Hulkenberg, Rosberg

Tier 3 - Grosjean, Perez, Massa et al.


Hey, I'm the first to admit that Button is not in the top tier of drivers, but as a world champion, and on pure driving skill, he has earned more respect than you have shown.

Please reposition your comment.


There are no truly bad drivers in F1. Sure they aren't all the best of the bunch but they can't all be. Even maligned drivers like Maldonado and laughed at drivers like Chilton are far superior to 99% of the drivers you will find in most categories. Button has bested many of them and won a championship. To say he's a bottom of the barrel driver is not only insulting but betrays a serious lack of knowledge or understanding. You may find Button unexciting or lacking compared to the drivers who win multiple championships and that's fine - but dismissing him outright just makes you look like an immature fool.


[Mod] your opinion does not bear any resemblence to reality. Button is FAR from a bottom-of-the-barrel driver. He may not be the headline-grabber that Alonso, Hamilton or Raikkonen are but Ron knows what he needs to happen within the team and Button's expereince, with so many changes to the cars this year, is worth much.


are you suggesting that you decide who wins?


Loved the line " Company was unfit and I said to them that if they match my commitment we will win. If they don’t match that they won’t be with the company" #ronspeak #Maccarevival


That "unfit" company designed the car with which Ron expects to win races this year.

I'm glad Ron's back but I didn't like that remark . It seems dismissive of the good, hard work that was done before his coup (and under Martin's leadership).


Jenson Button will more than match Rons' commitment so he will win and his job is safe, After all if that doesn't turn out to be true then Ron will have to go too!


Surely #Macciavelli? 😉


It would be be great to see the folks in grey do the #macarena !!


Great line indeed.

The competition has very much changed though, and the challenge to win in F1 has become bigger than ever because of an increase in the number of "big" teams who come every year with the expectation to win (RBR, Merc, Ferrari, McLaren).


Dennis sounding like he's lost none of his authoritative tones, excellent to see. Hopefully McLaren has a stronger year!


Yup, those same "authoritarian tones" that initially drew the company a $100million fine was it?


Ooh get Ron! Love it!


Death stare at gathered staff. Speak sternly to cars. Make go fast. Will win, By Order Management.


James, maybe silly question, but what do you think about Alonso getting back to McLaren? Is that possible?


...or why not join Williams if MAS manages to beat him with help of a super packages this year, and they keep the merc engine...just to set the record straight.


What do you say in England, fool me once shame on you fool me twice shame on me? I think R D will have to dream about having ALO again for a long long time, before it becomes a reality. He does not stand the guy, nor does his fans.

Merc, and a Reunion with HAM, is much more probable than a move to a Dennis Mclaren, especially if they prove very competitive...or RB if VET dares this time.


I think if Ferrari flops this year and Mercedes-powered teams do well, Alonso is more likely to try to go to a Mercedes-powered team in 2015. It also depends how much competitive McLaren are this year, because Honda's arrival is more risky for him.

McLaren will try to target Alonso or Grosjean for 2015 in replacement for Button.


I guess instead of Alonso, Ron will try to make a move for Vettel ...He has always tried to get the best at Mclaren - made approaches to all top talent in the past - Senna, Prost, Lauda, Hakkinen, Schumacher , Raikkonen, Alonso


I think it's gonna be many years before RBR is in the top three again, so Vettel will definitely be looking 2 or 3 years from now.


Button disagrees,

"I was driving with Ricciardo for quite a few laps and he couldn't get past me on the straights. He overtook me around the outside of Turn 11 instead, which is a high-speed left-hander. I've never seen anything like that before. If they can complete a race distance, they'll be near the front."

Renault will be allowed to develop their power unit to gain reliability. They apparently have enough pure power. RBR still has the biggest budget, they'll be back with the front runners at the start of next year at the latest, in my opinion.


Vettel is not the fastest young gun out there, but he does have a winners ego.

In todays F1, there are just 3 drivers who think they are gods over all; Lewis, Alonso and Vettel.


I* never said Vettel had bad reflexes, no F1 driver does. He's just not the fastest, and as for those "experts," many are looking for ways into F1 - all you've got to do is follow the smell of the money.

For Rob Wilson, I read his interest to mean he feels he can improve Vettels driving. Since Vettel has always been in a somewhat weakened position (where many doubt him), he just might pick up the phone.

Rob Wilson has a standard test for drivers abilities, he pits himself against them in first an old banger and then a genuinely fast car. Only two drivers have been able to match him; Kimi and Lewis. Kimi matched his time, Lewis was IMMEDIATELY faster than him (Rob Wilson had exactly nothing to teach him).

I don't know if Rob Wilson has ever been with Alonso or any other fast driver (eg Schumarcher or Hakinnen), something tells me they would also be either match him out of the box or be faster than him like Lewis was.


Ok, I don't get where you see this supposed bad reflexes of Seb, a Monaco GP winner btw, but I'll leave you to that impression.

Seb must be one hell of a Jedi knight to have fooled all these experts into thinking his one of the best, and fastest, drivers of the current field. They certainly haven't been lamenting, or exalting, depending on their allegiances, over his slow reflexes, which slow him down so much.


Having great reflexes is what feeds into your technique. There is no time to think while negotiating a bend, braking and watch the rear end of the car ahead - its all reflexes. A driver who is taught the best line will always be beaten by the one who takes it by instinct, its an innate thing.

It is reflexes that enable the driver feel the car and set it up properly. The fastest drivers are always the best with setup; from Schumacher to Hakennen, from Lewis to Alonso etc.

Razor sharp reflexes are what enable the driver dare the walls at Monaco.

Working with a team is secondary to good reflexes. Ask those that employ (and reemploy) Kimi.


Ok, I'll bite. The age difference between, say, 15 and a half and 18 is obviously very significant in terms of physical (and emotional) development levels. By the time they reach F1 they are already physically developed, so the age difference is much less significant.

l also hate to brake it to you, but all pro racers would have had driver coaching at some point, especially while racing in junior formulae (like, I don't know, say f3, for instance). Many will still go back to them when they develop a problem, or struggle to change their style to adapt to regulation and equipment changes. Almost all pro athletes know by now that coaching helps with technical activities, they are not all egomaniac dinosaurs.

And, contrary to your belief, having great reflexes does not mean you automatically have naturally perfect technique. Having great reflexes also doesn't teach you how to work with a team on set up and the like.


I never said Vettel was slow. I just said he is not the fastest and gave practical steps necessary to deduce that others like Alonso and Lewis are faster.

Driver coaches?!

They aren't important in F1. Its the telemetry and computer simulation that count; no driver coach can improve your reflexes. Certainly, none of the top drivers has one (they express disdain at the idea). Fitness coaches are another matter, but those only make you run, lift weights, take your vitamins and eat a banana at the right time.

There is an even bigger age difference between Alonso and Lewis, but no one considers those things on track.


Then why do they have driver coaches, like The Racer's Edge (YouTube show with Peter Windsor under the umbrella of F1 Racing Magazine) regular Rob Wilson? (Btw, another expert that rate Seb as one of the very best of the current crop.)

