One of the best-known figures in Formula One, Ron Dennis will step down as head of McLaren on March 1. The surprise announcement came as McLaren unveiled their new car for the 2009 season.
REUTERS - Ron Dennis is to stand down as McLaren F1 team principal on March 1 and will be replaced by chief executive Martin Whitmarsh.
"It's time for Martin to take over as team principal. It's 100 percent my decision," Dennis said at the McLaren season launch at their headquarters at Woking, England on Friday.
Dennis will remain executive chairman of McLaren, for whom Lewis Hamilton won the world championship last season.
"I will still go to races but not all of them, because I am passionate about Formula One," added Dennis. "Do not see this as a form of retirement, it's very much the opposite because I am going to be working harder in other areas.
"I will take on more responsibility, greater responsibilities in certain key areas of the group. I am going to raise my own game because everyone realises this a tough period in which to work and I will remain full executive chairman."
The 2009 Formula One season opens with the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 29.
Date created : 2009-01-16