Effective March 1, 2009, Mercedes-McLaren F1 pit boss Ron Dennis will hand over the reins of team boss to current second-in-command, Martin Whitmarsh. Dennis, who formed McLaren Racing in 1980 after merging his racing company, Project Four, and Team McLaren Ltd, has served as McLaren Racing team principal since 1981. When the 2009 Formula One season official opens on March 29 at the Australian Grand Prix, it will mark the first time in McLaren Racing’s 28-year history that Dennis will not be standing by as McLaren’s sitting chief.
Stressing that his passing of the torch was by no means a signal of retirement (be it forced or voluntary), Dennis explained that his decision to bequeath Whitmarsh his McLaren Racing throne was done so as to allow Dennis to concentrate on other areas of growing interest within McLaren. “This is the right time for this decision. But don’t see this as some sort of retirement because it is the exact opposite…We are a very diverse organisation and we have a number of other projects ongoing, including the development of our road car, and that is going to be a real challenge,” Dennis said. “However, really I want to downplay this decision, because today is about the new car, where we’re going forward as a team – it certainly isn’t about my stepping down.”
Source: BBC Sport
Image Cred: Reuters Pictures