EXIT WHIT­MARSH, EN­TER BOUL­LIER

F1 Racing - - INSIDER -

Den­nis was speak­ing to the me­dia as the McLaren Group’s new CEO be­cause he had, a few weeks pre­vi­ously, ousted Martin Whit­marsh, his for­mer pro­tégé, from his po­si­tions as team prin­ci­pal and CEO of McLaren Rac­ing.

Yet less than 12 months be­fore, Den­nis’s own time at McLaren was run­ning out, as sto­ries of board­room bat­tles and fall-outs be­tween him and his fel­low di­rec­tors leaked from the McLaren Tech­nol­ogy Cen­tre into the F1 pad­dock.

Den­nis had be­come in­creas­ingly con­cerned about what he felt McLaren was be­com­ing un­der Whit­marsh; he felt the team was not as com­mit­ted to win­ning as it should be, saw ev­i­dence of what he con­sid­ered a lack of fo­cus from the top down, a dan­ger­ous drift across the whole of McLaren’s F1 oper­a­tion. This is what Den­nis means when he talks now about the team hav­ing too many “dis­trac­tions”.

Feel­ing that McLaren had lost its cul­ture of win­ning un­der Whit­marsh, Den­nis had been try­ing to re­move his for­mer pro­tégé for some time. But he was blocked prin­ci­pally by Man­sour Oj­jeh, Den­nis’s long-time part­ner and 25 per cent McLaren share­holder.

In spring 2013, Whit­marsh’s fu­ture ap­peared se­cure, where Den­nis’s looked vul­ner­a­ble. Still a 25 per cent share­holder, but lack­ing ex­ec­u­tive sta­tus and with less than four years left on his con­tract, Den­nis faced the prospect of his McLaren con­tract not be­ing re­newed, leav­ing him with­out an ofcial role at the com­pany he

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