I was sorting through my old Motor Sport and Autosport magazines this week, and as usual an afternoon was lost reading. Enjoying flicking through a whole raft of history a certain Ron Dennis caught my eye. I only discover recently he was Jochen Rindt's mechanic at Cooper in the 1960s. But it was a couple of articles I read that were a bit newer that got me thinking.
When McLaren were not at their peak in the late 1990s Ron ruthlessly wooed a certain Adrian Newey away from Williams to work at Woking. Soon enough they soon got the results with back to back titles for Mika Hakkinen. In achieving this Ron again showed his ruthless streak by insisting Mika was a 100% number one driver and number two David Coulthard was to be the team man, even as far as pulling over for his team mate, even when in the lead.
Right through the late 1990s to the new millennium Ron courted controversy at every turn. Magazine articles and journalists would poke fun at him calling his quotes Ron Speak. And of course there was Spy gate! A massive fine and a massive cloud hanging over the history of McLaren.
But right through all this he delivered us Lewis Hamilton and another world title. But when reading the journalists articles I find they in variably relished Ron's downs, more than his ups. In the year Lewis Hamilton signed for Mercedes the pre season review was of the opinion that he was crazy. "With Ron now out of the way McLaren and Jenson Button will certainly sweep all before them". A certain Martin Brundle was dismissive about Lewis moving and thought him crazy! Oh how wrong he was! If only Martin had moved at the right times in his career.
And once Ron was ousted from his beloved Formula one team he set to work on a new British sports car in the middle of a recession! Once again a certain magazine ridiculed Ron for his timing and his obsession with perfection. Super cars are supposedly objects of art brought by the heart.
And finally after all this Ron departed McLaren in 2017. Leaving behind an amazing billion dollar empire based at Ron's amazing legacy "The Woking Head Quarters" with it's lake and state of the art factory.
Honda, Renault, Whitmarsh, Zak Brown, Alonso can't seem to save McLaren at the moment. McLaren's boss was once the embarrassment, but now he has gone McLaren F1 are the embarrassment! I think Ron might just still be able to turn it around! But it ain't gonna happen!
Tell me what you think?