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F1 legend Dennis brings curtain down on McLaren affair

AFP logoAFP 01-07-2017

McLaren chairman Ron Dennis' departure comes at a time when the Formula One team's fortunes are at an all time low © Provided by AFP McLaren chairman Ron Dennis' departure comes at a time when the Formula One team's fortunes are at an all time low Formula One legend Ron Dennis' 37 year relationship with McLaren ended on Friday with the announcement he is stepping down as chairman and has sold his 25% stake in the McLaren Technology Group. The 70-year-old's announcement will come as no surprise after he was placed on 'gardening leave' last November as his relationship with his fellow shareholders deteriorated beyond repair.

Prior to Friday's announcement Bahrain's Mumtalakat investment fund owned 50% and the remaining 25% was held by Dennis's long-time business partner Mansour Ojjeh, a Saudi-born Frenchman. Dennis -- who helped guide the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Ayrton Senna to the world title -- said he was pleased to have come to an agreement that would allow him to focus on his other interests.

"I am very pleased to have reached agreement with my fellow McLaren shareholders," Dennis said. "It represents a fitting end to my time at McLaren, and will enable me to focus on my other interests.

"I have always said that my 37 years at Woking should be considered as a chapter in the McLaren book, and I wish McLaren every success as it takes the story forward."

Dennis had been put out to grass last November because his fellow shareholders were not happy when he presented a $2 billion takeover offer from a Chinese consortium.

Despite initially being close Dennis and Ojjeh fell out a while ago and that parting of the ways came back to haunt the Englishman as Ojjeh sided with the Bahrainis.

Dennis departure comes at a time when the Formula One team's fortunes are at an all time low -- a stark contrast to the peaks they hit under his charge when they regularly won the driver and constructor titles.

McLaren have failed to win a race in nearly five years, and are last in this season's championship despite Fernando Alonso scoring their first points of the campaign in Azerbaijan last Sunday.

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