F1: McLaren chief Ron Dennis opposes U-turn on green revolution - despite criticism of quiet cars

Bernie Ecclestone has been among those to question the new cars

While many fans might be wondering why Bernie Ecclestone and Ferrari’s Luca di Montezemolo so harshly criticised the new Formula One over the weekend and demanded changes to spice things up, McLaren’s executive chairman, Ron Dennis, sprang to its defence after the most exciting race of the new era, in which Lewis Hamilton narrowly beat his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg in Bahrain.

Monday morning may have brought Dennis the traditional pain he feels after any race in which his cars have not been victorious – Jenson Button, in his 250th grand prix, and his rookie team-mate, Kevin Magnussen, both retired with clutch problems – but he urged the sport to maintain its course with the new, eco-friendly 1.6-litre fuel-efficient hybrid V6 turbo engines.

As the quality of flat-out racing throughout the field gave the lie to Di Montezemolo’s disparaging dismissal of the new formula as “taxi-cab racing”, like driving in a procession, Dennis was adamant that Formula One’s future should be secured by embracing greener technology. He told Sky Sports News that on no account must it be bullied into abandoning its new revolution and the road-car relevance that is such a key part of the new package, adding that there should be no sudden reversal barely two months into the dawn of the new era.

 

“There has to be a time, and I think that time is now, when we take a more socially responsible position,” said the man who began his Formula One career as a mechanic on Jochen Rindt’s Cooper Maserati in 1966 and went on to bring further glory to the fading McLaren team after a Marlboro-massaged merger of McLaren Cars and his Project Four Racing in 1980.

“We live in a world where resources are depleting and the environment is being threatened. Yes, we are Formula One, yes we are the pinnacle of motor sport, but being the pinnacle of motor sport means we have to have the latest technology.

“Reluctantly, I admit, the teams and engine manufacturers have embraced the challenge of effectively 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 and the intensity of the development that has gone into them masks the fact that this is the future.”

Dennis also believes vested interests have played a pivotal part in the recent concerted wave of criticism. “There is a very obvious short-termism, driven often by a lack of competitiveness that certain teams have, and they use anything to try to address their shortcomings,” he suggested.

“We are not the most competitive team at the moment but we know what the challenge is, and that’s the challenge of F1. We have our own vision of engine development but these rules were made with everyone having an input and they weren’t lacking in support at the formation.

“We have to get on with it and realise we owe it to the young people of the future.”

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
musicBand's first new record for 20 years has some tough acts to follow
News
Shoppers in Covent Garden, London, celebrate after they were the first to buy the iPhone 6, released yesterday
tech
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments