Dennis has full support, says Whitmarsh

McLaren F1 CEO Martin Whitmarsh says there is no question that Ron Dennis has the full support of all his company's shareholders, and has rubbished suggestions there is pressure on Dennis to stand down

There has been rife speculation this week that Dennis could be forced to relinquish his role as team principal in the wake of last year's spy scandal and the impact it had on the Woking-based outfit.

Those rumours intensified in the wake of the visit by Italian investigators to the homes of leading McLaren executives, including Dennis, on Wednesday.

But Whitmarsh has made it clear that Dennis maintains the full support of the team and their partners. He says that any talk Dennis could be forced to move aside is wide of the mark, and any decision to change roles in the future will be Dennis's entirely.

"The rumours are unfounded - for a number of reasons," Whitmarsh told

"First, the visits were merely part of ongoing enquiries by the Italian authorities, who used the Surrey Police as intermediaries. As such, they weren't really very surprising, or therefore very stressful.

"Second, and most important, people who suggest that Ron may be forced to step down don't understand the corporate structure of the McLaren Group.

"Ron is fully supported by all our shareholders, all our management, and all who work for our team and our company. He currently has three roles: Chairman, McLaren Group; Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Group; Team Principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes.

"It therefore follows that it is for Ron to decide when and if he should step down, step away, step back, or whatever."

When asked if Dennis would attend the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, Whitmarsh replied: "Yes."

Whitmarsh also emphasised that McLaren were happy to co-operate with the Italian investigators, who were accompanied by members of the Surrey Police.

"The visits were part of ongoing enquiries by the Italian authorities, who used the Surrey Police as intermediaries," he explained. "The policemen involved were efficient and courteous, and went about their business with minimal fuss.

"We welcomed and co-operated fully with their enquiries, and the police professed themselves entirely happy with the co-operation they received from us."

Previous article Raikkonen plays down favourite talk
Next article Aguri insist they will be on Melbourne grid