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F1 NEWS 

Dennis hints at revised McLaren role

Ron DennisMcLaren boss Ron Dennis has hinted that he will move aside as team principal to take an active role in a new McLaren sportscar project.

He considered the possibility of stepping aside to focus on other responsibilities within the McLaren Group last winter, but decided to commit to one more season.

Now he says his role may change over the coming months, but insists that he will still attend races next season.

"Nothing that will unfold over the next few months will be as a result of yesterday," said Dennis, speaking in a press conference on Monday.

"I have still got several ambitions I want to fulfill, but you will most definitely see me at Grands Prix and it is something I like too much to take out of my life. You will see me on the pitwall, I will be at races.

"I think over the next few months I will make it abundantly clear what I am doing and why I am doing it, but it would have taken place no matter what. Don't read too much into it."

McLaren will shortly launch a production car programme and Dennis says that diversity is vital for the future of the company, and that he is eager to be involved in that.

"It's very close to being publicly launched," he said. "Obviously this economic situation makes life very difficult when you are trying to raise the capital it requires, but the programme is extremely advanced and this is something I have got as much passion for as the F1 car.

"My role will broaden in some aspects and reduce in others. I have believed passionately in the need for a Grand Prix team to diversify and it is not by accident that McLaren is a group of companies, we do intend to try to match the success of Ferrari and to do that we cannot just be a Grand Prix team.

"We want as broad a possible a base for the company, not just the race but also making sportscars. We want to be bigger and better than just a Grand Prix team - it's critical to survival.

"If you go back in history you can see clear examples of teams who have stayed unique to F1 who have just failed. You cannot sustain an F1 team indefinitely, you need to diversify."

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