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Dennis: Every step has moved us forward

NEWS STORY
02/07/2015

Whilst some teams claim two, three or four 'home' races each season, for that most English of Englishmen, Ron Dennis, there is only one, the British Grand Prix.

Be it Brands Hatch or Silverstone, the Woking outfit has won its home race no less than 14 times, though it has only started from pole position on seven occasions.

Ahead of this year's race, a place on the first five rows of the grid is surely the stuff of dreams, whilst adding to that win tally could surely only come as the result of the sort of first lap disaster that marked the team's first home win... the infamous 1973 race, when Jody Scheckter set in motion a chain of events that was to see eleven cars eliminated.

Heading to Silverstone with just four points in his team's 2015 account, Dennis continues to insist that progress is being made.

"One of the things that surprises everybody except for myself, because I've seen it before, is that we have made steady and measurable progress," he tells the Independent. "And three or four races ago we knew that we would get to Canada and were going to at best plateau, because of the nature of the circuit.

"Virtually every step that we've taken has moved us forward as predicted, and we're getting very good correlation with our calculations and our on-track performance, which is promising.

"Our commitment remains to win the world championship," he continues. "That requires you to have laser focus on each aspect of the car, and everything has got to be the best of the best.

"Neither Honda nor ourselves expected the challenge to be quite as difficult as it has been. But they started with a clean piece of paper, not just in terms of the engine but also the research and development facilities, which are completely new.

"We know this is a very big challenge, but we are making good progress. Honda have made so many engines over the years that I know we will have one of the best, if not the best. But these hybrid powertrains with their energy-recovery systems are very, very complex and it doesn't matter who drives the cars, it takes you time to master it.

"I get out of bed in the mornings feeling quite militant," he admits. "The McLaren DNA is strong and I know very well our values. The people who decry the team just don't understand or have the roots we have. And it's so hard for people to get their minds round this statement, but right now we have one of the best grand prix teams that we've ever had. It's a cohesive, focused group.

"It's shouldering phenomenal pain, and in any situation like this there are people who will come close to cracking so everybody around them has to hold them up and say, 'Come on, we're going to do this'.

"At the same time you know as you're carrying this burden that you've just got to convince the sponsors, the investors, everybody you know, to believe in the team, because we are going to do it."

We are sure they are Ron, but the big question is when?

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Tweek, 02/07/2015 22:10

"I still have faith, and a hat the pit crew signed in an Austin bar in 2013. It's surprising how 1 weekend can convert a casual fan with no real team affiliation into a rabid monster. Conversations had over rounds of beers were all profetic. I feel your pain when the engines blow,or electronics fail and I howled at the tv when you won those points. Being a fan isn't about fair weather and podium finishes, it's about sticking with your boys through thick and thin (even when someone doesn't wanna get in the car,or show up on race day) You guys keep working, I'll keep cheering !"

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2. Posted by ape, 02/07/2015 15:46

"parole, parole,parole..."

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3. Posted by Paul C, 02/07/2015 12:38

"RD and Honda need to revive Caterham as a junior Honda team. Four cars running Honda power units would increase the development of the power units."

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4. Posted by CL, 02/07/2015 12:07

"No one is claiming huge steps forward Darvi, so you're shooting at a target that doesn't exist."

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5. Posted by koko, 02/07/2015 11:26

""We are sure they are Ron, but the big question is when?" - like ... never. Independent teams are dead. They are just "dummy-teams" put there (permitted to race?!) to allow Mercedes, Ferrari & co to show off themselves. Of course, being a constructor is not a guarantee to succeed (Honda ;-) ) - but it definitely helps.

And Red Bull, Williams, Sauber ... McLaren ... will have the same fate."

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6. Posted by Darvi, 02/07/2015 11:05

"Not entirely sure that Austria was a huge step forward...... "

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7. Posted by testa rossa, 02/07/2015 10:24

"
-YAWN -"

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