Dennis Preparing McLaren for F1 Withdrawal

McLaren boss Ron Dennis has revealed that he is making plans for his team to be ready to pull out of Formula One at the end of 2007 and make the switch to the manufacturer-led breakaway championship, if satisfactory commercial terms cannot be reached with Bernie Ecclestone.

Dennis Preparing McLaren for F1 Withdrawal

McLaren boss Ron Dennis has revealed that he is making plans for his team to be ready to pull out of Formula One at the end of 2007 and make the switch to the manufacturer-led breakaway championship, if satisfactory commercial terms cannot be reached with Bernie Ecclestone.

In the wake of a presentation earlier this week from the manufacturers planning their own series for 2008, Dennis made it clear on Friday that there was no guarantee his outfit would carry on its involvement in F1 - and he revealed that plans were being made to ensure it has the choice to switch if that is deemed necessary.

"From 2008 we want to be in a position whereby we do not have to participate in F1," said Dennis, speaking at his McLaren Technology Centre. "We are trying to get ourselves in a position where we have a choice to withdraw from F1 if it is not commercially attractive to us."

With Ferrari being the only team who have so far committed to F1, the manufacturers have not let up in their plans for the breakaway series - and are offering any teams committing to its new series the promise of being treated as equals.

One of the biggest gripes among teams at the moment is of Ferrari's perceived favouritism from both the FIA and Ecclestone within F1. Dennis hinted that the 'equality' factor would be an important determinant in McLaren's eventual decision.

"We will not participate in GP racing in 2008 unless there is a level playing field," he said.

McLaren's F1 CEO Martin Whitmarsh claimed, however, that although the team could well be swayed by what was being offered by the manufacturers, he doubted that the situation will eventually result in two top level championships having to go head-to-head.

"From 2008 we want the guiding principles of the GPWC group to apply," he said. "We don't believe there will be two series and we don't believe that Ferrari will be able to go it alone in a championship racing against the GPWC teams."

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