Ron Dennis’ future at McLaren is in doubt amid rumours dominating the Austin paddock that he will be removed from his role as CEO of the Formula 1 team.
A holder of a 25% stake in McLaren, Dennis’ position is reliant on securing 50% of more of the shareholder vote in order to avoid the axe. A number of major news publications are reporting that the 69-year-old has been told that his current contract will not be renewed.
Dennis returned to Formula 1 in January 2014 after a five-year absence. He successfully led a shareholder revolt to oust Martin Whitmarsh from his role as Team Principal, pledging to bring major commercial and shareholder backing to the outfit, as well as turn around its flagging fortunes.
Despite reuniting the team with former championship-winning engine partner Honda, none of those milestones has been achieved. The team is effectively in a worse position than it was in the Whitmarsh era.
The team’s position is in stark contrast to Dennis’ first stint as its Team Principal. After bringing in his Project 4 organisation to take control of the team in 1981, it subsequently went on to win ten Drivers’ and seven Constructors’ Championship titles until he elected to retire at the end of 2009. Incredibly, the team has failed to win a Constructors’ title since 1998 at the height of its partnership with Mercedes, although it has been a runner-up seven times since.
Officials from McLaren have rejected the rumours that Dennis will either step down or be dismissed.
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