Look, Seb has readily admitted that he approached F3 wrongly, he thought he could approach it like Formula BMW, where he could skate by on pure talent. He had to lose, and lose a lot, to have that arrogance beaten out of him, that he had to listen and learn how to do it better, how to work with the team. And he evidently learned it fast enough to avoid the chop at Red Bull, who must have seen enough natural speed to persevere with him, having been notoriously quick to dump those they deem not to be WDC material.

I see you continue to ignore the two and a half year age difference with Hamilton and the overwhelming expert view of his talents.

So forevermore hold onto those results against him and dismiss him as slow, if you must. I'm out.



It isn't my logic, cold fact.

Talent is innate and there is only so much that can be done to hone it. You have it or you don't. If you were naturally faster than someone else yesterday, then you'll be naturally faster than them today.

I recall Lewis beating Paul di Resta in the Formula 3 series in 2005. It was a real thumping, with Paul di Resta finishing 10th (Vettel finished 5th). Go figure.

@JCA, execution and technique are almost totally due to reflexes.

For example, smooth drivers are usually slower than aggressive drivers (whose reflexes allow them brake and accelerate at the optimum spots without fear of losing control).



So by your logic Paul DiRester is faster than all of them?


Speed is a function of both reflexes and execution. Drivers can absolutely gain pace by improving their technique, particularly in corners.

Vettel is also more than 2 years younger than Hamilton, so would have been behind in both experience and physical development at the age they were competing against each other. Different regulations also emphasises different strengths, thus favouring different drivers.

You can also not deny that there is a marked difference in the valuation of Vettel by fans and experts. The vast majority of experts rate Seb amongst the best of the current field.


JCA, a drivers speed is down to their reflexes. That is all the "data" there is. So if driver A beat driver B 8 years ago and they are roughly in the same age bracket, the same would be the outcome today.

Its an innate skill. If Lewis was faster than Vettel yesterday, then baring illness, he still is today. If Alonso's speed was close to Lewis, then he too is faster than Vettel. Its the same way Lewis and Vettel can never train hard enough to be as smart as Alonso, its innate.

Its the same across all sports. That's why Mohammed Ali was champ so many times, that's why Tiger Woods has been golfs number one for so long, its why Messi has repeatedly been crowned the greatest current footballer, its why very few can bend it like Beckham or stop it like Vidic.


So, by using junior formulae results, you believe all drivers develop at the same rate, and if one was faster than another 8 years ago, then he would still be faster today?

You are demonstrating the difference between fans and experts. Fans draw direct conclusions from driver Wikipedia pages, so if driver A beat driver B half a decade ago, with completely different aero regs, refueling regs and tyre design philosophy that driver B beat driver C 3 years earlier, then driver A would beat driver C now, again with a completely different set of regulations.

Experts and insiders look at all available data, the teams have all sector times by all drivers at all race weekends and test sessions, for one. They can make a much more informed judgement on driver ability. They have consistently rated Sebastian amongst the best (he has finished 1, 2, 1, 2, 1 in the last 5 Autosport team principals poles, for example).


I didn't mention Button in the post you are referring to though.

As for Vettel being faster than Alonso, we can infer from Alonso's time at McLaren that he's a near match for Lewis Hamilton's raw pace. Then, drawing from lower series, we can infer that Vettel is not nearly a match with Lewis; so we can safely conclude that Alonso being a near match to Lewis, is faster than Vettel.


In your posts you been belittling Button and now Vettel, are you serious? Vettel is probably THE fastest in F1, if he isn't then he is close and definitely faster than Alonso, and whats the problem with Button? He might not be the very best in F1 but he's certainly a world champion and can beat any driver in a championship battle, hardly a terrible racer.


I think it's the fans who think they are gods rather than the drivers themselves. The drivers seem to be able to be far more objective about themselves than their fans ever can.


Vettel would be great. And I'm sure Alonso is fed up with Ferrari, they obviously have problems again and he won't win another WDC with them. McLaren-Honda is very attractive combination.


Listen to BBC Radio 5 Live tonight from 7pm..


Great podcast and does an excellent job of building the excitement and anticipation for Melbourne. Can't wait. James - do you guys provide track-side access to your commentary via an FM radio link? Not sure what the latency will be like trying to stream from the UK (probably won't be able to given trying to access UK copyright broadcast from Aussie internet servers) so would be great if we could get your commentary live at the event.


You will be able to hear our commentary via new source soon, but I'll wait for it to be announced..


Will this be available as a podcast james?


is there any podcast archive of that available please :)?


You should be able to access it on BBC Iplayer it was on at around 7-32 this evening


Maybe a reply on JAonF1 tonight at 9pm? 🙂


Yeah, some of us can't ...


Podcast tomorrow.


Some of us internationals may be unable to James...


It usually gets released as a podcast the next day on the bbc sport and bbc radio websites. At least the preview and review shows on race weekends do.


Would be good to see McLaren and Williams back to winnning and podiums.

If Massa/Williams consistently beats Alonso/Ferrari. Now that would be irony!

Ferrari booted him out into a better car!


- SD: Fernando, Felipe is faster than you

- FA: What?

- SD: Yes, push, he is going to... it doesn't matter, he just overtake you

- FA: Mamma mia!


"If Massa/Williams consistently beats Alonso/Ferrari. Now that would be irony!"

This is something I'm really hoping for!


"Massa, Alonso is faster than you..."

"Yes, because right now I am driving through the pit lane" 😉


I think it is going to happen, and noone will be more upset than Alonso...


I have a lot of respect for Ron and these are some very strong statements indeed, and oh so very Ron like!

But no title sponsor for McLaren at the opening racing? This is the main story here for me!


Great to have Ron back, articulating exactly the kind of of clear, strong vision that McLaren have been lacking.

James, any rumours on who a new title sponsor might be?

H.Guderian (ALO fan)




Care to guess again? A serious one this time... 🙂

I reckon Gillette, because when you cut yourself you bleed McLaren 😉


people will think he has his fingerprints all over this new car, and assume he brought winning ways back, when really it would have been done last year before whitmarsh got the push. like at merc its all toto and niki's car no mention of the RB word......no not redbull...ross brawn.


Toto Wolfe and Nicki lauda have been at Merc for more than a season now. When will you begin giving them credit?

As for the design of this years McLaren, never underestimate what a strong voice can do to morale and direction, even at the tail end - I notice there was no case of McLaren fixing any parts back to front at Jerez this year. Hmmm!


Uncharacteristicly very clear for Ron given the need for McLaren to get back to winning ways. I was hoping for some great Ron speak. 🙁


I posted on this forum some time ago I wondered if in developing their road car range McLaren had lost its focus and commitment to F1. I know that sounds harsh, but in five odd years they can never unlock the secrets of the Red Bull - and although they have won grand prix in the last 5 years, Macca have not won the constructors title - which for any team has to be the ultimate aim.

