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
Britons buy more than 30 million handsets each year, keeping them for an average of 18 months
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Alloysious Massaquoi, 'G' Hastings and Kayus Bankole of Young Fathers are the surprise winners of this year's Mercury Music Prize
musicThe surprise winners of the Mercury Prize – and a very brief acceptance speech
Arts and Entertainment
TV Presenters Ant McPartlin and Dec Donnelly. Winners of the 'Entertainment Programme' award for 'Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway'
musicAnt and Dec confirmed as hosts of next year's Brit Awards
Arts and Entertainment
Orson Welles made Citizen Kane at 25, and battled with Hollywood film studios thereafter
film
News
video
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

Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
10 best tablets

The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain