Ron Dennis pushing for major off-track changes at McLaren F1 team

Ron Dennis is in the process of making major off-track changes he hopes will allow McLaren to compete with Formula 1 rivals Mercedes and Ferrari

Ron Dennis pushing for major off-track changes at McLaren F1 team

Although Dennis has refused to divulge details, Autosport understands the 67-year-old has been working on attracting additional investment into the company.

At present McLaren Technology Group CEO Dennis has a 25 per cent shareholding, along with Mansour Ojjeh, while the Bahrain sovereign wealth fund, Mumtalakat, holds the remaining 50 per cent.

In an effort to revitalise the business, Dennis has been in discussions with potential investors in recent months, notably from China.

Asked about the current shareholding, Dennis said: "There has always been movements in equity over the history of McLaren, and there is nothing particularly unusual about that.

"Our objective as shareholders is always to think about growth.

"The process we are going through at the moment is with regard to how we can be bigger, stronger, to build the organisation to match the resources some of the other players have because it's not easy to race against Mercedes or Ferrari."

The McLaren group's diversification - into areas such as roadcars, medical, financial, research, analytics - means its F1 team now accounts for just over a third of the business.

To bring the team back to its former glories, Dennis recognises further off-track efforts are needed, hence his pursuit of other avenues.

"The [F1] business model is not attractive in the long term, not least because 110 F1 teams have come and gone since 1966, and we don't want to be one of those," said Dennis.

"The way to avoid it is you build a broader base that supports a Formula 1 team, which is an important part of the business.

"It reflects badly when we are not succeeding, but it is part of our brand and part of our business.

"You can achieve growth in two ways in a private company - you take the money you call profit and you invest it in the future.

"Or, if you want to move faster than that, you have to find a completely different approach, and that's been focusing my mind for four months at least, which has been the primary reason why you've not seen me at the grands prix.

"But complex things take time, and as and when we get there, and if we get there, then we'll take this giant step for McLaren, and I'll share it with you."

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