I'm not being big headed or told you so, but Ronspeak's statement that Macca were "distracted and lost focus" does seem to indicate that McLaren lost their primary focus when they went into the road car sector.

Coincidence? After all, Brackley, Milton Keynes and Grove just exist to build F1 cars.

Anyway, welcome back Ron, but it's your design department that needs a thorough shake up, as they have lacked vision, direction and clarity of thought - although, to give them the benefit of the doubt, they may have hit the sweet spot this year.


Even if so i feel the very evident strides forward on car development there (they seem as good if not better than any other supercars) the dividends will pay back towards the F1 team both financially and tech wise i would think. And of course Ron has that bit extra clearly has as much if not more success passion as anyone else in F1 must have been really frustrating for him with his hands tied the last few seasons.


Other teams couldn't unlock Red Bull secrets, because engines were homologated. No other reason.

The teams had mistakenly allowed Renault to apply fixes for power deficiencies, and in came EBD enhancing engine maps that none could replicate... Game over.


Great. Everybody wants an interfering, over-ruling boss!

“I have no intention to run the GP team. I guide them advise them and will use my executive power to make changes if needed,” Just there to observe. Really.

I am looking forward immensely to seeing how all this plays out and probably implodes! Fantastic.


I said the same thing about Mercedes, but - so far at least - it seems I have to eat my words 🙂


Oh Mercedes is just one of those places where when things aren't working the staff get emails about restructuring into a newer flatter matrix. And then a Transformation Programme. 🙂


Even if Mercedes do have an advantage, don't forget there is the possibility of Nico and Lewis running into each other - either deliberately or unintentionally. Team-mates clashing? Well yes - Canada 2011, Argentina 1997, Austria 1999 and Japan 1989 spring to mind!


There was also this little known incident in Turkey 2010 🙂


Good comments.

Do you know what, Ross Brawn has worked for Williams, Ferrari, Benetton/Enstone, Honda/Brawn/Mercedes/Brackley but he has never worked for McLaren . Ross and Mr Dennis are just too different and would never get on - Ross, like his protege Rob Smedley is a northern, straight talking, no nonsense blokey bloke who calls a spade a spade.

When you think of it, Ross and Michael, with a little help from Rubens, humiliated Macca from 2000 to the end of 2004 (and even in Ross last Ferrari year in 2006), and I personally think Ross took great pleasure from that. And I bet he's sat at home homing his Brackley lads and lasses will give the Woking mobiles another drubbing this year!


translationfrom Ron : this team sucks everyone needs a kick in the bu++, or be fired


Very succinct 🙂

Scuderia McLaren

I find what is most interesting about Ron is what he doesn't say, as opposed to what he does.

Take Button for example...

There is no talk of him being exceptional fast, or a great racer, or fierce competitor. There is no mention of the abilities that he's supposed to be known for.


Perhaps Ron felt he had to mention Button as Button was always closely aligned with Whitmarsh?

I doubt Ron would give any current driver a glowing report before the season starts, for motivational reasons etc. No doubt he doesn't have a Hakkinen level of 'lovin' for JB, but both Ron and JB know what needs done this year and McLaren should be able to out develop the other customer Merc teams as the year progresses.


To be fair he did say "He's very quick"

I've added that in now


Nontheless it's not an outstanding mark Button gets there it's more in the cathegory "Solid" than "outstanding" or "exeptional"

Scuderia McLaren

Oh wow. That does completely change the statement about Button. Well to my ears anyway. It's well rounded and he does touch on what ultimately Jensen needs to be known for as a racing driver in Formula One.

Thanks for the clarification Mr Allen.

I still do think that, generally spelling, Ron says more about things by leaving bits out. It's like reading his verbiage is metaphorically like looking at a negative film image.


It's no secret Jenson isn't among the fastest in the sport anymore. He's no slouch though and he's very effective. Nothing wrong with that.


I take what Dennis says about Button being "principled" is that he's honest about his abilities, will work for the team, and won't necessarily get in the way of them bringing in a bigger talent - like Alonso (maybe).


Yes Ron Dennis (just like Bernie, Frank & Luca) is old school kind of manager i.e. tough and strict unlike the new school type of managers that have to be friends will all the employees.

For sure, with Ron Dennis back, the ship is back in safe hands, not forgetting the team hadn't won a race in 3 years till Ron joined the team back in 1980 >>> however, with the boss stating that he has no intention of running the team, it remains to be seen if things will be as before.

Now, it appears the Mclaren F1 people have been getting distracted with all kinds of projects such as creating bicycles and such as the reason for loss of form.

Yes, it's never a clever move to have your fingers in many pies at the same time for you end up stretching your resources.

As for MiniMag, it's a very good sign that it was Ron that picked him for as you know over the years, Ron Dennis has had a good eye for raw talent

Good for the team that they will be acquiring a new title sponsor soon for an injection of capital is always welcome for car development and hence why the big teams aren't on board with the budget cap.

In conclusion, the pressure valves at Woking have just been switched on and so any lack of success means determination letters will begin rolling out soon.


Meanwhile, if Ron believes Mclaren will win this year, perhaps the team is the 2nd or 3rd best car.

Pretty difficult imagining the drivers winning with the 4th best car considering the competition in the rival teams.


Uh Ron Dennis' shoddy handling at Mclaren during the Alonso/Hamilton year and spygate were all part of the Mclaren downfall. I don't believe he's a genius at all. You may call Frank and Luca old school but I don't think that is a recipe for success. These guys have hardly won anything once a team came up with serious money and determination (red bull). It'll take more than an old school type to win. And by the way, Ron Dennis also let Adrian Newey go.


Strange how the last time they won anything, it was under Ron and with a guy with just a years F1 experience.

It could happen again with Magnussen.


@ Quade

I don't think fairytales like what happened in Lewis' first two seasons happens everyday.


@ ShaBooPi

But nobody is perfect you see.


That's a very good point about how Ronspeak and the dogs dinner that was 2007 for McLaren - not very well handled at all.

As for letting Adrian go, that was sheer lunacy in my opinion. Having said that, Macca never got the best out of Adrian, too much interference and I think he felt stifled and worn out by the overly-nervy operating atmosphere at Woking, so when Christian came with a blank cheque, I guess Adrian thought "sod it, it's a new challenge......"


Yeah didn't Ron's cynical, unethical lying cost the team $100million fine + loss of all points?

Then he proudly comes back and rubbishes the idea of a cost cap (that just last week everyone seemed to agree was necessary to save the sport if CVC are unwilling to adjust the revenue sharing w/ teams to be more equitable)? Oh yeah, great addition to F1.


I think the best chance for a Mclaren win (taking into account their record there) is Monaco

Only problem with that is you have to be on pole for that race.


Not when everyone else is retiring ahead of you 😉


@ Random 79

Oh yeah, had forgotten about reliability.

I guess anybody can do it.


Remember Monaco 1996? 22 cars started, 3 finished!


After a bit of thought I was thinking Australia, but then you threw me again with that clue about English as a first language (we use swearing as a first language, English is just used to specify what we're swearing about).

