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Ron Dennis Quick Facts
Ron Dennis (born June 1, 1947 in Woking, England) is a British businessman who heads the McLaren Technology Group, of which he is a shareholder. the French-Saudi businessman Mansour Ojjeh and the Bahraini fund Mumtalakat. The McLaren Technology Group is known for its Formula 1 team, as well as for its high-end road cars.
Ron Dennis’s Biography
Ron Dennis left school at the age of 16 to work as an apprentice mechanic in a garage near the Brooklands circuit. Quickly, he joined the Cooper Formula 1 team, still as a mechanic. Assigned to the car of the young hope Jochen Rindt, he leaves Cooper for Brabham at the same time as the Austrian pilot in 1968. The following year, despite the departure of Rindt for Lotus, Ron Dennis remains at Brabham, where he becomes the leader. mechanic.
At the end of 1970, Ron Dennis left Brabham to set up his own company in association with Neil Trundle, Rondel Racing. Engaged in the European Championship of Formula 2 in 1971, the Rondel Racing then engages private Brabham for drivers such as Graham Hill, Tim Schenken or Bob Wollek. In 1973, Rondel Racing gained the status of constructor by designing its own car, the Motul F2, named after the main backer of the team. Tom Pryce, the Welsh hope finishes fifth at Mantorp, then ranks second at Norisring. In 1974, Ron Dennis plans to run in F1 with Pryce, and commissions a study to aeronautical engineer Ray Jessop. But because of the oil shock, the team loses the support of Motul, and must give up in extremis to this project which will be taken over by Tony Vlassopoulo and Ken Grob under the name Token Racing.
After managing an Ecuadorian Formula 2 team for Marlboro in 1974, Ron Dennis created a new Formula 2 team in 1975: Project Three (because after Rondel Racing and the Motul project he this is his third project), then in 1976, the Project Four, with the support of Marlboro. Involved in various stages of motor sport, the Project Four is not long in gaining acclaim and establishing the reputation of excellence of Ron Dennis. In 1979 and 1980, the Project Four won the British Formula 3 championship (with Chico Serra and Stefan Johansson), and in 1979, the Project Four also won the PROCAR Championship (a series that pitted F1 drivers against opening BMWs GPs) with Niki Lauda.
Ambitious, Ron Dennis is once again trying to access Formula 1, and engages the British engineer John Barnard, responsible for designing the first F1 in history in composite materials. Marlboro, who is also unhappy with the McLaren team’s free-fall results in Formula 1, is attempting to bring Ron Dennis’ Project Four into closer contact with the McLaren team (led by Teddy Mayer). The wedding took shape in November 1980 and gave birth to the group McLaren International, whose Ron Dennis became the strongman. Since that merger, the code name for the McLaren chassis in Formula 1 has been MP4 for ” Marlboro Project 4 “. Since Marlboro no longer sponsors McLaren, that is since the 1997 season, MP4 should rather be read as “McLaren Project 4”.
At the instigation of Ron Dennis, the McLaren team makes a spectacular comeback in the foreground, and follows the world titles of the drivers (Lauda in 1984, Prost in 1985, 1986 and 1989, Senna in 1988, 1990 and 1991 ) as well as the manufacturers, with the Porsche engine manufacturer (present via the investment group TAG, become a shareholder of McLaren), then Honda.
In 1990, at the height of the McLaren-Honda domination, Ron Dennis founded McLaren Cars (now McLaren Automotive), a brand designed to create high-end road cars.
After a slump in the mid-1990s, McLaren found its way back to success thanks to its partnership with the German carmaker Mercedes-Benz, which has powered British cars since 1995 and which owns 40 of McLaren’s cars. since 2000. With Mercedes, McLaren won the Constructors World Championship in 1998, as well as three pilot titles: 1998, 1999 with Mika Häkkinen and 2008 with Lewis Hamilton. In addition, since 1997, McLaren has won at least one victory each year, except in 2006, where the team was still the third strength of the championship.
On March 1, 2009, he handed over Martin Whitmarsh, his position as director of the McLaren team, to his position as head of the McLaren Technology Group. In April 2013, he became a non-executive member of the board of directors, no longer being accountable for decisions and actions of the administration. On January 16, 2014, McLaren Group announces that Ron Dennis will become Executive Director again, replacing Martin Whitmarsh.
His position at the helm of the McLaren technology Group is weakened in 2016 following disagreements with his co-shareholders and finally Ron Dennis is “forced” to resign his post in the aftermath of the Brazilian Grand Prix 2016.
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