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Dennis

FEATURE BY MIKE LAWRENCE
12/09/2007

For some reason there seems to be campaign against Ron Dennis. That is nothing new, there are journalists who have seemed to have resented the man's success. Some people have pointed out that that he began as 'only' a mechanic. He was the youngest mechanic on the Formula One pitlane and that was at a time when there were only two or three wrenches per team.

Ron was exceptional. He has always been exceptional. When Jack Brabham set up the Brabham Racing Organisation he could pick and choose and he chose Ron. I don't think there has been a smarter operator in Formula One than Sir Jack and he chose Ron Dennis. For me, that says a lot.

When Ron wanted to go his own way, and set up a team with Neil Trundel, Ron Tauranac did something against his nature, he allowed them credit. I know Ron Tauranac, I wrote his biography. When Tauranac allows you credit, you have to be on the far side of trustworthy.

When Ron Dennis got into Formula One we had 'Ronspeak' This was because Ron's speech was on the convoluted side. Some journalists got on to that. As soon as Ron Dennis opened his mouth they were set to mock him, they were on the blocks. Ron seemed to have swallowed every book on management jargon without digesting it and sometimes the result was amusing. There were people out there, and there still are, who thought that Ron Dennis was risible, that he had grown too big for his boots.

All I can say is that they were not at Goodwood tests in the Formula Three and Formula Two days. I saw Ron close at hand, frequently, but I never spoke to him because he was busy. I witnessed his approach and he impressed me.

Ian Bamsey edited a book called 'The 1000 BHP Grand Prix Cars' and I got McLaren, which was not a bad gig, I got to chat with both John Barnard and Ron Dennis. There had been a big falling out between the two and Ron wanted to put his side. He said, 'This is off the record', so I reached to turn off the tape recorder. He said it was not necessary.

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