So I'm going to have to go with NZ 🙂


Random - here's some more clues - countries where people are called Jack, Bruce, Denny, Chris (Amon), Alan, Sam (Michael), Mark and Daniel.

Oh, and those countries speak english as a first language, are good at rugby and cricket and have produced some great racing drivers/team owners.

PS Drivers from those countries are allowed to join the BRDC as commonwealth drivers.

There you go - should be easy to work out!


Hmm...discovered by Captain Cook, drive on the left, have parliamentary democracy, the metric system, the queen as head of state and whose citizens have made a huge contribution to F1...

Nope, going to need another clue - just chuck it down under the other ones... 😉


RE Monaco 1996: I think the FIA issued points 4th to 6th out of charity!

PS You can watch Monaco 1996 on the BBC Classic F1 website - it should be available to commonwealth countries - you know those countries discovered by Captain Cook, drive on the left, have parliamentary democracy, the metric system, the queen as head of state and whose citizens have made a huge contribution to F1.


I remember Damon Hill being the first champion I had seen crowned as 1996 was the first year I started to make a point of sitting down to watch races, so I should remember that race...but I don't 🙂

In any case you're not quite correct...


Looks like a recipe for a bad day at the office lol 🙂



Do you know if Ron has designed the new team outfits this year. With targets painted on the back, from his comments above. !!!!


Target McLaren Mercedes?


McLaren may be a pretty uncomfortable place to work this season. Boullier may come to miss the relaxed Lotus atmosphere.


Boullier wont last the season, and Jenson marginally longer. Does anyone know if Boullier still manages Grosjean?


Funny how he described jenson as a "good human being" rather than a super fast f1 driver,

I know I know jenson is not up there on single lap pace as seb or lewis etc, but just think its a bit of an odd comment


Jenson was not brought in by Ron, so he's probably uncomfortable with a driver he sees as 'loyal' to Whitmarsh. Martin might have something to say about Kevin too since it was him who signed the contract and was hunting Alonso to replace Button in a couple of years. It was also Whitmarsh who spearheaded the Honda deal, not Ron.

Ron has a lot of great qualities but he does sometimes take credit for things that weren't his doing. I think he looks at Jenson as too mature to be molded to his style. I think Jenson has impressed him overall though it's just Ron struggles with some interpersonal skills.


I know he is not liked by many (and I mean MANY!) F1 followers, but personally I find him one of the best out there.

Great he is back! Now I wait till he gets Lewis back =)


“The people were distracted, they had lost focus,”

>> I think he is referring to "Tooned" 🙁

What a killjoy


I think he was refering to Whitmarsh. Although I think he was just a scapegoat for the whole appalling McLaren downspiral

Dimitar Kadrinski

"and from now on will be focussed on what is best for McLaren, rather than the F1 teams as a whole"

I think that was the mistake Whitmarsh did. Involving more with other thinks rather than focus on his own team. It does not sound good, but that is the way to win (as red-bull has proven). Hope Denis will bring McLaren back to the front!


My comments translated into Ron:

Interesting cascade - outlining his aspirational targets for the short / medium term, including an uplift in human capital returns.

No transitional commercial partner either.


I've always admired Ron Dennis,a man not afraid to call a spade 'a spade'.

Or,in Ronspeak' a gardening implement used to transfer growing medium from one area to a different location adjacent to the first.

I wish the whole team,and Mr Dennis,the best of luck.


Love the Ronster or... otherwise, the most striking difference between him and Whitmarsh is that Ron is a scrapper and a bare-knuckled fighter; some of us appreciate characteristics like that.

McLaren will be there, in the running, at the last race.


"Its the factory that makes the car fast", or rather the people within the factory. That's where he'll fall down, who would want to work for that prat.
He will be cheating again and sacking those who oppose and the quality staff will leave. He is probably pinning his hopes on Honda making him look good again, but I cant see that happening this time.


+1. Drew.

Working for a meddlesome autocrat with a documented history of unethical behavior and outright cheating that previously cost the team a $100 million fine and loss of WCC eligibility + points...yay.


So you won't be needing this page then?



Ron is the kind of guy you probably wouldn't take to as a friend but you can't help but admire what he's achieved from humble beginnings as a F1 spannerman. Has any one of them done better ?

I have no doubt that McLaren will come back fighting and it's a pity Ron couldn't take back control a year ago.

Foregoing the chance of a headline sponsor until he can drive the ratecard back up is typical Ron. It's a risky strategy but can you blame him ?

We can expect a total change of pace from now on. I would love to see a battle between Williams and McLaren for both championships with Ferrari and Red Bull chasing them hard.


I too have admired Ron, however I still find him in great part guilty of loosing a World Championship with the miss management of the Lewis/Alonso era.


Why appoint Eric B when he ran lotus into the ground?


That's harsh Greg.

Given the *very* limited resources he had to work with at Lotus he still managed to lead the team that was challenging the Bulls for podiums last season and as much as Kimi made the news I suspect Eric himself probably wasn't even being paid in full, if at all.

Under those circumstances who else do you think could have done better?

Provided he's allowed to do his job with a minimum of interference I think he'll do well at McLaren.


Last year was the result of the over spending the previous years, when Renault sold it off with support and no debt, the team now lies in a debt of close if not more than $200 million. He has been in charge whilst this debt grew.

I think anyone with common sense would of drawn a line before it got to the stage of unpaid staff.

Lotus as a team does have good resources and facilities as it was a works team, what it has lacked is a good marketing dept to get the cash in, before Genii it was a factory team and I would guess at that time they didn't need to go chasing sponsors.

I just think its a blow to others inside McLaren who could of stepped up.

I can't deny lotus was impressive last year, but so was all the banks in 2007 and how many have gone or been propped up since.

The buck stops with Eric and he has run away, so in my eyes he failed in his last post.


I'm RD is not employing Boullier to manage finances at McLaren.


You are mistaking a team principal for a team owner or CEO. Genii have a board of which Eric was not a member. He was given a budget to work to and didn't ever act as a financial, marketing or business manager. He was a race director much as he is now with mclaren.


Agree, Eric did a superb job of a very thin budget. It can't be helpful when you have creditors chasing after you - and yet Eric kept Lotus at the sharp end of the grid.

My only concern is that he is going from the pragmatic no nonsense Enstone team to the Macca environment which is somewhat nervy and edgy, but he made the decision to go to Woking, so good luck to him!


How is it Boullier's fault that they didn't have money? He actually coped extremely well, keeping Lotus reasonably competitive despite the cash flow problems


He was the boss and should of strengthened their marketing dept to bring the money in and should never of took kimi on as they couldn't afford his wages.

He lived beyond his means, its very easy to make things happen if you have a blank cheque, but the credit has been maxed out and since then staff have left and this years car is no where. He jumped ship!

I'm only guessing that Ron thinks McLaren pockets are deep enough to meet Eric's wild spending, but lets hope Ron manages the growth of the marketing dept to keep pace with the growth that's going to happen when Eric allows multiple new wings each weekend as he did with lotus (I'm guessing he had the same approach with all areas of the car).

