McLaren initiated Mercedes split says Dennis
14 April, 2010
Apr.14 (GMM) McLaren initiated its split with former works partner and major shareholder Mercedes, according to Ron Dennis.
The 62-year-old chairman of the Woking based company now heads McLaren’s own production road car division, and Mercedes’ Norbert Haug said recently that the project “was not our way and we found an amicable solution”.
Dennis said the reason for the split was McLaren’s wish to be independent, after years of pressure from Mercedes to relinquish control.
“We initiated it (the split), we wanted to be independent,” he said in an interview with Arabian Business. “This wasn’t something which we weren’t party to.”
Dennis said the situation also worked out for Mercedes, who have taken over and rebranded the former Brawn team.
“I wouldn’t call it a sweetheart deal, but it was a win-win situation,” he insisted.
“They got exactly what they wanted: a grand prix team they had complete control over — and we had continuous engine supply and the ability to promote our product and build the McLaren brand,” added Dennis.
He said Mercedes originally wanted full control of McLaren, who have now almost completely bought back the German marque’s 40 per cent share.
“The more they wanted it (control), the less we wanted to give it to them,” explained Dennis.
“Because you look at what happens … the influence they (carmakers) control is not always productive.”