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Dennis hits out at self interested rivals

NEWS STORY
07/04/2014

Back in the spotlight once again, McLaren boss Ron Dennis claims that criticism of new regulations is driven by those that have failed to master them.

As no-nonsense and straight talking as ever, the Briton pulled no punches when asked about the ongoing row over the new regulations, and whilst not needing to name names the finger was well and truly pointed.

Asked whether the new regulations need to be changed, he told Sky Sports F1: "First of all, I think I'm reasonably qualified to have an opinion, I've been in Formula One, one way or another, for forty-eight years now. I've seen many things, lots of regulatory changes. There has to be a time, and I think that time is now, when we have to take a position of greater moral responsibility.

"The simple fact is that we live in a world where resources are depleting and the environment is being threatened," he continued. "Yes, we are Formula One, yes we have to be the pinnacle of motorsport, but being the pinnacle of motorsport means we have to have the absolute latest technology.

"And reluctantly I admit," he repeats himself for emphasis, "reluctantly, the teams and the engine manufacturers have embraced the challenge of competing in a Grand Prix with two-thirds less fuel than before and developing hybrid systems of the future.

"These KERS and ERS systems are incredibly complex," he continues. "And the intensity of the development that has gone into them masks the fact that this is the future. There is some very obvious short-termism driven often by lack of competitiveness that certain teams have.

"They use anything to try and address their shortcomings. We aren't the most competitive team at the moment, but we know what the challenge is, and that's the challenge of Formula One. We've got our own vision in terms of aerodynamics and engine development but these rules were made, everybody had an impact into them, they weren't lacking in support in the formation of them. Now we've just got to get on with it and realise that as a sport we owe it to the young people of the future to lead by example.

"Can we make the cars noisier, easily. Most of the world is trying to quieten things, not make them more noisy... aeroplanes, trains, everything in our lives… noise is a form of pollution. It's very easy for us to increase the noise but it shouldn't be to the detriment of what is a technology driven initiative which is going to better mankind.

"Let's just focus on the real issue," he continues, "which is those teams that are uncompetitive just need to get their act together and get focussed on that. If there's a rule change in the future it has to be in accordance with the rules which means that this season it has to be unanimous, which is not going to happen. For next season we can sit down and address where we can fine tune them to address the fans of today and the fans of the future. Turn the volume up on the television... it's not the end of the world. Let's let things settle down, and let's address the problem - if there is one - when we really understand it in a few races time."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by karel, 09/04/2014 12:50

"of course he is right, but, regarding time frame, budget, testing not every team is up to the same level as McLaren. Secondly F1 these days is very sterile, almost not accesible anymore by the fan, you have to pay to watch the whole programme on tv and on top of that the F1 car is not the top car of the circuit anymore. Its sounds like my Dison vacuumcleaner, it looks ugly , .. and only one team above all the others, actually no bother to look, you know now who will win 2014 either Rosberg or Hamilton. So why spend money ????"

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2. Posted by phantom, 09/04/2014 0:37

"Mr. Dennis' comments would make more sense if F1 was, in fact, 'the pinnacle of motorsport.' The embarrassment comes from F1 requiring makeshift, reality-altering gimmicks to deliver entertainment. He speaks of having 'the absolute latest technology,' but despite all that, the limitations on tire life, assists for passing (first for passing, second for [ahem] economy/ecology), RPM limitations, DRS zones, etc. All of these have watered the sport down to an endless series of gimmicks that deliver 'some' racing, while one team usually conquers all. All with the aforementioned '. . .absolute latest technology.' Which apparently can do everything but deliver consistently good racing. You know. . .the kind where the lead can actually change hands without a pitstop."

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3. Posted by GoodPublicity, 08/04/2014 13:18

"Ron Dennis's comment "let's address the problem - if there is one" indicates that he's oblivious to the opinion of the overwhelming majority of F1 fans' about the underwhelming tone and volume of the 2014 cars.

The first step towards recovery is to acknowledge the problem. Ron and his fellow deniers have a long road ahead of them."

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4. Posted by Paolo, 08/04/2014 10:00

"Congrats to Ron for speaking out

In the land of corporate speak McLaren have always reined supreme (in some peoples eyes) yet here we have plain talking from the master.

So Team Spag Bol have started yet another season on the back foot and are now squealing like stabbed rats about the spectacle. Is it really 83% of all GP fans that are turning away from F1 or merely 83% of Team Spag Bol fans that are turning away because of their continued lack of success despite having Fandango and the Icepop peddling there cars they face a monumental effort to reach Q3. The look on Il presidente's face when one of his cars was overtaken by an Indian Bharji said it all. And as for the purveyors of fizzy screenwash your man is currently being made to look very ordinary - as many of us suspected all along."

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5. Posted by ape, 07/04/2014 21:24

"absurd to make artificially more noise , this would really be a Flavio thing or Wrestlemania fun fair."

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6. Posted by DB, 07/04/2014 18:32

"At last someone speaking some sense.
Dennis has been around F1 long enough to know whats what.
I think ecclestones time has come and gone. He should step aside and let someone else have a go.
Everyone knew what the new regulations were going to be a good while ago. So there should be no excuses from any team.
All I think should have changed, is that there should have been more in season testing for this year, with such a big regulation change."

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7. Posted by Spindoctor, 07/04/2014 17:28

"Common-sense from Ron Dennis I think. Like the man says he's been involved with F1 man an boy for many, many years. His comments are particularly relevant as McLaren is still struggling, not so much with the powertrain, as with the rest of the car, so he stands to gain nothing from change, but also benefits little from the current status quo.
Ron Dennis is a racer and an enthusiast, and a man who wants only to win.

F1 can never be "green" in any meaningful sense: carting 20 odd cars, tons of spares, and hundreds of people all around the globe for 8-9 months a year can never be green - that's obvious. I agree entirely with his view that F1 must embrace these technologies, not because they make F1 significantly "greener", but because these are the technologies of the future.

I'm sure there are changes which can be made to the rules to improve the sport, and the spectacle, but let's wait and see what these might be after a few more races (say another 10?), then start the process for change next season. Quite frankly the first 3 races of this season have been amongst the best we've had in years with lots of "proper" racing in addition to the DRS stuff."

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8. Posted by raven49, 07/04/2014 15:35

"F1 could reduce the number of continents they travel to and show enormous fuel savings. But, this is about dollars or euros. The switch to hybrid power units is fine but lets not pretend hybrids haven't been available to the public since 1997 (Toyota Prius) and are currently available in many brands around the world. What F1 may be offering is some refinement in the future but right now not so much.
I agree that change should not be driven just to level the field. I was not particularly bored when Red Bull was winning. Over time other teams closed the gap. We haven't seen much mention of Brawn lately. When Ross Brawn and his team utilized the blown diffuser and got a tremendous jump on the field. It took nearly the whole season for the other teams to close the gap. And, there was more testing then. Barring mechanical failures, the lack of testing and not much further engine development allowed, we may well see Mercedes win every race.
I look forward to Ron Dennis showing how "easy" it will be to change the noise levels. That might be more challenging then we think as some configuration change will surely be necessary."

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