Maybe Genii should of reigned him in, but they don't know how to make a successful f1 team and let the spending happen in the hope to increase its sale value/demand.

The debts were there before the start of last year and with kimi's stock rising at the time he could of sold him on/swapped, it wouldn't of looked good, but wages would of been paid.


How do you know any of these things? I think you are guessing throughout your post -which is fine- but I think you should not blame or credit individuals as fact when you really have no idea what really happened at Lotus...


Amazing that Dennis says that the company was unfit. What was it when you were running it, Ron, and you were fined $100 million by the FIA? You certainly did your bit for the collective good by attempting to conceal the facts of that case! Too bad that a really good man, Whitmarsh, gets tossed by a phony.


If Kevin Magnussen proves to be quick and not as accident prone as Grosjean was at the beginning, maybe Button will have more than one year. KM for speed, and Button for set up. With Honda next year, they'll need someone who is good at talking to the engineers to sort out everything new. Once you could do that with a third driver and private testing, but private testing is a thing of the past.


Remember Canada 2012? He was lost on setup, getting lapped, while Lewis was winning...


"KM for speed, and Button for set up". That's assuming Jenson doesn't get lost like in 2012 and ends up copying KM's set up ofcause. I wonder how much feedback Honda can expect from "no grip". They already know him from his Honda days and I always thought Rubbens was the set up guy there!


That's not what Honda said.


That's a strange thing to say, the car did not improve last season because of the inability of the drivers to provide good feedback.

Not one of Button's talents.......


One thing we've learnt is that Button knows nothing about setup. Remember the "I'm lost" saga?


refreshing. very mclaren-esque.


How do we know Mags is bad at set up?

For myself I know bugger all about him, but until he actually goes racing I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Aside from that, considering Dennis reckons he hired him based on information from engineers it suggests to me that maybe the kid actually knows a thing or two about how to tweak his car.


Supposed to be a reply to Red Rider, #32


"I wasn't responsible for past failures, my employees were. Now, if we succeed in the future, I will take all the credit, but if we fail, I will take none of the blame, and then I'll fire everyone."

Admittedly, I don't know Ron Dennis, but if he behaves towards his employees as he speaks about them to the public, I certainly would not want to work for him. Of course, he owns large parts of the company, so he can do what he wants, but I just don't think it's smart - ultimately, he will have to pay more money for their loyalty than someone who also shows loyalty in return.


'“People were distracted, they had lost focus,” he said of the team as run by Whitmarsh last year. “[From now on] The F1 people in the company will only do F1, no distractions,” he added.'

...Like the cynical whispers to the outside World about their own driver(s), which severely weakened McLaren in the past few years.

Welcome back, Ron. A shot of strong medicine always stirs the soul.


+1. It's about time that the cotton wool was removed from the tree-hugging 'we have a counselling program for you' types that permeate a lot of businesses today, Woking is not a respite care facility. You're there to do a job 100%, 100% of the time, get on the bus and be part of it or get off now before you're kicked off, no free loaders.

Thank heavens Ron is back!


Not at all surprised by Rons comments, Ive been saying them for years. The blunders of 2012 were just ridiculous for a top team like Mclaren and " blind freddy" could see something was not right in that team.Lewis departure must really be burning him right now with Mercedes so strong.Then the MP-4/28 -a massive strategical gamble that had fail written all over it- i often wonder if paddy lowe / Merc hi-jacked Mclaren with that gamble...I really do.

Ron is absolutely spot on with Magnussen ( if in fact it was his call). Like many I cannot fathom why he would say what he said about Jenson & can only say things said in this way usually leads to a parting of ways when top level execs say it.If I were a Mercedes powered driver - I would be aiming to beat JB hands down this year. That means Hulk or Bottas because they will probably have a better chance than anyone else at the Mclaren drive. I wouldnt take Alonso back if he paid me - & doubt Ron would either- could be proven wrong but the guy is untrustworthy regardless of his ability & I think better new prospects in Vandoorne & a few others for the years ahead - especially if Magnussen excells

I still think it would be a massive coup if Ron would grab Ross for the CEO role and help make the car better not just this year but also the transition to Honda next year. They will have their work cut out & who else will have the best insight in the development of a successful power unit ??? How do you sell it to Ross though ..great final chapter to retirement


"I wouldnt take Alonso back if he paid me – & doubt Ron would either"

I think, judging from statements from ALO of late, R D is not even a person he respects, so do not expect any kind of payments any time soon - either you or him.

"I am in the best team in the world" - that is the statement of ALO in the darkest moments of 2012. At the same time you could hear HAM shouting at his team in the radio and saying bad things about them publicly...and even disclosing team classified info on twitter.

I am mentioning this just so that people with short memory - such as yourself - will take the step out from fantasy land, back to reality. Or at least think for a moment before jumping on the keyboard.

Last but not least - performance. Take a look at the final standings of the past few couple of seasons, and compare to performance of ALO in the Ferrari to that of Mclarens lead driver for those seasons. Enjoy.


@ Quattro

Yes mate, you have nailed it

Lewis posted the Confidential data in the public forum. He has been involved in lot of controversies. Lie gate, Canadian GP 2011 blast, Twitter gate Etc. This list goes on.

A lot can be said about SV as well. When he blasts in the team radio about Mark webber or about any other brethren it will be music to people hear's and not rants. When alonso stats a thing or two. Then it becomes a crime and Alonso shows hissy fit... Double standards and delusional at best

People have selective memory here like you stated. When people post comments against Alonso their memory is up and sharp, whereas when we talk about lewis and vettel then people memory will be selective and reflects they are in sleep mode.

"Take a look at the final standings of the past few couple of seasons, and compare to performance of ALO in the Ferrari to that of Mclarens lead driver for those seasons. Enjoy"

I could have not put this any better than you did thanks mate

Could any other pilot have done what Alonso did with Ferrari for the last 4 seasons in the ropey machineries? BIG NO

Alonso is simply a Fabled. Alonso is everything for me Genius, Wizard and the Conqueror. people here cannot stomach these facts (Elie). So they keep tilling about 2007,2010 and some drivel political topics to just demean the Legacy of our King Fernando.


No body gives a toss what Fernando thinks hes not one running an automotive group with 650 people & whilst Im not fussed one way or another about Ron Dennis I doubt Fernando Alonso goes racing because of respect only - more like 30m.

