McLaren’s Ron Dennis is back! We’ve known that for a few months now but if we were wondering what his thoughts were on F1, as he has now re-discovered it having taken control of the McLaren Formula 1 operation, we don’t need to look very hard to find his opinion.
Today finds a rash of Ron Dennis-isms from AUTOSPORT to Sky Sports F1 in which the “mature” McLaren executive shares his thoughts on just about everything. Here is Sky Sports F1’s interview of Ron. It’s a good watch and has some interesting commentary about being open to a return to McLaren from Fernando Alonso or Even Lewis Hamilton. It also mentions Martin Whitmarsh as and apparently they don’t have him locked in a broom closet.
Also in the news over at AUTOSPORT, Dennis shared his thoughts on the notion of cost caps in F1 with the wonderful Jonathan Noble. It’s a topic that we’ve discussed at length and we share Dennis’s feelings that it is nearly impossible to police. Dennis said:
“Can you imagine the complexity of a whole set of regulations that don’t have anything to do with performance compliance but more about fiscal compliance? It is the practicality of the concept if you then had some sort of audit.
“Let’s presume that a company wanted to circumvent. Let’s just say it was Daihatsu or Toyota – I don’t know about you but my understanding is that it takes years to understand how to write and read in those languages.
“So how on Earth the FIA will go into one of those companies and do an audit on what is spent on R&D or the component suppliers? Can you imagine trying to police that? It is pie in the sky.”
We’ve interviewed NBC Sport’s Steve Matchett several times and he’s always maintained that F1 is expensive and if you don’t have the cash top participate in it, then start a GP3 team…Dennis concurs:
“If you cannot afford to be in F1, don’t be in F1. There are lots of other categories that you can go motor racing in.
“It has been that way from the very, very beginning. For years Ferrari dominated F1 because they had more money.
“Things change. Suddenly they were faced with manufacturers who had equal amount of money.”
Dennis also find the FIA’s position and bullish desire to initiate a cost cap as an oddity as do fans when you consider the 2014 regulations as being the most sweeping and most expensive the sport has seen in decades. Dennis reckons the pure logic of their position is untenable:
“Apart from the complexity, [it is] the most expensive engine in the history of motor sport.
“In the end you reap what you sow – and the same people who took us down this path, to then go down another path and say how we are going to reduce costs..
“My goodness, how contrary to logic is that?”
Without a Concorde agreement to tie the teams to the FIA, one wonders if the FIA isn’t seeking the cost cap as a way of being more integrated into the teams operations through regulatory oversight and just how smooth that process would be is anyone’s guess.
We often talk about teams all having their own agenda and that is true but we can never forget that the FIA has its own agenda too and that agenda is big…very big.