Ron Dennis  Great Britain

  • Full name Ron Dennis
  • Birth date June 1, 1947
  • Birthplace Woking, Surrey, Great Britain
  • Current age 71 years 22 days
  • Teams McLaren
  • Other roles Principal
driver portrait

Much is made of the fact that Ron started as a mechanic, but it is this and his subsequent climb to running the most important team in Formula One after Ferrari that make him such a clear-thinking operator.

Having begun in Formula One with Cooper in 1966, he moved to Brabham and stayed there until forming his own team, Rondel, in 1971. This initially operated in Formula Two, but gained its break by running cars in the Formula One-supporting BMW Procar series for identical BMW M1 sports cars in the late 1970s, by which time it had become Project Four.

Having landed backing from Marlboro, Dennis merged with McLaren in 1980 to form McLaren International and his professional approach put McLaren back on a winning track, making it the dominant team of the 1980s with Niki Lauda, Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna all winning drivers' titles. Entering into partnership with Mercedes has done more than put the team back to the top, as McLaren now builds a special road-going supercar at its new headquarters in Woking for Mercedes.

Dennis stepped down as McLaren team principal in 2009, handing the reigns to Martin Whitmarsh.

His time away from F1 ended in January 2014, as he returned to McLaren as Group CEO, following its first season without a podium since 1980. His first act was to remove Whitmarsh and replace him with Lotus' Eric Boullier, who became racing director. Dennis' aim is to return McLaren to the front of the grid.

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