As for mclarens f/ups in 2012- can you imagine what FA would have said or even done??.. Lewis was messed around by his team for 2 years including internal politics by mw & jb. He did the right thing & left for merc which I predicted long before anyone else.Whereas Fernando has everything he wants & his way & still has bags the team- how many drivers in F1 have that luxury NONE!-how many times did Ferrari fail to bolt a wheel on, not put the petrol in the car, have engine blow up on him, or worse still favour his team mate over him--I think people like you have no comprehension or understanding let alone memory or common sense to equivocate situations & make any meaningful comparisons

There is no question of Sund performance but then again how many people drive for the most reliable lead team with probably the best strategies and a team mate who is contracted to get out of your way/ break a gearbox seal, no matter what..when these things are considered Mclarens lead driver was easily as good- especially 2012 when only he beat Seb most sat and often Sund despite his wc team mate not even coming close in either dept. Also I shall never forget Abu Dhabi 2010... But then I dont need to say anything more because both you & Fernando - have very good memory of that ...dont you


Quattro Im stirring you up to an extent but at the same time you cannot deny alot of those things are true. My main problem is that too many fans & others are influenced by his talk. He still does the walk but he often leads AND follows with his mouth- I dont like this in anyone- he excels at it.


[mod]. You seem to rely more on astrology than laptimes , visual assessment of car handling etc. I won't start replying to your new "points" - the logic of which seems lost beyond reach.
Thanks for taking time to reply nonetheless.


-Alonso was given a car thats 1.5 slower- says who - Fernando Alonso

-Alonso destroyed his team mate- Who insists on it in their contract ?- Fernando Alonso.

-Whos team mate had a life threatening accident and is acknowledged as never the same since 2009- yet uses this as comparison to now- Fernando Alonso

-which driver could not pass a slow renault driven by a beginner. Despite being in a title contending Ferrari- Fernando Alonso ( hes good now/ im sure it haunts him!)

- which driver has had the best team strategy call over 4 years not just one race . Other than Sebastian Vettel- Fernando Alonso

- which driver does Quattro adore and believe every single word he says even though anyone with an ounce of sense knows he is political & fos... Yep you got it sunshine

Shall I go back up & join the dots or do you get it now


"No body gives a toss what Fernando thinks "

Well, I believe what "Fernando thinks" will be decisive whether or not a contract can be finalized and signed.

"As for mclarens f/ups in 2012- can you imagine what FA would have said or even done??.. "

I will give you a better proposition. ALO was given, by his team, a "car" that was ~1.5 seconds per lap slower than the pole sitter at the first race in 2012. How would HAM like that? He had to "race" against the best with that thing until the Spanish GP, before making it a bit faster - although still far from as fast as the RB. ALO was still saying good things about his team.

"Whereas Fernando has everything he wants & his way & still has bags the team- how many drivers in F1 have that luxury NONE!"

He has literally destroyed his team mate over four long seasons - speed-wise. What do you expect a team to do? Make the slower driver #1 in order to please Elie?? How many drivers has "that luxury"? You tell me, how many drivers have shown they possess the abilities of ALO?

"how many times did Ferrari fail to bolt a wheel on, not put the petrol in the car, have engine blow up on him"

Lets put it in a different way. How many times did Ferrari manage to give ALO as fast a package as Mclaren did to HAM? Having a reliable car counts for NOTHING if it is half a second per lap down on pace compared to the fastest (refer to qualy results for both Ferraris and race fastest times 2010-13).

"but then again how many people drive for the most reliable lead team with probably the best strategies and a team mate who is contracted to get out of your way"

Lead team? Again refer to the actual qualy results for both Ferraris and race fastest times 2010-13 and stop rationalizing...

MAS contracted to get out of the way? MAS was literally destroyed, speed-wise both in qualy and in the race. He should himself feel OBLIGATED to move of the way even without the team telling him to. Again refer to the actual qualy and race results for both Ferraris over four looong seasons - it is all there for you to see if you want to see.

with probably the best strategy?? Funny you are saying this and later in the same paragraph mention ABU 2010!! This "best strategy team" did by there own loose the drivers title for ALO in that year in that GP, by getting fooled by RB and committing horrible strategy mistakes..

"I think people like you have no comprehension or understanding let alone memory or common sense to equivocate situations & make any meaningful comparisons"

Please, refer to above points to get your thinking straight.


@ Kristchar- also did you notice how hes shut his mouth and "towing the Ferrari line" like a good little boy - because he knows hes in a good team & he has butned some bridges


@ Elie

you say good team, good team time and time again.

Is Ferrari that good team in First place ? NO

What did Ferrari win recently in the last six seasons or so ? NOTHING

How and Why did Ferrari failed to BEAT RBR for the last five seasons despite the top budget and good technical chief which they had at thier disposal?

Who kept Ferrari in the title hunt until the last race of season two times out of the last 4 season with lousy and ropey machinery which he to contend with ? The MAGICIAN Fernando Alonso

Have Ferrari produced a top notch machinery since 2008 (F2008) to till date? BIG NO

You say Alonso had everything at his disposal

Can you list me what alonso had at disposal ?

A Ropey machinery.

A team who are clearly lackdaisical and did not have any motivation to win anything for the last five seasons

A team Boss who came up with excuses and excuses for the failure to beat RBR consistently on and off the track in development race.

A team-mate who failed to play dutiful NO 2 role and acted as if like Drama Queen (Massa)

And for god sake do not talk about the drivels like germany 2012 and Austin 2012. Becuase Mark webber played the same NO 2 role for vettel. Time and time again he took points off alonso and vettel's nearest title rivals which enabled vettel to win WDC'S

How did titles were lost ? One GAMBIT blot by ferrari in a hugely important race (Again here Webber helped vettel and RBR to win WDC).

One more where the LoTus drivers have rammed into alonso in the Belguim and Japenese GP 2012. Lotus drivers have done a huge favour for SEB V to win the WDC in 2012.

Do not say that vettel and lewis are saint. They did throwed the toys out of pram and involved in lot of career tainted events. Lewis in 2007, 2009 lie gate and 2012 twitter gate. As far as vettel he has spoken offensively about his brethren time and time again couple of times in the podium as well.

There is one driver who i see as saint in the grid. It's JB alone no one else.


@ Elie

At Ferrari he did not throw any toys nor he behaved like a little boy. It clearly seems like you have some resentment against Alonso.

Alonso has urged the team to move forward and Demanded much better machinery than what he had drove for the last 3 seasons. Ferrari were not able to respond to the challenge posed by RBR and conceded defeat year after year. Stefano D confessed this as well. If anything it's LDM who acted politically to show he is the leader still. However LDM forget that he was against our legend Alonso.

Alonso have no need to burn any bridges or rebuild any bridges. Ferrari's future is in dire state becuase they have not won anything and they suffered ignominy in the hands of RBR which will continue from this season in the hands of Mercedes. This is Ferrari's last chance to attract or keep any top pilots in the team. If ferrari fail to develop the car in 2014 and keep pace with Mercedes to win title.

Then it's Game over for Ferrari not just alonso will leave no other top pilot will not sign for Ferrari. Ferrari return to mid-table team are not that far. Watch this spce.


@ Elie

"could be proven wrong but the guy is untrustworthy regardless of his ability" - Your comments always have the resentment against the Wizard Alonso. No wonder here once again you say untrustworthy.

There is no place for words like Trust and Loyalty in F1. Besides this Alonso have no need to go to Mclaren while Dennis is still in the charge.

