Mercedes - We stand by Dennis

Team partner hoping that rumours will stop

Dennis: Successful
We stand by Ron and are continuing to work with the same management structure
Mercedes have continued to back Ron Dennis despite reports claiming the McLaren boss was to have left the team midway through this week.

According to last weekend's Sunday Times, McLaren were set to announce midweek that Dennis would be stepping down from his role as team principal.

'Dennis is expected to announce his decision in midweek. He is under no pressure from other shareholders and many staff have been urging him to stay on. The biggest factor which might still stay his hand is the perception outside McLaren,' the paper reported.

The reports was backed up by claims on Monday that McLaren CEO Martin Whitmarsh was ready to step up and replace Dennis.


However, Dennis remains in the hot seat, with Mercedes motorsport boss Norbert Haug adding his support for a colleague who came under severe pressure last season following both the spy scandal involving Ferrari and the rivalry between drivers Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso.

"I'm now in my 14th year of working with Ron, and during this time only one other team has been more successful than ours has," Haug told Bild newspaper.

"As team boss, Ron has played an immense part in achieving that success.

"Any negative statements appearing in the media are mere speculation and originate outside the company. We stand by Ron and are continuing to work with the same management structure."


Haug added that "hopefully in around two weeks' time after the first race" the rumours of Dennis's departure will stop.

Mercedes have a 40 percent stake in McLaren, with Bahrain's Mumtalakat Holding Company holding 30 percent and Dennis and business partner Mansour Ojjeh controlling 15 percent each.

Haug also spoke of the upcoming season, saying McLaren won't really know until next weekend's Australian Grand Prix whether they have the pace needed to win world titles.

"We've conducted extensive testing and our cars have proved reliable and fast," he said. "Whether they're fast enough we won't know until after the Australian GP."