Montezemolo Praises Departed Ron Dennis

Following Ron Dennis' announcement late last week regarding his immediate retirement from his position as team principal of McLaren Mercedes, rivals within the F1 paddock have only nice words to say about the 61-year old Englishman. And Ferrari's CEO Luca di Montezemolo was the first to show his immense appreciation for the man who was always there to remind Ferrari they're not alone in Formula 1.

“Despite all the polemics and the many clashed we had, Ron Dennis will always be a great person. He and his team have done some extraordinary work over the last decades. I don't think that he'll completely leave Formula One. I appreciated the support he and all the others are giving to FOTA,” said Di Montezemolo while at Ferrari's annual ski even in Madonna di Campiglio.

Ferrari's president is the second Formula 1 “big gun” to praise Ron Dennis. Earlier this month, former F1 rival Eddie Jordan insisted that, despite the racing differences the two have had in Formula 1 in the past, Dennis' character is impeccable. His standing up for Dennis came at a time when the McLaren boss was accused of homophobic and racist behavior when firing one of his employees.

“Over the years there have been times when he and I didn't see eye to eye on professional matters – but, to be honest, I guess I can now admit that that was usually because he ran his team a bit better than I ran mine, and that frustrated me,” said Jordan.

Dennis will not leave the sport of Formula 1 completely, as he is set to take on another role within the McLaren organization starting 2009. He insisted he will continue to come to races, as he is still very much passionate about the sport. His position as team principal of the Woking-based team will be taken by Martin Whitmarsh as of March 1st.
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