Alonso is still in good place and if needs the way out or changes he will have other options than Mclaren with him. Mclaren can only go backwards from here not otherway around. Whitmarsh may not have better public appeal or aggressive. Yet he is better at man and conflict management


@Kristchar- "Samurai", "Wizard" Whatever . It is abundantly clear every team he leaves in F1 he leaves with some bad blood.He throws the toys out like no other in the sport and make no mistake hes on borrowed time with Ferrari because of his antics. Hes spoken to Red Bull and no doubt he needs to think about his future if he has no success again this year-he will be wanting a top team- Mercedes are locked, Red Bull dont want him & may not be competitve, Ferrari wont want him & yep Mclaren dont want him.


@ Elie

I talk about the talent which Alonso possess whereas you look at the political facets or the other side of a pilot.

Ok Who is the greatest driver in the history of F1 ? Schumi.

Have schumi never throwed the toys ? What about his political involvements ? What about the tainted events in his career ? He drove into his brethren to win WDC'S. Yet why people agree and see him as one of the best ?

It does not matter whom you destabilize whether any individual or your own team.

Who borrowed time from Ferrari ? Alonso ? You comments are hilaroius at best. If you take Alonso's Effort out of the equation for Ferrari in the last 4 seasons Ferrari are a Mid-table team. In fairness Ferrari live in the past glory and history. Ferrari never had a clue as to how to beat a Drinks company for the last five seasons with massive budgets and good engineers at their disposal

You live in wonderland it seems. If other teams know Alonso is unsettled at Ferrari and available then 9/10 teams will compete to land him for their respective team. Mclaren are in team in downward spiral from now on. If alonso leaves Ferrari. Ferrari will lose more than what alonso will lose.

Simply do not till the same old topics to demean the legacy of our King Fernando.All those drivel topics do not work anymore.


Well we will see about Magnussen, if I recall I think it was Ron's call to recruit his Dad, remind me how that turned out....

As for Jenson lets look at the championship at the end of the season as I'd hazard a guess that he will be above Magnusson. He's quick yes but 1 lap doesn't win you championship look at Merc last year. He has no experience of fuel or tyre management its not like he came from gp2. These are JB's strengths and he will excel.


Oh ok he hired his dad - that makes him stupid right?

So after 14 years in F1 we shouldnt expect Jenson to finish ahead of a rookie..? Is that right

Jenson should excel -umm yes he should excel -just like last year when he was out paced & out raced by Perez (a virtual rookie himself) in the second part of the year.

Jenson Button only excelled when he had a fast team mate who knew how to get the best out of a car- feeding off their engineers and very cleverly working out what suits him.

Every expectation is that Jenson will easily beat Kevin , but I will tell you this - dont be surprised if Kevin ends up with twice the points & the number of wins.


I agree with all you've said, but I think Ross Brawns time is gone now.

Its no more spanner and grease at F1, the era of the geek is truly upon us. Many will struggle.


"...also that he has “done his bit” for the collective good in the past"...

- I guess that's the nearest we'll get to any comment on the theory that he did a deal, to step down in March 2009 for 5 years to avoid bigger trouble for McLaren.

(He announced it on 16 Jan 2009. He announced his return 16 Jan 2014. Spooky, eh?)

I assume, James, this was a-one-sided press conference with little Q&A and no opportunity to try to ask him about that? Disappointed it (he) didn't actually say much, really, just the usual Ron Flag-waving.


James, Please help me with the timings here. "... he [Dennis] said that hiring Kevin Magnussen was his decision". Magnussen was signed in early November but Dennis' comeback was not announced in January.


It's odd. Kevin said thank you to Martin Whitmarsh for honouring his word to sign him a drive in 2014. Initially the plan was to put Kevin in another car (force India) but Martin Whitmarsh did the honourable thing and got Perez a drive and put Kevin in the mclaren. I haven't heard anyone say it was Ron's decision. Including Kevin!


There's 2 things that puzzle me.

About Button: I remember Dennis held Prost in high regard. When it comes to driving styles, Prost and Button are pretty much similar. As a character Button seems much more likable, less provocative and political. Why can't it be that Dennis' words are just what they are? No hidden agenda attached.

And by the way, earlier in the topic there's speculation about Button being being replaced by Hulkenberg or Grosjean. Why would McLaren do that, as Button is clearly better than both?

About Dennis as a team leader: I remember in the first Dennis-era there were a whole number of people (like Alexander, Ramirez, Oatley and even Whitmarsh himself, to name a few, the list goes on and on..) who were with McLaren for decades. All people that could easily find employment at any other F1 team, but choose not to. McLaren surely must provide a very satisfactory environment to work in. Why would that be any different now Dennis is around for a second term?


I think Mclaren should have got Kimi back for the restructuring period before hiring Perez. He is a great racer and the record holding finisher. Also I think the Mclaren was the most suitable car for Kimi to unleash his speed and talent.


Ron has his work cut out for him this season - things have moved on and the pecking order is not what it was.

Even though Hamilton did well in his first season who is to say he may not have done so well if he did not have a fast world champion in the next car to make him try that little bit harder.

Magnusson has no such benchmark.

Interesting article wonder if Ron will fall on his sword if things don't go to plan and this season is like the last?


Doubt it. The team will out perform last seasons fiasco.

If the team only marginally improves, more people will be working elsewhere or in laymans terms out on their arse with Whitmarsh.


Ron's comments about JB remind me of Alan Partridge saying "give him a picture of a spitfire, and let him go"...


This man's so scary. Why doesn't he just let go?


Wow I think you covered it perfectly with "feisty", James!

Tbf, although Ron Dennis has always been good at answering questions, he's rarely been as blunt as that from my recollection. Not for nothing did Ronspeak become paddock legend.

But today he definitely told it as he saw it and he is definitely desperate to get McLaren winning again. Intriguingly, while many individuals mellow with age, I can't help but avoid the conclusion that Ron is if anything more combative than he used to be. This isn't always a good thing, and bringing him back into the F1 fold will present its challenges. However, his drive and ambition means it's inescapable that he'll also bring a lot of good to the team.


This interview with Ron Dennis throws more light on the importance of an 'intelligent' driver in 2014.



“People were distracted, they had lost focus,” he said of the team as run by Whitmarsh last year. “[From now on] The F1 people in the company will only do F1, no distractions,” he added.

The first thing that came to mind when I read this was, I wonder if this is why the new McLaren P1 is reportedly so brilliant ?

Surely I cant be the only one that drew this conclusion.

It reminded me of a comment made by Jeremy Clarkson regarding Ferrari and that in his opinion when Ferrari make a good road car, the same year they produce an uncompetitive F1 car and vise versa.

Can the same now be true of McLaren ?


People were distracted, they had lost focus,” he said of the team as run by Whitmarsh last year. “[From now on] The F1 people in the company will only do F1, no distractions,”

It's pity and the statement clearly shows Dennis have no respect for Martin W what so ever for the decent job he did with Mclaren.

