17 Apr 2009

Ron Dennis hands over McLaren reigns

7:07 am on 17 April 2009

McLaren's long time boss Ron Dennis has called time on 43 years in Formula One, handing complete control of the company's racing affairs to team principal Martin Whitmarsh.

McLaren have said in a statement Dennis will become executive chairman of McLaren Automotive, effectively walking away from the world of grands prix to lead the British-based company's new sports car business.

The 61-year-old, who started his Formula One career as a young mechanic, had announced in January that he'd be stepping down. He says his decision has nothing to do with the hearing in Paris later this month into McLaren's misleading of a race stewards inquiry into last month's Australian Grand Prix.

But Dennis's successor Martin Whitmarsh has acknowledged that relations between the team and the FIA have been strained under Dennis's long stewardship at McLaren.