It's the end of an era as Ron Dennis walks away from McLaren Automotive

ron dennis steps away from mclaren former ceo
It’s the end of an era as Ron Dennis steps away from McLaren, the race team and automaker he helmed for 37 years.

With the possible exception of founder and namesake Bruce McLaren, Dennis has done more to shape the company than anyone else, turning McLaren into a powerhouse Formula One team, and spearheading its move into car production.

Dennis, who turned 70 on June 1, stepped down from his day-to-day leadership role at McLaren last year but retained a stake in the company. He is now walking away completely, selling his remaining shares. Prior to his departure, Dennis’ influence had reportedly been reduced after an argument with fellow shareholders, who disliked his autocratic management style.

Dennis is one of several big names from the past few decades of Formula One to depart the sport in recent years, notes Autoblog. Others include commercial rights czar Bernie Ecclestone, who was pushed out by new F1 owner Liberty Media in January. Prior to that, Ferrari president and long-term F1 influencer Luca di Montezemolo was ousted, and Max Mosley was replaced as head of the FIA, the organization that governs F1.

Dennis joined McLaren in 1980. While the team had won F1 championships before he arrived, Dennis ushered in an era of dominance that would make McLaren the second most successful team in F1 history, after Ferrari. This culminated in the legendary 1988 season, where McLaren won 15 out of 16 races, and the rivalry between teammates Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost created plenty of drama.

McLaren started to fade in the 1990s and 2000s in the face of stiffer competition from other teams but remained a front-runner. Mika Hakkinen won world titles in 1998 and 1999, as did Lewis Hamilton in 2008. More recently, Dennis moved McLaren to challenge Ferrari off the track as a full-time automaker, and it now builds supercars across three model lines: Sport Series, Super Series, and Ultimate Series.

But while McLaren has grown as a company over the past few years, its racing fortunes have diminished. Honda engines powered McLaren’s dominant 1988 season, but the Japanese automaker’s current generation of F1 powertrains are hopelessly underpowered and unreliable. Even with former world champion Fernando Alonso on the team, McLaren is currently in last place in this season’s F1 constructor standings, with just two points.

McLaren’s road-car business is doing well, posting record 2016 sales. But the foundation of that business, the race team, seems to be crumbling. With Dennis gone, perhaps someone with a different perspective will right the ship. But for now, McLaren’s future is uncertain.


In McLaren’s 600LT Spider, the engine is the only sound system you’ll need

The McLaren 600LT Spider is the inevitable convertible version of the 600LT coupe, itself a lighter, more powerful version of the McLaren 570S. The 600LT Spider boasts a 592-horsepower, twin-turbo V8, and a loud exhaust system to hear it…
Home Theater

What’s new on Amazon Prime Video (February 2019)

Amazon Prime Video adds new titles each month that are available for free to all Prime members. Check out our list to find all the content hitting Amazon Prime Video in January and February, from new original series to classic films.
Movies & TV

New trailer for 'The Punisher' season 2 teases a bloody showdown

The Punisher is getting a second season on Netflix, with Jon Bernthal returning to play Marvel Comics' gun-toting antihero Frank Castle. Here's everything we know about season 2 of The Punisher so far.
Movies & TV

‘Sopranos’ prequel ‘The Many Saints of Newark’ adds ‘The Punisher’ star

The upcoming movie The Many Saints of Newark, based on HBO's hit series The Sopranos, will serve as a prequel to the show. It will focus on Tony Soprano as a boy, as well as the race riots that rocked Newark in 1967.

Muscle cars, trucks, and EVs roared into the subdued 2019 Detroit Auto Show

The 2019 Detroit Auto Show was the quietest edition of the event in recent memory, but that doesn't mean nothing significant happened inside the Cobo Center. Here are the new cars and concepts we saw at the show.

Big tech, bigger grille: BMW updates its 7 Series flagship for 2020

The BMW 7 Series will enter the 2020 model year with a host of updates inside, outside, and under the sheet metal. The new-look nose with a jumbo grille hides updated engines, while passengers benefit from smart tech features.
Emerging Tech

Ford’s sweaty robot bottom can simulate 10 years of seat use in mere days

Ford has developed 'Robutt,' a sweaty robot bottom that's designed to simulate the effects of having a pair of human buttocks sitting on its car seats for thousands of hours. Check it out.

Robomart’s self-driving grocery store is like Amazon Go on wheels

Robomart's driverless vehicle is like an Amazon Go store on wheels, with sensors tracking what you grab from the shelves. If you don't want to shop online or visit the grocery store yourself, Robomart will bring the store to you.

Ford has a plan to future-proof the hot-selling F-150 pickup truck

Worried about the threat of rising gas prices, Ford will add the F-150 to its growing portfolio of electrified vehicles. It is currently developing a hybrid F-150, and it will release an electric version of the next-generation truck.

Ford’s Mustang-inspired electric crossover will spawn a Lincoln luxury version

Lincoln will get its own version of parent Ford's first mass-market, long-range electric vehicle. While Ford's version will have styling inspired by the Mustang, Lincoln will take a more traditional approach.
Home Theater

Spotify adds simplified Car View mode for Android users

What was once just a test is now a reality: Spotify is rolling out a new, simplified in-car user interface for all Android users called Car View, which automatically engages when the app detects a car Bluetooth connection.

Boutique carmaker Karma Automotive, legendary design firm Pininfarina team up

Karma Automotive is partnering with legendary Italian design firm Pininfarina on future luxury cars. The first product of that partnership will appear later this year, Karma said, without offering other details.

Sibling rivalry: 2019 BMW Z4 takes on the 2020 Toyota Supra

BMW and Toyota forged an unlikely partnership when they set out to build a sports car platform together. Here, we examine the similarities and differences between the 2019 Z4 and the 2020 Supra.

Driving Daimler’s 40-ton eCascadia big rig isn’t just fun, it’s electrifying

Daimler Trucks brought its all-electric eCascadia semi-truck to the 2019 CES, and invited us to take the wheel. What does it feel like to drive one? Simply electrifying, of course.