Dennis to step down as team principal

McLaren boss Ron Dennis will step down from his role of team principal before the start of the 2009 season, the Briton announced on Friday

Dennis to step down as team principal

The 61-year-old, however, made it clear that he is not retiring, but will instead focus on other commitments related to the McLaren Group.

Dennis said he would still attend some races, but intends to pass on his team principal responsibilities to Martin Whitmarsh as of March 1 this year.

"First thing I am going to do is work harder, that is the first target," said Dennis during the launch of the new McLaren.

"I intend to raise my own game because I think everybody in our organisation at every level realises this is a tough period in which we are going to work and of course we are a very diverse organisation now.

"We have a clear intention for our production car programme which is really a challenge. Any product we bring to the market will certainly fall the other side of this financial period.

"I stress nothing to get too excited about but it is absolutely time for Martin to take over as team principal. As from March 1 he will adopt that responsibility. I will still go to races, not all of them, because I am passionate.

"I intend to work harder and will take on greater responsibility in the group. I will be full executive chairman. It is time and I have to say it is absolutely 100 percent my decision. It is what I want to do, but I do intend to work much harder.

"Don't see it as some sort of retirement, I want to work harder in other areas and having to plan those tasks around the GP calendar is disruptive to the process. It is a job that Martin will embrace and enjoy.

"It is a job over the years we have shared anyway, but it will be his decision to influence things at a grand prix circuit."

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