Dennis insists McLaren will benefit from Mercedes split
Ron Dennis believes Mercedes' decision to team-up with Brawn and gradually decrease its holding in McLaren will benefit all concerned. He insists that McLaren's ability to adapt and work independently of Mercedes will make the team even stronger than before.
Mercedes, who announced a takeover deal of Brawn GP on Monday, will continue to supply McLaren with engines until at least 2015 but will put its financial weight behind their new team. Dennis sees the new deal as an opportunity for McLaren to continue with their diversions into other non-Formula One activities, while remaining as a major player in the sport.
"This is a win-win situation, for both McLaren and Daimler," said Dennis. "I've often stated that it's my belief that, in order to survive and thrive in 21st-century Formula One, a team must become much more than merely a team.
"That being the case, in order to develop and sustain the revenue streams required to compete and win grand prix and world championships, companies that run Formula One teams must broaden the scope of their commercial activities.
"Nonetheless, all of our partners will of course continue to play a crucial role in our Formula One programme. For that reason, and because the engines they produce are very competitive, we're delighted that Mercedes Benz has committed to continue not only as an engine supplier but also as a partner of ours until 2015 - and perhaps thereafter."
McLaren will buy the 40% holding that Mercedes own back over a phased period of time. Daimler CEO Dr Dieter Zetsche admitted that part of the reason for Mercedes selling its share in McLaren was due to the team's upcoming plans to diversify into road-car building. Dennis, who is now devoting his time to the McLaren road-car projects, said his company's new independence would allow it to continue to expand in this area.
"The next few years will be a very exciting time for McLaren, during which period we intend to become an ever-stronger technological and economic force," Dennis said.
"Formula One will always be a core activity, for sound business reasons as well as for historical sporting reasons: to be clear, our Formula One business has traditionally enjoyed great financial security, largely as a consequence of the longevity of our contracts with our partners, many of which have exceeded 15 years of continuous involvement with McLaren. Indeed, two of our partners have been with us for more than 25 years.
"We're risk-averse by design. Over the past two years we've analysed in great detail the challenge of entering the high-performance production sports car market. In the MP4-12C, which will be introduced to market in 2011, we have a car that has inherited the genes of the iconic McLaren F1 of 1994 and has already been the subject of much global media acclaim.
"It is proposed that it will be produced in a new state-of-the-art production facility adjacent to the existing award-winning McLaren Technology Centre at Woking."
McLaren will continue to race with their silver and red colour scheme, with Vodafone remaining as their title sponsor.