People here and many simply slate Whitmarsh for nothing. He did a superb job for me with the exception of 2013. In 2009 Mclaren turned a Hopeless machinery into a race winner in the second half of the season. Mclaren matched RBR for pace in 2010 & 2012. (2010 & 2012) machinery were potential WDC winners. Lewis lost the chance in 2010 and reliability / opertional errors costed mclaren the WDC in 2012. Martin W handled the twitter gate saga in much subtle manner in 2012. Then again betweeen 10&12 whitmarsh handled and managed the driver's conflict very well.

Ron dennis have big EGO and shows quite lot of antics than Martin W. Nothing else is special


Agreed. RD did not need to make such a negative statement about the team, which was clearly aimed directly at a certain scapegoat, intending to justify his proposed "transformation" of the team. His thoery must be that in slating their current performance to such a degree, his efforts to improve the team cannot fail. However, such public comments are unprofessional and disrespectful to those employees (including MW)who work under the enormous pressures of F1, and at the very least should have been kept within the Company walls. He is a deeply uncomfortable public speaker and in that respect MW runs rings around him.


Like him or loathe him, at least Ron is doing something to try an put the team back on track.

Lets face facts, Macca have not won a great deal for the past few seasons - in fact last year not even a single race...


Jenson took #2 in the WDC in what, 2011? Or three seasons ago? You whiners all let a dismal 2013 car cloud your memory...the facts say that McL was at the sharp end of the pack for the 2 or 3 years leading up to 2013...


It should be remembered that Jenson did well at the McLaren young driver test in 1999, he beat Alesi's time in a Prost F1 car at the same time, beat Bruno Juncera at a Williams test in early 2000, and gave Ralf Schumacher a run for his money at Williams in 2000. So I'm a fan. He's not spectacular to watch in a race, similar to Alain Prost. But he does deliver and in my view deserves respect .


+1. He was also WDC in 2009 and runner up in 2011. Short memories people...

kenneth chapman

RD has outlined a clear and unambiguous pathway for the future. i believe that at the conclusion of his company address when he announced the shake up and the whitmarsh exit he was accorded a standing ovation by the staff.

a company like mclaren operating in the cuthroat environment of F1 needs a no nonsense leader who stands head and shoulders above the rest. RD is the man for the job. most professional staff value and appreciate strong direction. if anyone can lift the team back to regular winning results it is RD. MW was a 'nice chap' by all accounts but he was too close to the workers and too distracted from the main game.


some more words from Ron....paints a slightly different picture to JA!



Indeed it does.


Love the photo of Ron, sure does look aggressive like "Are you with me or else the door is just behind you!". McLaren will do well by hook or by crook.

Tom in Adelaide

Working for Ron Dennis would scare the hell out of me. :O


I like his agressiveness.

"I said to them that if they match my commitment we will win. If they don’t match it they won’t be with the company.”

Nice guys, like Whitmarsh, get overrun by employees.


Ron can't kick out Button immediately, due to contractual reasons (thanks Whitmarsh!)...

So he is just trying to make the most of the pieces he is picking up the game from...

Might as well motivate and grab a point or two for the season...

Once the contracts are done, I can see Button being booted out ASAP. Whitmarsh too...


Looking ahead a couple of seasons...

In 2016 McLaren-Honda have a year under their belt, with plenty of opportunity to stamp out any problems and make the partnership a competitive package.

Strangely enough one drivers' current contract ends in 2015, and I'm willing to bet that there is absolutely no way that driver would pass up the opportunity to emulate his idol and challenge for the championship in a (possibly red and white?) McLaren Honda MP4/31.

Nudge nudge wink wink?


Ferrari has now a good chance getting a new, experienced boss, with a valuable healthy network of engineering/management contacts to take advantage of.

MW to Ferrari in 2015, if the 2014 campaign proves to be (another) failure.

MW I am sure would love it. A new healthy challenge, after 20 years working for the same company. Add to that all Italy can offer such as better weather, better food, less formality and...Ferrari.


It is reported elsewhere that it was Whitmarsh who made first approach for Boullier to join McLaren.



And now he's without a job!

Great move Martin.....


"Don't concentrate on the finger, or you will miss the whole heavenly glory" ron dennis interviews has more hidden answers than what you heard. It points out bad management by martin and how they played lewis in his last year by stopping him from winning willingly by the team. Watch the interview on skysport website. Sorry james for mentioning the source. I hope it is legal in here


I think McLaren have a good line up ... and RD's comments about Jenson are spot on.

What Jenson will is intelligent enough to be a team player, he will assist KM to develop and using his considerable experience will contribute to the development of the car, for the good of both drivers.

Jenson will also consistently pick up good points, something the team needs .. KM may well provide some headlines, especially if he's as quick as people are saying, but he'll probably have a fair few DNF's.

It would be great to have a strong McLaren again and an openly contest championship across several teams and drivers. Last yr was pretty tedious unless you were a Vettel and Red Bull fan.


If Button's off-track character is like Senna's - thoughtful, caring, charitable etc. - that manifestly doesn't prevent him from being a competitive sod on-track. We all remember how he finished the longest race in F1 history - his concentration and stamina surpassing Vettel's - but don't forget the ruthlessly elegant way he tipped Alonso over the kerb and out of the race. Don't mistake Jenson for someone who shows any mercy when it counts. And give him credit for managing a 4th place in the worst McLaren for thirty-odd years.


It's great to have him back. Magnussen for 2015 WDC!


We'll regard button he's neat her bottom tear or top but neither a second tear he has so much experience and raw pace in the race not so good on qaully but as Hamiltonian team mate that lots said he was mad to go up against the lion done an amazing job by out pointing Hamilton over three seasons complete he also was in the hunt in champion ship each of them seasons to write up to the wire to and one of them he would have even closer to winning it if he didn't have the team leave a cool aid in the car at Monaco so he had to retire which was not his fault as at the time he was bagging some good points also he's the rain master to no Jenson is a very good top driver who has not had a winning car yet since Hamilton left people soon forget you when things don't go so well with the car magnums on I think will push Jenson I'm shore May even beat him as he is young blood but he will have to fight hard to do that as button is a cool cat on race day he's a thinker out side of the box well let's just wait and see good luck this year to Jenson and Ron back and mc Larsen


Sorry for miss spellings damb computer changing it


Never have I read so much crap about what Ron said (or did not say). He clearly said that Button is a nice average driver and will be out of a job next year (unless he is WDC). Magnussen is expected to beat him this year or he may not have a job next year either. Ron knows that the factory needs sorting to produce a world beating car again, but he also knows that he needs a top driver to get the job done. Unless the MP4/29 is another BGP with an unfair advantage neither will win the WDC this year. Vettel is top of his list if either fails to deliver this year.!!


More solid evidence for my personal dislike of Mclaren. What a stuffy pretentious character. Surely a job with Mclaren has to be one of the most uncomfortable paranoid places in the world to work. Cant fault his direction, RD has proven it works, but personally I find his cold fish approach about as appealing as a Nascar race.

Bring back the starched TV uniforms and the robotic TV interviews please... the Mclaren drivers were about to become human!

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