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McLaren wanted to split

21st Apr 2010 7:00 am

Ron Dennis insists that it was McLaren who initiated the split from Mercedes and not the car manufacturer.

McLaren boss Ron Dennis has revealed that his team initiated the split from Mercedes-Benz, not the car maker.

Dennis, whose team will still be running Mercedes engines until the end of the 2011 season, added that the split between the two was "completely and utterly amicable".

Mercedes-Benz bought a 40 per cent share in McLaren in 2006 and Dennis says the company made its interest in taking over the F1 team clear on many occasions.

"They continuously over the years wanted to have control of McLaren and we continuously told them we did not want them to have control of McLaren,” Dennis told Arabian Business magazine.

"The more they wanted it, the less we wanted to give it to them. Because you look at what happens... the influence they [car manufacturers] control is not always productive. CEOs change overnight.

"I have got 30-odd years of my life in this company, huge quantities of friends and people who have been through thick and thin with me, and I made it very clear to Mercedes-Benz, as did the other shareholders, that we are not for sale. They hankered always."

Mercedes instead took over the Brawn GP team at the end of last season.

"We initiated it, we wanted to be independent," said Dennis. "This wasn't something which we weren't party to. I mean engine supply to Brawn in 2008 (for the 2009 season) required our consent.

"At the end of the day we were a fully integrated partner of Mercedes-Benz, and we still are. We are fiercely competitive on circuit, but off circuit we are still firm friends."
 

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