McLaren Group is controlling both McLaren Technology Group and McLaren Automotive. Sheikh Bin Khalifa will be chairman of the board of directors.
After he was made to leave the stage of F1 and an exclusion from any working plan at the end of 2016, Ron Dennis was still owning an important block of shares. This was a heavy amount of stocks inside McLaren Automotive, a division of McLaren focused on street cars while McLaren Technology Group is the company in charge of racing team competing in F1. McLaren Racing, Ron Dennis, Mansour Ojjeh and an investment fund of Bahrain. This is the triad which managed the McLaren business until today.
Now there is a change, with a buy of Ron Dennis’ stocks from McLaren Group, a company incorporating both McLaren Technology and McLaren Automotive, under the management of Zak Brown as executive director and Mike Flewitt as managing director. Confirmed Jonathan Neale as deputy of McLaren Applied Technologies. On top of McLaren Group, there will be sheikh Mohammed Bin Essa Al Khalifa as main chairman as well as main stocksholder. Ron Dennis talks about his adventure in McLaren in this way:
“I am really happy to have found an agreement with McLaren. It is the right conclusion of my adventure with McLaren and it will allow me to focus on something else. I have always said my 37 years lived at Woking, they shall be considered like a chapter in McLaren’s book, in fact I wish them all the best for the future.
The sell of my stocks, it was a natural action to take”
Some rumors said, those stocks have given to Dennis something like 275 million pounds, around 310 million of dollars. In the near future, Dennis will be an advisor for British Ministry of Defense where he will lead the innovation and technology committee. He will also lead a foundation called Dreamchasing, involved in some projects to back young teenagers to achieve their dreams:
“It will be interesting to help Britain to improve its cultural and technological level. So our national security will be better.
About my foundation?
It was very useful with Lewis Hamilton, he was under my wing when he was 12 years old and look at him now. He became F1 World Champion in 2008 with McLaren, that was an inspiration to create Dreamchasing.
Now I left McLaren, so I will be able to focus on a couple of other programs and projects, mainly focused on public service”
Inside McLaren-Honda, they are not too much scared about the departure of Ron Dennis. At Baku, they even obtained two points, on a track where they believed their Japanese power-unit could not do too much. Fernando Alonso believes, in a normal condition, he could be on the podium or even be capable to win. The Spanish pilot was ninth at the end of a surprising race, where sometimes he was even capable to fight with Vettel. indeed, it is a surprise to find a McLaren-Honda in a position where they can obtain some points, on a track not too much congenial to their car.
“I think we could win this race.
We started from position nineteenth due to a penalty, on a track not too much favourable to ourself. It is still a nice result to get our first points in this championship. It looks impossible and indeed it is a nice surprise!
Our race was taking a good looking due to many drop-outs and some events. I was capable to stay away from walls, I just touched them but I did not hit anyone. Even so, I think we could fight to get a position on the podium or a victory.
I mean, we were behind Daniel Ricciardo after lap 14th when first safety car was called out. Lewis faced a problem with his head protection, while Sebastian was punished with a penalty. Kimi dropped-out and both Force india’s car crashed together so we found ourself in a nice position. It was one of those days where it was possible to get many positions for free. It is a pity this is not going to be common in the near future, due to our deficiency.
We missed another opportunity because our race pace was quite fast and effective. Anyway, we take those two points, our first of this year”