Dennis ready to step aside

Ron Dennis is likely to hand over the role of McLaren team principal to F1 CEO Martin Whitmarsh before the end of this month, autosport.com has learned, but has not yet decided exactly when he will do so

Dennis ready to step aside

There has been mounting speculation about Dennis' future in recent weeks, with the 60-year-old believed to be increasingly keen to focus more on family matters and other aspects of the McLaren Group business than just the F1 team.

Dennis is also understood to believe that his departure as team principal will help relieve tension remaining at the team in the wake of last year's spy scandal, which left the team stripped of their constructors' championship points and fined $100 million (USD).

Sources have made it clear, however, that although Dennis is planning to change his role within McLaren, he has not yet settled on exactly when that will be.

It could be within a matter of days, or may not happen until after the season, which kicks off in Melbourne on March 16, has begun. However, a decision on the exact handover is expected to take place later this month.

Last week, Whitmarsh made it clear that Dennis still had the full support of McLaren's shareholders - and that any decision about his future was for him to take alone.

"Ron is fully supported by all our shareholders, all our management, and all who work for our team and our company," Whitmarsh told autosport.com.

"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."

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