Ron Dennis Steps Down as McLaren Principal

It is now official! McLaren's Ron Dennis confirmed that he will step down as team principal of the Woking-based team ahead of the 2009 season. The 61-year old Briton made the announcement during McLaren's unveiling of the MP4-24 car on Friday, but insisted he will not retire completely from the sport but will take on other commitments within the McLaren Group.

“First thing I am going to do is work harder, that is the first target. I intend to raise my own game because I think everybody in our organization at every level realizes this is a tough period in which we are going to work and of course we are a very diverse organization now,” said Dennis on Friday.

“We have a clear intention for our production car programme which is really a challenge. Any product we bring to the market will certainly fall the other side of this financial period. I stress nothing to get too excited about but it is absolute time for Martin to take over as team principal. As from March 1 he will adopt that responsibility. I will still go to races, not all of them, because I am passionate.”

“I intend to work harder and will take on greater responsibility in the group. I will be full executive chairman. It is time and I have to say it is absolutely 100 percent my decision. It is what I want to do, but I do intend to work much harder.”

“Don't see it as some sort of retirement, I want to work harder in other areas and having to plan those tasks around the GP calendar is disruptive to the process. It is a job that Martin will embrace and enjoy. It is a job over the years we have shared anyway, but it will be his decision to influence things at a grand prix circuit,” added Dennis.

Dennis' role as team principal will be taken by CEO Martin Whitmarsh as of March 1st.
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